By Darren Gilbert

This doesn’t mean we should be producing more. Rather, we should be focusing on producing better quality, as Storm Sinnema, strategist at PlusNarrative alluded to in last week’s article about the future of content. So what trends can we look forward to in the world of content marketing?

This will be the year of the 360-degree video

One trend to look out for is the maturation of visual communications. Talk has already started with the unveiling of Oculus Rift.

As Julie Ellis, chief editor of PremierEssay writes, it will change the way marketers design the customer experience. “[T]he possibilities that come with Oculus Rift are already changing the ways in which marketing strategists are thinking in regards to interactive content and customer engagement.”

Locally, there is Deep VR, a virtual reality company exploring the possibilities that 360 degree video offers. There is Facebook live streaming, Periscope, SnapChat and YouTube. And this is just the beginning.

Expect this year to be less talk and more action.

Analytics and data will play an increasingly important role

The need for better, more relevant content stems from understanding your audience. And what better what to do that then to make use of analytics and data.

For Natalie Pool, head of Content at NATIVE VML, it’s an exciting prospect. “Content creators should become more comfortable with analytics and data and using insights to create content,” she says.

Actionable marketer, Heidi Cohen agrees: “Going forward, marketers will need to base their plans on the results of past campaigns to ensure success. Content marketing will become a continual process of testing and improvement based on actual data.”

Influencer marketing will mature

While influencer marketing popped up recently, one can expect it to only mature this year. One only needs to look at Webfluential who moved offices just to better facilitate this. And NATIVE VML’s Pool has it down as one of her trends for 2016.

Jessica McEndoo, head of Social Media and Content Strategy at Blue Magnet does too. “Fifty three percent of businesses are looking to invest in influencer marketing in 2016, according to the @SocialSA research event held in September [last year],” she says.

“[T]his investment should be in contextual content (meaningful and relevant) to naturally gain influencers for your brand, to build affinity, reach and engagement, whereby your customers and potential customers are able to relate with you on a whole new level,” adds McEndoo.

What are your thoughts? What other content marketing trends can we expect in 2016? Tell us below.