Last November, just a few weeks before the start of 2015, I peered into my crystal ball and detailed four content marketing predictions for the year ahead.

Now that we’re just days away from the start of 2016, it’s time to take a look and see how I did– can I keep my side gig as a psychic or should I stick to my day job– writing and marketing?

Here are my four 2015 predictions… revisited.

  1. Video will emerge as a powerful (and more mainstream) medium for content marketing efforts. Yes, yes, yes! I’m going to go ahead and give myself an A+ on this one. In my prediction, I talked about Instagram and Vine, but little did we know, live video streaming would launch onto the scene just months later. Back in 2014, Periscope and Meerkat weren’t familiar terms in our general marketing lexicon, but they sure are now. More and more brands, companies and individuals are creating live content and inviting fans, customers and consumers behind-the-scenes for a deeper, more personal glimpse into their business. In addition, Snapchat’s stories feature for consumers/brands and Discover tab for select media outlets and brands has proven a unique way to develop video (and still images) to share stories and spread news.
  1. Companies will get smarter about curated content. Another one I think I nailed! Companies are certainly smarter than ever about saving time and creating an even stronger brand experience by leveraging curated content. One major trend I saw in 2015? Instagram takeovers. Brands ranging from destinations to fashion brands to lifestyle products all invited digital influencers to take over their channels, creating unique content for them and their audiences. It appears that many companies are getting more comfortable and loosening the reigns on their marketing – and giving fans a more honest and authentic look at their company – by giving up a little control.
  1. The stigma around sponsored content will diminish. Meh. Don’t think I hit the nail on the head with this one. While sponsored content has certainly become more mainstream and more acceptable, I believe the stigma is still there. Personally, even as a marketer, I can usually sniff out a sponsored post and though I understand the reasoning behind paid content, I still find myself passing judgement, diminishing the credibility of the post. However, the average consumer is still not totally savvy (or tends to not really care) when it comes to this type of content. According to a Reuters Institute survey, 41 percent of respondents in the U.S. answered “neither/nor” to the statement: I have felt disappointed or deceived after reading an article which I only discovered later was sponsored by a brand/company.”
  1. Content marketing will be more closely integrated with other marketing efforts. Another big Y-E-S! If anything, in 2015 we saw marketing teams come closer together, integrating advertising, social media, public relations and content efforts under one big, happy umbrella. Finally, right? It seems that more and more companies are adding on “digital editors”, “content managers” and content marketers to their core marketing/communications teams. According to Curata, 49% of companies have an executive in their organization who is directly responsible for an overall content marketing strategy. Great news for us content marketers!

When you take a step back, 2015 has been a year in which content marketing has grown up quite a bit. The exciting news – there’s still a long way to go. Which means there’s plenty of excitement ahead as the calendar flips to 2016.