As we come to the close of 2015, it's time to look back on the year that was and note the importance that the consumer played in the development of content marketing strategies. Engaging audiences, producing helpful content, and tailoring content to suit consumer needs and trends all proved successful in building and maintain customer relationships and loyalty.

These things will only get more crucial in 2016.

With content creation and publication reaching an all-time high in 2015, a huge number of marketers have recognized it as their most pivotal strategy for achieving results. Here are some content marketing strategies that companies used this past year to create undeniable progression and success.

They Got Timely

With the constant influx of promotional emails and spam clogging our inboxes, time was of the essence in 2015. Brands always want the assurance their messages will not only be received, but also read and responded to. There is of course no way to truly get that assurance. The bombardment of digital information constantly pouring in from digital devices leaves everyone overwhelmed, and inevitably messages are missed. And with email marketing strategies often declining in terms of effectiveness, the time was ripe in 2015 for tactics that would target consumers when they were most receptive.

Enter services like Intelligent Delivery by Appboy, a message delivery feature that identifies windows of time during which a consumer is most responsive and likely to actually view a company's message. Approaching timeliness this way will prove crucial in the future of content marketing as efforts to build a broader customer base become more and more strategic.

They Got Personal

The static websites of yesteryear are being replaced by the dynamic website in 2015. This is a website that adapts to user profiles and tailors its content according to past activity. This need for dynamism and innovation requires marketers to be the old dogs learning the new tricks: stepping up to the task of  reinventing themselves and getting on the personalization bandwagon.

Sites such as Urban Outfitters and Nasty Gal use personal stylists and machine algorithms to determine a customer's particular taste and style and refine their recommendations from there. You can expect content to personalize too. Companies and publications will target patterns such as location, interest, behavior, and referral to better tailor the experience of their offerings to consumers. It is hoped this will ultimately create a happier consumer/brand relationships. This is only accelerating now through the increased use of new platforms and products that can help companies juice up their website and turn it into a tool that synchs up with the visitor's personality, buying tendencies, and other patterns.

They Got Even More Social

With a continual flow of information being synched across multiple platforms and reaching nearly every corner of the globe, social media is a gold mine of content marketing opportunities. social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have increasingly become mainstream methods of captivating consumer interest. Social media strategies have long been shown to improve brand loyalty, help build a following, and convert new customers. I've written endlessly at this point about how content marketing and social media are joined at the hip. And it's cost effective too! According to  Hubspot, 84 percent of marketers saw that only six hours a week of social media marketing was required to produce increased traffic.

2016 and Beyond

Without a shadow of a doubt, 2015 was a big year for content marketing. The need for personalization to build brand loyalty and nurture a following is becoming highly important, with data collection platforms and logarithm apps becoming more prominent tools. Social media continued to be heavily relevant and participation is mandatory for any marketing team seeking success.

These tactics improved companies' ability for foresight and prediction of market trends while simultaneously creating a cozier, more tailored experience for the consumer. In 2016 I foresee a continued focus on personalization and customer experience, with online strategies extending into offline consumer experiences.

EXPLORE MORE Best in Business COMPANIESRectangle