Content marketing has rapidly emerged as the next gold rush of engagement. Brands big and small are literally flooding the market with content looking for any way to capture new leads and drive new revenue.

A study by TrackMaven uncovered an alarming content marketing trend--between 2013 and 2014, the output of content-per-brand increased by a staggering 78%, while content engagement decreased by 60%. When we look back on 2015, it's a pretty safe bet both of these trends became even more pronounced. Another new report by The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs show that the flood of content will continue, with 76% of B2B marketers saying they produce more content in 2016 than they did in 2015.

With all this competition for the same audience, plus continuing algorithm changes by Facebook, LinkedIn and other's that make it harder to drive exposure without paying for it, one wonders if content marketing's time has already come and gone?

Hardly...

A client, whose company was in a very fast growing industry, once said that as their market matured, they would be forced to become better marketers, not simply capturing new and pent-up demand. The same holds true for content marketing. Those who make the effort to do it right--assigning dedicated resources, developing written business plans with clear goals, leveraging tools like Buyer's Personas to develop content for the customer's benefit rather than the brand's and producing a variety of content types--will continue to drive heavy engagement.

Content marketing requires the kind of discipline and strategy usually applied to more established advertising tactics, and the value of applying real planning can't be overstated. Nearly 2/3 of B2B brands who are most experienced with content marketing feel their efforts are a success, compared to an astoundingly low 6% of those who are least experienced. These experienced companies are more likely to have an understand of goals, a formal written plan and a detailed understanding of their targets.

If your content plan is essentially little more than creating more content, now is the time to step back and realize that quality counts more than ever. Simply hoping that "if you publish, they will come" is no longer enough. Make your own content marketing New Year's resolution. If you're brand is going to play the Content Marketing game, make sure you are playing to win.