An effective campaign outreach process begins with understanding which techniques are working and which are falling out of favor. So what’s in and what’s out in our industry for 2015?

BuzzStream and Fractl pulled 20 keywords related to content marketing and analyzed their popularity over a seven-year period – from January 2008 to November 2014 – via Google Trends. The resulting visuals reveal the evolution of the industry as well as predictions for the future on a global scale. 

Old School vs. New School: The Fall of Traditional PR and the Rise of Content Marketing

When the study began in January 2008, searches for press release and public relations were nearly 40 times greater than those for content marketing and inbound marketing. However, both terms have seen a recent decline on a global scale, with popularity of the terms falling in North America, Oceania, Africa, and Europe (except for two European countries, Germany and France, where press release has seen an increase).

In contrast, content marketing and inbound marketing have continued to rise. Searches for content marketing almost doubled between January and December 2012, with the US, Canada, and Europe driving the most traffic. Inbound marketing has been steadily increasing an average of 24 percent every six months, with the most traffic in North America, Europe, and India. 


Overall, searches for public relations decreased 57 percent and those for press release fell 44 percent, while content marketing searches increased 700 percent and interest in inbound marketing grew a whopping 9,100 percent. These results indicate that content and inbound marketing are rapidly becoming the preferred strategies.

Preferred Content Type and the Case for Infographics

With traditional PR out, which new content types are rising? The study revealed that flip books and infographics have shown heavy growth in recent years, with searches for flip books up more than 100 percent since 2008.

Other content types haven’t fared as well. Interest in motion graphics has changed the least, varying less than 11 percent each month (with the largest decline in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania). And although popularity in parallax has more than doubled since 2008, results may be inflated due to non-industry related searches. For example, searches peaked in four major European markets in September 2013, coinciding with a parallax update for iOS7.

The rise in infographics is the most important trend to watch. Searches have increased steadily, rising 661 percent since January 2011 and peaking in November 2014. This data suggest that this content type will continue to hold the most interest for publishers in the coming year.


As we move forward into 2015, industry professionals should design a content and inbound marketing strategy that emphasizes visual data and infographics, which have proven to be publishers’ preferred content type.

A version of this article originally appeared on PR Daily and has been republished with permission.