LONDON: Quality, technology and personalisation are the three main trends steering the development of successful content marketing, the managing director of the Content Marketing Association (CMA) has said.

Writing in Campaign a day after the CMA held its annual conference in London, Claire Hill highlighted the key themes that were discussed at the event.

She said that Douglas McCabe, the chief executive of Enders Analysis, predicted an "explosion" of content marketing over the next few years and that this will be "critical" for brands, especially as m-commerce is predicted to grow by 200% to £60bn by 2020.

"Consumer media and brand publishing will play a critical role in bringing brands to consumers over the next few years, but it will be less about display advertising, it will be about the premium content that great media provide, the myriad of content marketing options in print, in video, in apps, in events, in behavioural data analytics," he said.

Anna Watkins, the managing editor of Guardian Labs, the UK national newspaper's content division, said that content is about creating brand communications that people want to spend time with and which also changes their behaviour in some way.

However, this is no easy task because it is often harder to create compelling branded content than it is to create independent editorial, she added.

"In a cluttered world, the boring is ignored. Unfortunately there is a lot of very dull branded communication in the world," she said. "Branded content has to be better than all of those things out there if you want our audience to spend time with it."

Meanwhile, Alastair Cotterill, the EMEA creative lead at Instagram, the photo-sharing social network, predicted that creating hyper-relevant content will be a big trend over the coming years.

"Relevancy is the big trend that big data is going to unlock, we have just started to see it, it will be the big trend next year," he said.

He went on to say that Instagram sees virtual reality – such as Facebook's Oculus Rift headsets – as a possible avenue for branded content in the long-term.

Data sourced from Campaign; additional content by Warc staff