If you’ve been following content marketing news recently, you’ll know it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows across the industry.
The first warning bells indicating content marketing was heading towards murky waters came last year when Gartner placed content marketing on the decline side of their Hype Cycle model. Following Content Marketing World 2015, more talk of the impending slump began circulating. And finally, in an article published in January, Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute confirmed he believed content marketing was headed towards a trough, saying:
“The worst may be yet to come.”
Is this cause for concern amongst the content marketing community? Like many things, it depends on how you interpret it.
What is the trough of disillusionment?
The “trough of disillusionment” is the third step in Gartner’s five-step hype cycle — a model used to explain the rise and fall of interest in new digital marketing trends. Like most marketing models, the cycle has received some criticism; however, it has a strong basis in research and many marketers find the model quite useful.
It’s worth noting that this information is based on the American Market, not a global one. However, if previous history is anything to go by, we can expect Australian content marketing to follow about two years behind.
What does this mean for content marketing?
Although the above graph looks grim, what content marketing’s move over the curve actually means is some people currently interested in content marketing will be moving on to the ‘next big thing’. Those who jumped on board for the excitement and hype will now be hopping off. Only those who have truly invested in the discipline will remain — although they may encounter more sceptics when trying to prove the value of their services than before.
Why you should welcome the change
With the right perspective, content marketing’s descent into the trough of disillusionment is an opportunity for the industry to rid itself of clutter. The industry players who hopped on the bandwagon for hype’s sake are irritating and dilute the true value of content marketing. We won’t be sad to see them go.
Once it’s no longer ‘flavour of the month’, we can expect the confusion around what content marketing is (and what it isn’t) to abate. With marketing buzzword artists moving on to the next big thing, it’s likely there will be far fewer swindled and dissatisfied customers. These changes should be welcomed with open arms.
There are undoubtedly rocky times ahead. The adage “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” comes to mind. In a challenging landscape, I foresee this as a time when the real stars of the industry get their chance in the limelight. Now is the time to have a well-researched, intelligent content strategy in place to stand out from the pack as the second-rate marketers dwindle.
If you’d like help constructing a content marketing strategy for your brand, contact Lush. We love to develop long-term strategic assets for our clients.