Get ready for the pushback. As Buffalo Springfield said,
“There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind”
My colleague Joe wrote a post called “It’s Going To Get Weird” in which he laid out 2016 as a year where content marketing is going to get tougher. He outlines this with the comparison to Gartner’s Hype Cycle, saying that content marketing is entering the “trough of disillusionment.” It’s here that the real work begins.
Make no bones about it – it’s going to hit every aspect of content strategy and the business this year. I’m already starting to feel it. The last two advisory engagement inquiries we received weren’t about how to start a strategic content approach – they were how to fix one that’s clearly broken. “Beware,” one of them said. “Our CEO now doesn’t believe that content is a necessary strategy in our business.”
Somebody else (seemingly gleefully) pointed out to me last week’s article in the Wall Street Journal that questioned the efficacy of content. Apparently GoPro laid off 100 people and lost its head of content. Of course the author of the article didn’t mention that said head of content had taken a job as CEO at SurveyMonkey and had also been named to the board of GoPro. The author hinted that the “bloom is off the rose” for brands acting as publishers.
Here’s the thing that will either comfort you or keep you up at night. Ready for it?
Nobody has this figured out. Nobody.
Whether you’re a small business or a Fortune 100 global conglomerate, we’re all feeling our way, exploring, on a journey together.
For the last few years when we got it right, we were “early adopters” and “outliers” and “case studies.” When we got it wrong? Well, nobody really heard about that. But, guess what? It happens to everybody.
As we enter this trough of disillusionment, the successes will come to those who are patient. It won’t be enough to get early wins. We have to sustain the effort. Those who do will still be the outliers, the case studies. The difference will be the failures. You’ll start to hear more and more about them.
There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.
“It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down.”