In preparing the content agenda for our upcoming event, I’ve noticed a few strange and wild happenings that media and marketing people around the world may find interesting.
Note: If these apply to any person, real or fictional, it’s purely coincidental.
Content marketing is approaching a bubble
First, every software technology company is launching a “content” product. It’s amazing the number and velocity of startup launches in and around content marketing. Second, the term “content marketing” is being bantered around like social media was just a few years ago.
What does this mean? Well, I’m not complaining. I first started using the term in 2001 and people still thought I was crazy in 2008. That said, people are more confused about the true power of content marketing than ever before. Lots of education is needed.
So, will this bubble pop? Honestly, I’m not sure. Content marketing is here to stay, but with it being “the flavour of the month” it’s hard to get a true feel for where it’s going (and how fast).
Integration will make divorce look like child’s play
This is going to hurt. Content owners exist throughout most organizations. (Frankly, all employees “own” content to a certain extent.) Currently, the problem is that content owners in multiple departments aren’t talking to each other. Email doesn’t necessarily talk to social media. Social media doesn’t talk to PR. PR doesn’t talk to internal publications.
Integrating workflow throughout an organization is going to hurt. Positioning a Chief Content Officer to take control of the brand story is going to take a while. I’ve recently talked to two Fortune 50 CMOs that are trying to find a solution for this.
They know this is important. It’s important in order to communicate effectively with our customers and prospects. It’s important because if we want to talk to customers like human beings we have to all get on the same page. But, yes, it’s going to hurt. Why? One word: politics.
Where is the content marketing career path?
The more I talk to journalism and business professors at universities across North America, the more I realize that they are not talking about content marketing as a career path.
That’s one of the reasons we are holding a seminar for students called Futures in Content Marketing.
Especially for journalism and writing major, universities need to start talking about the real opportunities for young storytellers… with brands. The job market for journalism majors has never looked better, but we have to look at the market in a new way.
There is no silver bullet
Marketers always look for the silver bullet solution when it comes to content marketing. Well, there isn’t one. Your story is different than every other story on the planet. That means the strategy and execution of that story is different as well.
What does this mean? You have to plan; tactics alone won’t do anything. It hurts me when billion-dollar companies want to do a blog or get active on Twitter without having any idea of what they want it to do for the business and what they actually want to say to their customers.
Your story is meaningful, but you have to plan out how that story should be told and why anyone should really care in the first place. There is no roadmap you can steal from someone else. You have to go through it for yourself.
Getting out of the dugout
When people ask me where we are at in the lifecycle that is content marketing, I tell them this: “If content marketing was a baseball game, we are just getting out of the dugout.”
Many of us think that the true revolution is social media. Not true. The revolution we are seeing is that we can now share our story and engage directly with our customers without any barriers.
Yes, that means social media. But it also means print, in-person, mobile and the 10 new tools being developed right now.
But the good news is that you haven’t missed it. There is still plenty of time to see this evolution (or revolution) within the walls of your company. It can start with you. Frankly, it has to.
Content Marketing World takes place September 6-8 in Cleveland. As an official media partner, Sparksheet brings you original conference-related content before and after the event.