• Fade to black? No.

    However, it is going to undergo a metamorphosis.

    Content marketing will be outsourced – to newspapers. It will still be just as present, and even more in-your-face, because the media companies that survive will be merging the science of content marketing with the activity of native advertising, and owning a platform they will be able to guarantee some results.

    All it takes is a subtle rebranding of “news” outlets to “media” companies.

    (Not endorsing here, just predicting.)

    • geofflivingston

      What’s a newspaper? ;)

      • Andrea Bona

        You are soooo funny.

  • Content marketing is fading to Vanilla in my opinion. Most brands believe they’re up to the task of creating content that is interesting, relevant for their industry, and valuable to their potential customers. Brands are quickly finding out that content of that caliber takes actual time, money and talent to create so they often try to white wash it like it’s an ad buy or some other passive marketing mechanism. Typically they end up with terrible results and revert back to wasting money on traditional ad buys. In short they write make boring stuff because they don’t want to put the work in or they’re too afraid to really try something new.

    • geofflivingston

      I like that analogy. Great insights, Joe!

  • Content marketing only has value when connected to communities and therein lies the problem. Most marketers and PR folks developed content for the brand not the community: http://richardbinhammer.com/beyond-content-commoditization-connectivity-and-community/

    • geofflivingston

      You were way ahead of the game with that article! Wow!

  • Leslie Hetherington

    Not sure it’s fair to say the marketing and PR industry alone ‘failed’ or that this is true across the sector. Quality content and the concept of two-way dialogue, versus a one-way promotional push is a tough sell on the inside or even as the AOR. What starts as useful content answering an audience’s need often gets slowly diluted with misguided edits, hard sell messages and crippling budget cuts. Third-party media outlets always had the upper hand of balanced impartiality, if they chose to play it and produce the most compelling content. If traditional news media can strike a balance between this strength, data-driven decisions, editorial integrity and meeting customer needs, we may well see a shift in roles.

    • geofflivingston

      For every good piece of content or quality communications process, there are 19 bad ones. Many of the reasons you state are valid, but there is also a general laziness and unwillingness across the industry to adapt segmentation and data, and that is a dark trend that’s going to put a lot of people out of work. So I think it is a general failure across the industry. That’s why turnover is so high in marketing.

      • Leslie Hetherington

        Fair enough and thanks for replying. This dark trend may also be in part because many people, from multiple sectors, jumped into PR/marketing as publishing platforms became more accessible, with minimal knowledge on how to use them effectively. Yes, it’s time all marketers increased their data literacy.

      • but Geoff, this is also a function of the social web. Nearly everyone is a publisher and just simple math says we have less time to consume. Ironically humorous yes?

  • Hence, the need for content strategists who actually use data to shape a framework.

    • geofflivingston

      Yes, unfortunately for the more creatively inclined, data analysis is a necessary skillset now.

  • oh joy I can’t wait for the era of marketing without content, that’s what “buzzword’ marketers will do. Let’s call it Recycled Marketing – save money on content production by using content you produced in the content marketing era for the next 5 years. Think how much money you’ll save, hire us and we’ll show you how . DOH

    Us old timers who produced content for consumption by audiences tied to business objectives will still have a purpose. : )

  • Stephen Smith

    My take on Content Marketing has always been’Publish where your community is’, but I am seeing a disturbing trend toward articles titled”so and so says this and then this happened”. Mostly on Facebook. I don’t want to click through to the page, I want to see what happened. Especially because once I do click over the article is posted on 4 pages that I have to click through in a shameless effort to generate page views.
    Total BS in my opinion.

  • colinstorm

    I know personally (as a one man shop) trying to create useful and effective content was a struggle for a long time because I had a hard time zeroing in on who I was writing for and trusting that I should be so narrow in my scope. I think big brands and companies shared the same struggle, trying to be everything for everybody and subsequently nothing much to anyone. Content will never die, but maybe it’s creation will mature a bit if we are slowing down our efforts to (daily) win the internet with one punch and starting to be more disciplined to put in the work over time.

  • Patricia Wilson

    Great article. I would say the issue with all marketing fads is they all fade. What sticks is consistent strategies over time. Trends, not fads. I disagree that influencer marketing is more successful. That is an abused fad ,as well. Influencer marketing results are mixed. Done well, it can be productive. Most influencer marketing is fleeting and not consistent or long lasting. Can’t wait to see the 2016 marketing fads.

    • susan borst

      I had the same thought on influencer marketing, Patricia. I also don’t think content marketing is fading – fact is that programmatic is now effectively used as a paid delivery of content across the board in the form of In-Feed and Recommendation Widget ads that help make that expensive content scale. Obviously it needs to be good content that is relevant to the site it is posted on or in the case of social sponsored posts, relevant to the user. The “watch out” for the industry is to ensure that the “content” is just that – content – and not promotional advertising messages (e.g., DR, claims, overt sell.) I’m seeing more promo type content on in-feed feed ads and on the content destination site itself. If that trend continues, we won’t have to worry about just about banner blindness…consumers will tune out those “sponsored by” paid content ads in-feed as well. All this being said, there is definitely a time and a place for true promo-advertising messages delivered via banner/display. Lastly, for B2B, Account Based Marketing employs content marketing. It’s just the targeting that is different for ABM.

  • Arline Hoffman

    According to me few things should be kept in mind while designing the content strategy like incorporating research into your strategy, defining clear objectives, craeting plan of attack, auditing should be a part of it and lastly never forget about branding. For more details see New York public relations.