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The “Trough of Disillusionment.” That’s where the founder of CMI, Joe Pulizzi, said content marketing is headed when he spoke at the recent Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland. It sounds ominous – but it may be a sign that content is on track to deliver even more impressive outcomes for B2B brands.
Has Content Marketing Peaked?
According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle, emerging technologies ride a wave of initial enthusiasm and then peak before sinking back down to the world of more realistic expectations. Rock bottom (the Trough of Disillusionment) represents the point at which the innovation evolves and delivers real productivity to users.
Content marketing appears to have crested the peak of the Hype Cycle as brands rightsize their expectations about content. To borrow a term from human development, content marketing is entering puberty and growing into a more mature marketing component.
With that in mind, we gathered several important takeaways from Content Marketing World to keep in mind if you happen to be responsible for a B2B brand:
Although nearly all B2B brands are hustling to generate large volumes of relevant content, just 30 percent of B2B organizations believe their content is effective. That’s a serious gap, especially when you consider the resources that many B2B firms have already poured into content. More than ever, B2B brands are demanding a return on their content-related investments.
The perceived effectiveness of content by B2B brands skyrockets among organizations that are using content in a strategic way. When marketers implement a content strategy that plays well with the organization’s other marketing initiatives, content is effective; when marketers don’t have a tangible content strategy to refer to, content isn’t effective. The trick is to write it down. It’s that simple.
According to Pulizzi, it’s not about creating a buyer journey. It’s about delivering real value through an extended menu of content options, including video. By focusing on the value of the content for specific audiences, marketers empower users to create their own journeys.
Content and the Digital Ecosystem
At Walker Sands, the strategic use of content isn’t a new concept. Instead of approaching content as a standalone marketing component, we’ve integrated the intelligent use of content into everything we do. In a way, content fuels the digital ecosystem.
By integrating content strategy into the digital ecosystem, we’re able to monitor and improve the impact of the content that we create and distribute for our clients. From PR placements and thought leadership to SEO and other digital marketing initiatives, we’re committed to helping our clients strategically leverage content across the entire spectrum of earned, owned and paid media.
Growing up can be painful and content marketing will undoubtedly experience a few rough patches as it matures. Like other marketers, we’re excited to watch the process unfold as we further refine the use of content across the digital ecosystem.
Interested in learning more about the digital ecosystem? Check out our eBook.