Remember when social media was going to transform the way we sell? A few years ago, we started hearing how ‘everything’ had changed, and marketing would never be the same again. TV and ‘interruptive’ ads were out; Facebook and ‘permission marketing’ were in.
Caption: ‘The Present Day’. And it hasn’t quite worked out that way. TV is more powerful than ever, and plenty of big firms are moving their marketing spend away from social. If the bubble hasn’t burst, it’s certainly deflating – if bubbles can deflate. And, at the risk of being unbearably smug (a first for this blog, of course), some of us were predicting that a while ago.
Social media hasn’t gone away as a tool for what is usually termed ‘brand-building’ or ‘customer engagement’. But when it comes to actually shifting product, the shine has definitely come off.
We need a new saviour. Step forward content marketing – without doubt, the single hottest trend for digital in 2013. (Read what industry experts predict for it here.)
I’m sure many writers like me (the old ones, in other words) have regarded the meteoric rise of content marketing with a wry smile. It’s strange to see something you’ve been doing for aeons suddenly trumpeted as the Next Big Thing. Like a Bay City Rollers fan stubbornly wearing tartan until it comes into fashion again, I’ve spent my freelance life encouraging people to invest in quality content.
Of course, I’m not complaining – like any marketing pro, I welcome any buzzword that makes it easier for me to upsell the client. But like all old hands, I also know that the devil is in the detail. And that’s why I wanted to put together a few questions to ask yourself before you launch your content marketing campaign.