This is the year when your content marketing will disintegrate

In September, Gartner's Jake Sorofman predicted the flame out of content marketing as the industry reaches the end of the peak of inflated expectations and enters the "trough of disillusionment."

Of course he is right. 

There are three kinds of marketers: those who have rejected content marketing because it doesn't jibe with how they view how marketing works; those who have embraced it as merely another media channel; and those who have realized they need to change how they communicate with the market. The first will feel vindicated by the coming slaughter (they will still be wrong). The second will either join the first or lose their jobs because they failed to produce as they promised their bosses. The third will be hailed as gurus and the market for content marketing will shrink.

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) has mirrored the Gartner findings in their 2016 outlook with a further insight: 55 percent of B2B marketers have no idea what effective or successful content marketing even looks like. As the caterpillar said to Alice, "If you don't know where you are going, any path will take you there."

CMI's numbers showed the reason for the growing discontent and confusion: 67 percent of surveyed marketers are immature practitioners. In other words, two-thirds of all marketers don't know what they are doing when it comes to content.

To me, this is all good news. The hardest thing to convince clients is that their content is really pretty bad because it mirrors the same kind of one-way communication they've always had with their customers and they don't know why it doesn't work anymore. What's more, marketers continue to fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to a content strategy, meaning they have prepared nothing to guide the company regarding strategic content.

So you have a double whammy when it comes to content marketing: you have people who run it that can't create original, engaging content, nor do they have a plan to measure what is and isn't working.

Are you one of those companies that has been dabbling with content marketing and being wholly unsatisfied with the result? I have two freebies to offer you. First is the CMI white paper on documenting a strategy. Second is our free evaluation of your current program. We can get you on track quickly.