Each year Gartner publishes the Hype Cycle – a piece of marcomms research pinpointing various trends and where they stand in terms of marketer opinion.
In 2015, it stated content marketing was heading for a plateau. In other words, it had gone beyond the point where it was the new big thing.
As one can see from the graphics below, content marketing has now been placed even closer to the dip. There it sits sandwiched like ham between the bread that is native advertising and social media marketing.
What does it mean?
The problem with some of the categories on this graph is that they are not so easily pinned down. Content marketing is a case in point. Augmented reality, for example, is depicted as on the up. Yet if you were making virtual reality films for your hotel chain then that could encompass both AR and content marketing.
If there is one broad takeaway from this, it is that new technology is the future – especially wearables and platforms. Could it be that the plain old website is no longer relevant?
That seems hard to reconcile. People will always need new information and the web is the first place to go looking for it. And that is where content marketing is at home.
Although some of these new technologies may indeed be the next big thing, they are not necessarily accessible. Early adoption is not always the best way forward; sometimes it is good to wait until an audience turns up.
If being in the trough means that you are now mainstream… well, that is not a bad place to be.