It's funny – usually the “hottest trend” is something new. Medieval recipes aren't all over our menus and jazz isn't dominating the charts.
But sometimes something old finds new life and takes off.
And if you're smart, you pay attention when it does.
Any good idea has to cling to life, not quite living its potential, not quite dying off, until the stars are right. You then realize it was an idea before its time – which, often, are the most powerful ideas.
In marketing, the hottest trend is not social media. In fact, it's been a bad 12 months or so for it.
Privacy scandals are still fresh in people's minds.
Our feeds are more noise than signal, despite dubious algorithms controlling what we see.
All the big data-sucking, privacy-destroying players face fresh regulation across the world.
I'm not saying social media is dead. You can advertise through it and do very well for your business. But it's time for a new idea in marketing … and, in this case, it's an old idea whose time has come.
This idea flips digital advertising on its head – which is exactly what it needs.
Instead of shoving obnoxious ads in your clients' faces, you have them come to you.
Instead of harassing them into impulse buying, you reward their attention and build the relationship.
Money (and more importantly, control) doesn't flow towards Facebook, Twitter or whoever. No algorithm is going to choose to bury your material at the bottom of the heap.
And instead of treating your clients like a commodity, it treats them as part of your family.
No wonder content marketing is already the hottest trend in 2019.
The great thing about it is you can use it on social media. The two are not mutually exclusive – in fact, they can work well together. The magic with content marketing is, instead of relying on someone else's platform, you steadily build your own.
If, one day, Facebook bans you or penalises your content?
If you want to bypass social media entirely?
That's A-OK too.
For a while, digital marketing seemed to be held hostage by these big platforms. Now, people realize they always had a choice.
If you want to be free to advertise your way and enrich your clients in the process, then this is how you do it.
And if content marketing isn't something you're fully embracing, just know this: your brand will start to lag behind those who do.