I have a confession. I read a ton of “trend” articles. Masses of them. “Top 5 things I need to know about marketing today”? Yes, I need that. “12 things that every content strategist must do in 2017”? Sign me up. “If you do not read this trends article, your work will inevitably suffer horribly”? God yes.
I review trends all the time. I bring them up to colleagues and clients in our newsrooms and editorial meetings. I use them as inspiration in brainstorms and client meetings. My personal slack channel is an ode to all the articles and links and ideas I’ve liked.
But when it comes to following, exploring and evaluating trends in content, marketing or communications, there’s one thing I want to be very sure of. That they don’t equal homogenized, standardized, boring ideas. That even if we know what the trends are, we keep pushing to make better, more interesting, more valuable things. That we don’t just fall into the trope of “Top 5” lists of literally anything on the planet.
For me, there’s one way to make sure we use trends as they’re intended. Not as a rulebook, but for inspiration and motivation.
In my experience, the best ideas, freshest thinking and most unique perspectives come from conversation. From getting in a room, face-to-face, and learning and building together. It’s the part of my job I love the most.
So why not spread the love? Tomorrow, some of our clients will be joining me in Halifax for a content trends panel with some of NATIONAL’s favourite people: Andrew Breen of Outshine, Jeremy Saunders of Sickboy and filmmaker and social media sensation Dave Culligan. All moderated by our own insightful creative expert, Mel Hennigar.
I can’t wait to see what comes out of our conversation. What are Andrew’s latest insights into digital marketing? Why was a big personality a key part of Sickboy’s success? How did Dave use social to leverage his ideas and filmmaking projects? And, from my perspective, how do we consistently make more creative content? How can we be bolder, smarter and more interesting? And, most importantly, how can we bring everything together to create real, measurable impact for clients?
Great discussions have never let me down yet. And with the personalities and perspectives on deck, I know I’ll be leaving with new ideas. Better ideas. One that might even inspire next year’s trends.
Want to join the conversation? Shoot me an email and we’ll get you on the list.
Can’t make it? No problem. We’ll be sharing our post-panel thoughts and insights here.
UPDATE – July 26, 2017
Hands down, this was one of the most interesting conversations I’ve had in a long time! Banishing small talk. Why podcasts are the greatest. Considerations when it comes to an authentic voice online. Using digital channels effectively. We covered a lot.