Content marketing has been the big buzzword of the last few years but like all good things, the content free for all must eventually come to an end.
Over the last few years, it seems like just about everyone has jumped on the content marketing bandwagon. Brands large and small are pumping out blog posts, videos and podcasts at an unprecedented rate. According to Contently.com, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute of the day.
While theres no doubt that we are consuming more content than ever before, there is only so much people are physically capable of taking in. This is why many marketing strategists and futurists are starting to talk about content shock, a term coined by Mark Schaefer. Content shock refers to the point in time where the supply of content will outpace the rate of consumption.
According to Mark Schaefer, that time has come.
In spite of the fact that more and more content is being produced, content marketing results are decreasing, depending who you talk to. Content engagement on social media is going down, comments on blog posts are fewer and brands now have to spend increasing amounts on promotion just to get their content seen.
Content marketing is a costly marketing strategy, especially if youre paying for someone to produce high quality content that is just not being read. The more content thats out there, the less effective content marketing will be, and the fiercer the competition to get your content visible and seen.
Preparing for content shock
Content shock is a controversial topic among marketers. While Mark Schaefer believes its already here, there are others who deny its existence or dismiss it of little importance.
Whether or not you believe in content shock, it never hurts to be prepared. While most organisations are busy churning out more and more content, smart brands are finding ways to help their audiences cut through the noise and promoting their content effectively so it does get seen.
Here are a few suggestions to help you ride the content shock wave and come out on top:
Curate content. With the ever increasing volume of content out there, its getting harder and harder for audiences to sift through everything and find the information thats truly useful to them. By curating content relating to your industry you can provide your audience with a service they will appreciate and turn the excess of content to your advantage.
Collaborate. Partner up with other related but not competing brands in your industry. Producing content in partnership with others means you save costs and youll both benefit from each others distribution channels and audience.
Dont spread yourself too thin. When distributing your content try not to take the approach of putting it out everywhere. Its better to focus on one or two distribution channels and establish a reputation than put your content everywhere and disappear into the background.
Pay attention to promotion. Theres no point spending all your time and money on content creation if you dont have an effective means of promotion. Youre better off creating less content and spending more time on promotion.
Build an audience. Having a list of dedicated subscribers or social media followers will give you a head start when it comes to getting your content seen.
Content shock doesnt mean the end of content marketing altogether but it does mean you will need to change your approach to content to make it work for you rather than against you.