Content Shock Is Real. Here’s How To Avoid It
Have you heard of content shock? If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content available, you’ve experienced it. In some ways, it’s a monster of our own creation. As content marketing took off, organizations responded by putting out more and different types of content. Today, we all have access to far more content than we’d ever be able to consume. Supply has outpaced demand and consumers are getting burned out. This burn out is called content overload or content shock.
Similar to market saturation, content overload can be bad for business. If your target audience is overwhelmed with content to the point where they stop consuming it or can’t find your content because there’s just too much to sort through, you are more likely to lose customers than gain them. This is the exact opposite of what content marketing is supposed to do for you.
Does this mean content marketing is dead? Should we stop creating content and move on to the next thing? Not at all. Content is always going to be part of a marketing strategy. The key is using content strategically to forge meaningful connections with your audience.
Here’s how to do that.
4 Ways To Avoid Content Shock
- Create a Content Operation. Content marketing has evolved from the days of updating the blog once a week. To remain competitive these days, you’ll need to develop a whole content operation. Content operations still involve regular content creation, but require more thought and strategy than what you may have used in the past. There’s a stronger emphasis on content planning, knowing your different audiences and their varying needs, experimenting with different content formats, avenues, and platforms, and developing the processes and support needed to create and publish content from start to finish.
- Consider Your Audience. This is the most important part of any marketing effort, whether it is content marketing or not. You must tailor your content to the audience. It must be of interest and value to the audience. This is difficult for many organizations to do because they can’t get out of their own way. What may be interesting to you or your team, may not be interesting to your audience and if it’s not interesting, they’ll pass right over it. Start with the end-user. Use your buyer personas to determine what each audience or persona needs and build your content backwards from that.
- Be Consistent. Consistency is vital to content marketing. Regular publishing builds your reputation (aka brand authority). The more you publish, the more content will be available and the more likely you are to be found. Over time, as consumers find and consume your content, they recognize you as a leader and trusted resource in your industry. As a trusted resource, they’ll keep coming back for more, skipping over searches and your competitors because they’ve already determined that you are their preferred resource. This is the ultimate goal of content marketing, but it can’t be accomplished without consistent publishing. Include an editorial calendar as part of your annual content plan to develop a schedule that works for your business and your customers.
- Review and Adapt. Things change. Trends come and go. New technologies emerge and influence how we access and consume information. Mobile content, videos, and voice search are just three examples of content marketing trends that have exploded in recent years. Make time to review your analytics to see which content works best for you, then use that information to refine or change your content plan. If a platform isn’t working for you, it’s okay to drop it so you can focus your time and efforts on the content channels that better resonate with your audience.
Cut Through the Clutter to Avoid Content Shock
Content shock is an overload of information, not just from you, but from your competitors and the world in general. Putting out more content may seem counterintuitive, but it can help prevent content shock by making it easier for consumers to quickly find the information they need – information that is conveniently provided by your business! With a smart, strategic approach you can build a strong repository of useful information. This will enhance your reputation, drawing consumers directly to your business without the need for a long and frustrating search and reducing their chances of burning out from content overload.
There is even an argument to be made that content shock should be your goal. That you should publish so much content, so well and so consistently that you dominate your SEO niche and/or become THE authority in your industry niche.
Whether you are trying to prevent content shock or create it, Orlando Content Marketing can help.
Contact us to learn more about content marketing strategies, content planning, and content creation that works for you and your customers.