For many businesses, a presence on the web is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. Simply having a website is no longer the norm; to be competitive, you need to create content. Good content. Content that creates audience engagement. Because of this, content marketing has become an increasingly important part of many business marketing strategies.
Why is creating content important?
Content marketing allows your business and/or brand to engage with and inform your audience directly, and obtain feedback. It is an opportunity to increase your business’ visibility and to develop a relationship with your audience and customers. The more indexed pages, links, and engagement, the greater your potential online reach.
As the number of businesses, brands and individuals increases online, so does the amount of content being produced. What does that mean for your content? Amidst the noise can anyone hear you?
The answer is yes… if you’re wise with your content. Understanding the concept of “content shock” is an important factor in enabling you to make smarter marketing decisions.
What is content shock?
In January 2014, Mark Schaefer wrote the article Content Shock. It made waves. Many opinions were had, feathers were ruffled, and intelligences were questioned. However, I think at the core of his article, Schaefer brought up 2 important points:
- Information overload is real and we should take it into account.
- Current content marketing strategies need to evolve in order for ROI to warrant creating additional content.
“Exposure to, or provision of, too much information or data.”
In our digitally connected world, it’s easy to get distracted. How many push notifications, e-mails, status updates, and texts have you received in the last day? Hour? While reading this?
In response to information overload, we develop and deploy filters. In his book The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory, Torkel Klingberg, a professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience at the Stockholm Brain Institute, explains that the “torrent of information increases not only the volume of data we’re expected to take in but also the volume we need to shut out.” Your audience is developing filters, some of which may make them deaf to your online voice. For your content to thrive, your content marketing strategies need to take these filters into account.
Is content marketing doomed?
Content marketing is evolving and will continue to evolve.
- As more content is produced, you have to recognize how your content is being consumed, and what is keeping it from reaching your target audience. For instance, SEO algorithms used to determine page rankings are increasingly basing their results on the quality of pages (the engagement with sites linked back to the page) instead of quantity (the number of sites linked back to the page).
- Your distribution strategies are, and increasingly will be, as important as the content you produce.
Make smarter content marketing decisions
If you want to succeed, you can’t wait for someone to hand you the microphone – you have to step up to that podium, and speak to your audience. Content marketing is not just about creating content, it is ever-evolving, and your audience will continue to filter out a lot of the noise. But, your message matters.
Recognize that you are in a room of shouting people, and that you need to discover how to make your voice cut across that clutter of sound to reach your target audience. Help your voice find a path through the crowd of online content. Determine your distribution strategy and tell them your story.
Your audience is waiting for you.