Maybe you’ve seen this moment coming for years. Slowly, it’s dawning on marketers that our audience’s appetite can’t begin to match the amount of content that we can produce.
Hello, 2016! Welcome to the Era of Content Overload.
That means, in the year ahead, way too many marketers will produce more and more irrelevant content, inundating their audiences.
But there’s a better way. As Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute said,
Our goal is to create the least amount of content with the maximum amount of impact.”
How can you overcome Content Overload? These 5 antidotes will help you not only survive but also thrive in a crowded marketplace:
1.) A competitive content audit gives you the peripheral vision you need to beat the bad guys. Many marketers audit their own content but not their competitors’. Yet getting a handle on competitors’ content is the only way to effectively differentiate your own.
2.) Useful content with a unique hook. The lack of a unique tilt is why many marketers’ content sounds just like their competitors’, as Joe Pulizzi points out in Content Inc. It’s a lot of work to find your unique tilt, but it’s totally worth it. Just look how the Chicken Whisperer is thriving.
3.) A simple 1-page Message Map gives you a message you can convey in only 7 seconds, 23 words or less. That fits the average American’s attention span of 8 seconds. Remember, the #1 reason people leave B2B websites is the lack of a message.
4.) A written content marketing strategy and mission. Two out of three B2B marketers lack a documented content marketing strategy, a CMI/Marketing Profs study found. In fact, even fewer B2B marketers had a written strategy in 2015 than in 2014. Ouch.
5.) Buyer personas with real insights into research and decision-making behaviors, as Adele Revella teaches in Buyer Personas. Her book’s been named one of the top 5 entrepreneurial business books of 2015 by Fortune.
The human race is producing more and more content. At the current rate, the amount of information we are producing doubles every 18 months.
By the year 2020, says Dr. Carmen Simon, information will double every 72 days! At the same time, our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.
Here’s Dr. Simon’s video on how to gain attention and get remembered for your content. It’s well worth watching:
That’s the Content Overload challenge facing marketers. Are you prepared to win that challenge in 2016 and beyond?
As a marketing change agent, I consult with clients, lead content marketing workshops for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and write the weekly Simplify Marketing blog.
With experience from Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, RR Donnelley and Tellabs, I've been named:
- Content Marketer of the Year by the Content Marketing Institute.
- Best Marketer by BtoB magazine.
- A B-to-B CMO to watch by Fierce CMO.