Even though they weren’t calling it ‘content marketing’ at the time, content marketing started in 1895 when John Deere launched The Furrow, the first branded magazine. At the end of 2011, content marketing began to take off. However, with so many creators regularly dishing out new material, readers are experiencing content overload.
Content creation is up 300% according to Beckon, a marketing data firm. Instead of investing your entire content marketing budget in the creation phase, make sure you leave some funds for promotion. Sponsoring posts on social media can significantly increase the number of eyes on your content and help it to stand out.
Why would you spend hundreds of dollars to create an eBook or blog post only to post it a few times and get a dismal number of reads? Derek Halpern of Social Triggers says to spend 20% of the time on content creation and 80% on promotion. This calculation may be a little drastic, but making more time and funds available for promotional efforts is a smart move.
The ever-increasing problem of content overload is overwhelmingly distracting for prospects and can decrease the return on your content investment. Beckon reported that 5 percent of all branded content gets 90 percent of the attention. So the majority of content is only getting 10 percent of Internet users’ attention. That’s awful. Avoid wasting money and time to create content that will fall flat, use the below information as a guide to strategizing for content that warrants engagement.
Combat content overload with these tips
Quality trumps all. Create high brand standards and stick to them. No one wants to read a poorly written blog post that took minutes to put together. Ensure that everyone involved in the content creation process has access to the standards and hold them accountable. Here are a few elements you should cover in your brand standards:
- Design: Color palettes, fonts, logo usage
- Writing: Writing style, general best practices for web copy, tone, voice, audience
Experiment with long form content. HubSpot reported that articles with 1,600 words perform the best. Test different lengths and see how your audience responds. Just make sure you write enough to cover the topic of your blog post thoroughly. When evaluating, take a closer look at social shares and analytics to compare view time, traffic sources, and to find out where viewers move next within your site. All of these pieces of information can tell you something about your content.
Test other formats. Visuals appeal to the short attention spans of today. Video is one form of imagery that has a low-cost barrier. All you need is your phone and an idea to start sharing a video on Facebook Live or Periscope. Infographics are another format you can explore. The bite-sized content blips combined with visuals is attractive and easy for viewers to consume.
Take visuals to the next level and make them interactive. A report from eMarketer revealed that viewers prefer interactive content. You could make an infographic interactive, create quizzes, calculators, polls, or anything that requires action from the audience.
Podcasts are easy to listen to on the go and can help you to reach a different segment of your audience. Staying with the idea of audio, you could do something completely unexpected like General Mills did with the Hamburger Helper mixtape. Surprising, well thought out ideas can help your brand break through the content overload to stand out.
Focus on a niche. Don’t try to write for everyone, write specifically to your target audience. Writing for a niche audience can help you develop ideas for future content and is more enjoyable for your reader as the content is specific.
Create unique content for your industry. Look to other industries and places for inspiration. In an episode of the Social Business Engine Podcast, Rick Short, Director of Marketing Communications at Indium Corporation, shares how they’re attracting prospective clients by providing technical blog posts written by their engineers. Involve employees who wouldn’t typically create content. If they’re not up for writing, consider conducting interviews. The marketing team can then take that and create a blog post.
Even though there’s tons of content out there don’t let this deter you from creating. Everyone is unique and has their own opinions and background. What is relatable and liked by one person will be the opposite for another. If you have a unique take on a topic, don’t worry if other’s have written about it before. Just go for it! Keep striving for high-quality content to stand out from the crowd!