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What to expect in 2014: Content Shock — the theory and the solution

3 min read

Marketing Strategy

Are you caught up with the most recent online marketing changes, updates and theories? Wishpond’s James Scherer, in this four-part series, will examine the most influential changes that have happened in the past six months, and how those changes affect you and your business on a daily basis.

This week, Scherer will discuss Content Shock — what it is and why it matters. In Part 1, Scherer looked at the rise of social media optimization. Part 3 covered what Facebook’s Edgerank changes mean for marketers.

The theory of “Content Shock” was put forth in a controversial article by Mark Schaefer from early January. For those unfamiliar with the idea, here’s how he describes it:

“The emerging marketing epoch defined when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.”

Basically, content marketing works (really well). It costs (per lead) 62% less than traditional marketing, is the single most effective strategy for SEO, and delivers (per dollar) three times the business as marketing we did 5 years ago.

As a result, we’re creating 27,000,000 pieces of content per day. I’ll let that number sink in. We are (depending on who you talk to) doubling the entire amount of available Web-based information every 9 to 24 months.

And the consumers of our content can’t handle the influx. Content shock is basically the period at which the ROI from our content becomes untenable because, and this is the main concern, every article you write has been already written or will be published 5 minutes before you write it.

So what do you do? How can you hold back the tide and keep your content marketing ROI floating? Here are the 4 strategies I (and my peers) have come up with:

  1. Focus on SMO: Making your content more shareable and likeable will optimize it above your competitors.

  2. Focus on individuality: Throw yourself into your content. As social media works its way into every corner of our society, readers respond increasingly to personality in blogs (use personal pronouns, write in a conversational tone, consider an appealing mascot or fun blog persona).

  3. Create relationships with influencers in your sector: These are people who (as much as you can) stand above the tide of content shock. Check out the comprehensive Influence Marketing ebook for tips and strategies
  4. Combat your content’s decreasing ROI by reusing content intelligently: Use the statistics and tips from your well-researched blog article to make a Slideshare presentation. Use just the statistics for a visually-appealing infographic. Use four or five blogs on the same subject to create a comprehensive ebook.

Hopefully you now have a better idea of the theory of Content Shock, and how you can control its effects on your business. What are some other strategies your company is planning to use to deal with the overflow of content?

James Scherer is a content marketer for Wishpond and author of the ebook The Complete Guide to Facebook Ads. Wishpond makes it easy to run Facebook Ads, create landing pages & contests, email automation campaigns & manage all of your business’ contacts.