The Risk of Content Shock in Today’s World
Marketing is an ever evolving discipline. Advances in technologies and shifts in buyer’s preferences change the way businesses market. In recent years, there has been a remarkable rise in content marketing. This is a cost effective marketing tool that potential buyers prefer to engage with. It allows an individual to learn more at their own pace about a company and an industry and not just the products/services a business offers. However, it has also given way to the rise of content shock.
So what is content shock? It refers to the situation we live in where content is easy to produce and distribute. Supply has gone up at unprecedented rates while demand has not risen at the same scale. For many topics, you can find hundreds of articles, all explaining the same points with little to no difference in writing. As we only spend so long looking into certain topics, the majority of content on the subject will not be read. Therefore, the cost of competing through content has increased for businesses as they look to promote their posts so that it will be seen. Furthermore, the time costs of producing content has risen as well.
In a nutshell, there is only so much content a potential buyer can consumer. As such, companies need to do more to ensure their content stands out from this increasing level of supply, while still providing crucial value to the reader. In this post, we will talk about content shock further and how your business can avoid falling into this trap.
The Buying Cycle
It is important to understand the stages of a buying cycle. Each stage will determine the type of content to deliver as each stage carries a different level of ‘need’. The buying cycle is a process we all go through, whether it’s as part of a business or as a private individual. It consists of three main stages, which we outline below:
All buying processes begin with identifying a need. You may need new equipment, a new car, a new insurance provider etc. This is where content becomes crucial. Individuals look at potential suppliers and find out more about what is being provided. They are essentially researching which products/suppliers best fit their need.
Research has shown that when someone is roughly 57% of the way through their cycle, only then will they begin to contact these potential suppliers. This is the consideration stage of the cycle. Everything that has got them up to this point has been their own research. As we are living in a digital era, individual’s conduct the majority of their research online. Therefore, to even stand a chance when someone is in the awareness stage on their cycle, you must have content easily available online.
Furthermore, any copywriting on your marketing materials must also be high quality and include strong calls-to-action. This will help you be a contender in the consideration stage and hopefully, be the winner when it comes to them taking action.
If an individual cannot find your business online, or your competitor’s appear above you, you will lose out very early. It is highly unlikely that an individual will get in touch with you if they have difficulty finding you in the first place. High quality, stage relevant and targeted content helps you stand out from your competition.
Research your Topics Before you Write
So how do we deal with this issue of content shock? More and more content is being produced everyday. As it is such an affordable and effective marketing method, this will continue to rise. However, there is only so much content that a person can absorb at any one time.
This is where research is so key. Market research gives you crucial insight into both your industry and your prospects. The more you research, the more you understand about issues, questions, topics for debate etc. This will highlight hot topics to write about. Choosing a current topic with a lot of buzz will get more traffic than one that has been written about a million times by every company.
Writing about a topic that has already been covered by multiple businesses brings nothing new to the table. Why would someone read an article that they have already read a few times before? To overcome content shock, put the consumer at the heart of your content. This will ensure everything you produce is always relevant and in their interests.
Creative, Appealing Writing
Having an interesting, relevant topic to discuss is crucial. However, you must also deliver the content in a way that is engaging and entertaining to read. Many companies use content nowadays as a way of entertaining, educating and subtly selling to their prospects. They accomplish this with highly skilled content writers who know how to present the topic effectively. It is no use just listing everything or writing an entire essay. You do not want to bore the reader or they will just switch off and go somewhere else. In some cases, it may be easier to outsource this process to an experienced marketing company.
We have also seen how companies tailor the content they present. It is not all just through text. Video content is highly popular now, with YouTube being a large driving force behind this. We discuss this further in another post.
As content has been rising at such a large rate, the ‘cost’ of content marketing is increasing. Video content requires more resources to produce. However, there is also the time costs of researching, producing and publishing the content. This is also a key component of content shock as so many companies look to content marketing, the overall cost of the marketing medium has increased. Even though writing a blog is highly cost effective, the non-financial costs and increasing levels of competition mean it is not the most appropriate method for every business.
While content writing is a highly appealing marketing method, due to its preference with consumers and cost effectiveness, it has created a phenomenon known as content shock. With so much content out there and only so much time to absorb it all, companies need to do more to stand out from the competition and provide the crucial value that their prospects seek.
Companies need to ensure that any content they produce is of the highest quality. This will help it stand out from the ever increasing levels of content available already. This is achieved through high quality writing, combined with expert design.
Impact Marketing have a specialist team in-house who allow us to write effective content for our clients. We understand how to write effective content that can help drive more traffic and enquiries through for your business. If you would like more information about these services, get in touch today and a member of the team will be happy to advise further.