Why creating quality content to overcome the noise is the single greatest challenge facing Content Marketing.
Over the past few decades advertisers have been concerned with the reduction of performance interruption techniques. Audiences effectively filter messages out, with awareness and recall reduced. There is too much noise that people do not consume, or even notice.
Content Marketing is now at the same crossroads. Companies are either stuck producing the same content as always (just more of it), or focusing on producing content that rarely adds value. We have already seen cases of increased conversion from lowering the volume of sales content produced.
Similarly online, prior to Google’s Penguin and Panda updates, before everyone jumped on Content Marketing, and before social influenced purchasing decisions and search rankings, SEO went about things in their own niche. They created noise but usually isolated activity. Highly effective SEO could be managed without the need for quality and without offering your audience any value, just noise to create back links. The value of back links didn’t matter, as long as they were there.
Buyers are drowning in the waves of content
Now, the situation is very different. Quality is paramount. Back links need to be from authoritive domains and authors, and content is only shared socially if it is valued. Buyers are drowning in the waves of content. Organisations are publishing and creating content thinking it is the answer to all of their marketing problems.
The only big problem is that everyone is doing it, so there is noise everywhere. Even though people may be actively looking for something you can help them with, it is becoming harder to reach your audience because of the noise. 86% of content is noise cluttering the market and doesn’t meet the basic needs of your audience. And just in case it is not clear, the noise is getting louder and louder, day by day.
The normal distribution of Content Marketing
If it’s on the left, don’t bother
If you are producing content on the left hand side, then simply just don’t bother. There is too much mediocre content that really is just noise sitting in cyber space. Your audience will probably not find it, if they do it will most likely turn them off and trigger them looking at a competitor. No one will share it online and it will certainly not enhance your back link profile, nor search ranking performance.
Let’s talk about getting it right
I mean getting it right in two senses of the word: doing it right and making sure it is as far to the right hand side as possible in normal distribution.
You too… – as a content publisher this should not be your goal, and it still should not really be published. Typically it lacks differentiation, value to the audience and will not greatly contribute to your online profile or brand. The likely result will just be adding to the noise and offer no real engagement.
Great. This is helpful – Now we are getting somewhere, the top 16% of content. Content is beginning to engage your audience and could deliver amplification through social networks. Your audience will consume this and chances are it is helping progress them closer to a sale as it meets their needs. They will probably share it with colleagues and peers internally. And some media, bloggers and influencers will also want to talk about helping across social networks and backlinks driving greater SEO.
Awesome! This is exactly what I need – This is what you should aim for with everything you create. This is the sort of content people will continually refer to and share with their teams. A pdf saved in their ‘for reference‘ folder, or a favourite on the web browser. It also has a good chance of longevity and delivering evergreen traffic to inbound marketing programmes. Viral uplift will be significant, and it will generate many back links boosting your search ranking performance.
Over 80% of content will not add any value. So, are you rising above the content challenge and on the right hand side of the curve?