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Is Content Shock Affecting Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Nicki Betterbid

People are inundated with content nowadays. Videos, blogs, websites, podcasts, apps, social media, and a host of other online platforms continually feed us with news and information. Every single day, we have access to countless online resources either through our smartphones, tablets, or laptops. However, have we reached that point where there is simply too much content for people to absorb?

The term “Content Shock” was first coined by Mark Schaefer in 2014 as a means of explaining how the supply of content has greatly exceeded our ability to consume it. While there are varying opinions as to whether content shock has really become an issue, it’s hard to ignore that today’s audiences have extremely short attention spans.

People average between 10 to 20 seconds before they leave a website or landing page, which means your content must immediately give them a reason to stay. So, how do you make sure your content not only makes an immediate impression but ultimately gives visitors a reason to become a customer?

1. Stop Writing So Much and Break Up Your Content

While this may seem obvious to some companies, it’s all too new for others.

content shock graph

Today’s audience will not read endless text on a product or service’s features and benefits. They simply do not have the time or patience to read one elongated paragraph after another. The written word as a means of conveying your message and building your brand can only accomplish so much.

Break up your content into manageable chunks. Write short, concise, to-the-point sentences and keep paragraphs between three to four sentences. Bold subtitles and use bullet points so readers can skim the content and go directly to what interests them most.

2. Use High-Quality Images and Infographics for Content and Advertisements

Consumers love visuals. They immediately gravitate to high-quality images with vibrant colors. They’re immediately interested in infographics that explain the content in simple terms. Unfortunately, far too many companies ignore the power of embedding beautiful images and insightful infographics around their content.

Using high-quality, vivid imagery isn’t just an absolute must for your website’s content; high-quality and high-definition images are critical to making your visual ads stand out. Google Display Ads are the dominant visual pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements and are only seen when audiences are consuming content.

These PPC ads are a great way to build your brand. Granted, the competition for advertising space on Google’s search network is much higher as this is where searches originate from. However, once consumers start to consume content, it’s visuals they’re drawn to and your Google Display Ads are a great way to generate targeted website traffic.

3. Focus on Your Customer

Your content must focus on your customer. Forget about trying to appeal to everyone. It won’t happen and it never works. Every single piece of content you generate must be focused on what your customers find interesting, what questions they want answered, and what problems they want resolved.

Many digital marketing teams try to generate content that everyone will like. It forces them to choose social media platforms that don’t cater to their audience. They then spend an inordinate amount of time trying to generate interest through multiple content pieces that their target audience will never see or find interesting.

4. Get Rid of Bad Landing Pages

google analytics on two computer screensGoogle Analytics provides all kinds of data to help you understand why a given landing page isn’t up to snuff. High bounce rates indicate that the content isn’t providing the customer with what they need. Low bounce rates, a “high time on page” and a low conversion rate could indicate that the content is being consumed but your call-to-action (CTA) isn’t enticing enough.

Ultimately, your landing pages should convert visitors into customers. If that’s not happening, then you either have to revise the landing page or eliminate it entirely. While this may mean starting over, it’s far better than spending time trying to revamp a page that may never convert. It also allows you to get everything right from your meta title and meta description to the keywords you use in your content.

5. Generate How-To and Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Content

What kind of content captures your attention? Like many people, you’re probably drawn to content that outlines step-by-step processes to resolving common problems. How-to and DIY content keeps customers engaged because it empowers them to solve problems on their own. It gives them a purpose and gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Videos and landing pages that demonstrate how to put things together or how to fix everyday problems are loved by today’s audience. They replay each step over and over again until they get it just right. That means they watch the video for longer periods and stay on the page longer. More importantly, they’re far more likely to share that content with friends, family members, and other like-minded individuals.

6. Embrace Your Audience

One of the reasons content gets stale is because companies often assume to know everything about what their audience wants. A great way to bring in a new perspective is to ask your customers to play a role in creating your content. This can be as simple as interviewing them, having them on a podcast, asking them to create a guest article or post, or having them be part of your next video.

Regardless of how you do it, make it a point to embrace your audience and bring them on board with your next content piece. It will help build your brand and theirs and they’ll be more than willing to share that content online. It also demonstrates an in-depth connection with your audience that regular content simply cannot convey.

Regardless of whether content shock is real or not, it’s hard to ignore that non-descript content simply doesn’t work with today’s audiences. They need, want, and deserve better.

If you need a customer-centric partner that can help you revamp your content strategy and bring a new perspective to every single content piece, then contact us now.