We are producing a lot of content.
I could even go as far as to suggest that we – as an industry – are producing too much content. Probably not what I should be saying as the CEO of a content and social media agency, but hear me out.
Did you know that 156 million emails are sent a minute*? Of that number, approximately 103 million* of those are spam. That’s 66.3%, leaving just 53 million emails a minute, worldwide, for real communication: messages to friends, queries, appointments, etc.
That’s just email. Head over to any social media platform and you’ll find reams and reams of content from businesses and brands, all vying for your attention. Sponsored posts, organic content, blogs, images, infographics, video… it’s overwhelming. Hundreds, thousands of messages, all trying to tell you why you should buy their product or subscribe to their service.
Well, let’s stop for a minute and ask ourselves an important question.
Who cares that you’ve just launched a new hoover? Or that you took a pretty picture of your group lunch meeting? Or that you’re suddenly taking a stand on gender equality (even though it wasn’t really on your radar until you saw it trending on twitter last week)?
You see, all the content in the world can’t make your audience care about you, and with such huge volumes of it being produced every hour, that audience is starting to care less and less and less. Scrolling through twitter yesterday, I found myself glazing over, mindlessly glancing over content that had no real value or relevance to me.
This is on social media. These are platforms that allow us to tailor our experience and follow the brands, media and people we are interested in. It also gives those brands an opportunity to tailor their message to us, to open a conversation with their followers and find out more about them. So why do we increasingly feel like we are simply being shouted at rather than spoken to?
Not very social, is it?
Vanity metrics have a lot to answer for when it comes to content overload. The idea that the number of followers, subscribers, views or reach are more important than anything else has skewed the point of digital marketing – or marketing in general, for that matter. It encourages a blanket, mass-appeal approach, all geared towards driving up those green arrows on your analytics pages and ramping up your follower count. It side-lines its real purpose: to spark interest, engage and ultimately encourage the right people (consumer or business) to buy your product.
SEO and PPC don’t help, either. They’re both useful, don’t get me wrong, but craft your entire digital strategy around them and you risk creating masses of content that has little resonance with your audience (sharing a google search term is not really ‘common ground’). Creating content solely based on search engine optimisation can mean missing out on huge opportunities to educate, engage and influence your customers.
So should you stop producing content?
No, of course not. Digital content is here to stay. Without it, you’ll get left behind.
Should you start thinking more strategically about the content you produce and its value to your audience? Absolutely.
If you don’t, you’ll continue to be part of the online wallpaper. Before you create content, listen to your audience. Find out what they are interested in outside of your business. What’s important to them? How can you help improve their working lives? What values do you share? What will make them care?
The results of that dialogue shouldn’t just influence your marketing and sales, helping you create content that actually has meaning and benefit to your target market. It should influence your entire business, leading sustainable, long-term business growth.
When I started Nutcracker, my aim was to create digital strategies that help our clients target the right prospects through their digital strategy – not just add their voice to the online noise. The result is valuable content, social and digital marketing that gets real, tangible results. If that’s what is missing from your digital strategy, why not call me for a coffee and find out how Nutcracker can make a difference.
Author: Jenny Knighting, Founder and CEO of Nutcracker Agency
*How Much Data Do We Create Every Day? The Mind-Blowing Stats Everyone Should Read. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/05/21/how-much-data-do-we-create-every-day-the-mind-blowing-stats-everyone-should-read/