Are Groups Next on LinkedIn's Chopping Block?Building the Foundation of Your Resume on LinkedIn While in CollegeSome Top Tips for Budding LinkedIn InfluencersThe Social Media Frequency Guide: How Often to Post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and More
- Content Marketing
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Patient Opinion Leaders Are the New Healthcare InfluencersFive Online Community Types: Which One Does Yours Fit Into?Digital Communities: 5 Ways to Determine PurposeCelebrate Your Social Media Successes, but Don't Forget that Community Trust is the Key
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Content Marketing Minds: Is the Problem Content Shock or Content Schlock?
Posted on January 17th 2014
Sometimes I think this column-writing gig Social Media Today gave me is too easy. This is one of those times.
See, every journalist knows when a fire ignites and the wind begins blowing the blaze around, you gotta’ get your ass out in the field and report the facts (however boring the story may be).
Sometimes fires break out in unexpected places, like on a blog post from a content marketing professional. This is one of those times.
So I take you now to the scene of the inferno with correspondent Barry Feldman of Social Media Today’s “Content Marketing Minds.” Barry, things look smoking hot out there. What’s happening?
Mark Schaefer lit a fire.
Arsonist that he is, author/speaker/consultant Mark Schaefer who blogs at BusinessesGrow.com, published “Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy” a week or so ago and it torched all kinds of talk.
Mark’s written more interesting stuff, but not more controversial. This is Mark’s Miley moment (forgive me, Mark).
What’s on his mind? He says content marketing, the hottest marketing trend around, may not be a sustainable strategy for many businesses. Mark writes:
“This intersection of finite content consumption and rising content availability will create a tremor I call The Content Shock.”
I think it’s kind of cool, actually. Oops. Sorry. Be objective Barry (and stop referring to yourself by name).
The Cliff Notes will have to suffice for now. Schaefer says…
- Deep pockets win
- The entry barriers become impossibly high
- The economics will eventually drive many content creators out of business
Just another information overload story?
We’ve been reading about information overload stories ever since the printing press came along and gave us the technology to effectively distribute information about information overload.
Mark’s story could have been just another one, but it didn’t go down that way. Counter arguments came flying forth.
Let's hash this stuff out together. Use #CMMinds anytime to make comments or counterpoints, add your ideas and ask questions. I'm listening.
Copyblogger’s Brian Clark retorted:
Harder does not = doomed. TV is harder now, and it's never been better. Encourage people to up their game, not wait for the mythical next thing.
Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi suggested a new title:
I would reword your title to be: “Content Shock: Why Content Marketing without Strategy Is Not Sustainable.”
Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners responded with a post, “After Content Shock: What’s Next?” in which he states:
“For most B2B marketers, we’re not at Mark’s dreaded saturation point yet. In fact, I don’t think we’re even close. Because content isn’t one big ocean, it’s a million little puddles & pools, each addressing a specific issue for a specific audience.”
“The bad news: Mark is right: The saturation is coming. The good news: Most marketers will still suck at this for many years.”
You got it Doug. And in the suck stream lies the opportunity.
Here’s Copyblogger’s Sonia Simone, from “Surviving Content Shock and the Impending Content Marketing Collapse.”
“We are a long way from the day when too much high-quality, Rainmaker-style content is being created. To repeat myself, there is not a glut of content that is useful, passionate, individual, and interesting.”
Jay Baer of Convince and Convert offered, “The 3 Ways to Succeed at Content Marketing When Everyone in the World is Doing Content Marketing.” Jay wrote:
“When competition increases for ANYTHING (customers, attention, pizza sales, bird seed, real estate) smart players adapt and survive, and less-astute players continue to embrace the status quo and slowly dig their own graves.”
Mark Traphagen of Stone Temple Consulting posted on Google+:
“As we enter 2014 we're seeing a flurry of posts predicting a soon-coming Content Apocalypse. The contention is that as more and more marketers and business owners hear about content marketing, the amount of content will continue to increase exponentially, until it becomes too overwhelming, and most of it starts to get ignored by audiences.”
Response: Starts to get ignored by audiences? Most of it was, is, and will continue to be ignored. Why? It’s perfectly ignorable. I don't see anything new starting here.
Shelt Holz of Holtz Communication + Technology wrote, “Six Reasons There Will be no Content Shock.” He said:
“We are mainly consumers of niche content.”
He also wrote:
“The capacity for consuming content will continue unabated regardless of the amount of content available. For most people—as evidenced by the Northwestern study—it’s as simple as this: I can stand all the quality content you can throw at me, as long as it’s about the stuff I’m interested in.”
Q: Who really cares about content marketing?
A: Marketers (only marketers).
When I last posted here on “Content Marketing Minds,” I pleaded with y’all to stop worshiping the king that isn’t. In my article, “Content Marketing Minds: Content Is Only King of a Fairytale,” I campaigned to have you recognize the customer as the true king.
Truthfully, I find validity in all of the points of view above from many of the marketers I admire most. But with all due respect, I also find a degree inanity to it all.
Clearly, content marketing dwells atop the list of marketing tactics us marketers dwell on, but consider this simple take:
No one besides marketers gives a rat’s ass about:
- Social media marketing
- Inbound marketing
- Email marketing
- Search marketing
- Mobile marketing,
- Influencer marketing
- Permission marketing
- Referral marketing
- Behavioral marketing
- Data-driven marketing
- Integrated marketing
- Direct marketing
- Public relations
- Your company
Here's a downloadable and shareable version of the above:
Think about this when you do your marketing.
We have too much of every media. Too much television? Of course. Too much advertising. Definitely. But we have too much of EVERYTHING…
What to drive… what to wear… how to exercise... There’s no end to this list. Will we stop eating when the grocery store has too many items to choose from?
Mark Schaefer did us marketers a great service. He ignited an important conversation—but not a new one. The themes that emerged as a response were: do it smarter; do it better; focus on a niche; and focus on your customer.
Content shock isn’t the real problem. Content schlock is.
See that comment field below? Use it and get internet famous, please.