Content Shock: Real or Not?

Posted on March 7th 2014

Content Shock: Real or Not?

Content-ShockThere’s been a recent discussion on “content shock” that was originally spurred from Mark Schaefer’s post last month. Shel Holtz wrote a counter to it stating that there will not be any sort of content shock or what Shel calls “information overload.”

Content shock is viewed as basically an overabundance of content thanks, in part, to the concept of “content is king.” This concept started a few years ago and now we see all kinds of brands producing content of some sort.

Affiliate marketing has been replaced with content.

The beauty of this is that there is some great content to be consumed, but there is also some bad content. The answer to this has been, “create epic content.”

I’m reminded of Louis CK here when he goes on his bit about using the word “awesome.”

Let’s remember that we are bombarded constantly with content and have been for quite a while. That content varies; it’s on billboards, it’s on ads in magazines, it’s on banners on websites and just about any other item in our lives.

In my opinion, we have learned to ignore this constant bombardment. We drive (or at least try to) without looking at billboards. We turn the page in a magazine and thanks to search engines; we’ve learned to ignore banners.

We have our own set of filters and we pick and choose what we want or don’t want.

We are a curious bunch by nature. If we weren’t, a lot of things wouldn’t exist in this world. We find things that interest us and keep our interest and we pursue it.

This is why you have fantasy football leagues thanks to pioneers like Billy Beane, of “Moneyball” fame, who used statistics and mathematics analytics to find the best players in each position on the field to great success.

At a moment’s notice, we can find out information on topics that interest us. We can look up who starred in that movie you’re watching and fast-forwarding through the commercials (hey, it’s content). We sign up for a competition or giveaway that caught our eye on the sports website.

Then there is the other side of it that has companies using content as a push for business.

Unfortunately, if your company is using content to push for business, there’s already a problem. Content and social media is not the Golden Fleece….it will not save your company.

Sure you can push out content, but honestly, if you’re a telecom company for example, it’s not a sexy topic. There are only so many posts you can publish about your industry that will be read by the decision makers that you should already be identifying and converting.

Visitors to your site will tell you what they want by the areas they visit on your site. They will already have used their natural filters and selective vision to pick and choose the content they want. They will have subscribed or made another action. They may have even contacted you.

Thanks to the evolution of marketing and our own built-in filters, content is still king and it will be for quite a while. We’ll continually look for things that interest us and the info that we want.

We’ll ignore the flood of content and we’ll know what speaks to us. What some may see as content shock, some will see as never being able to get enough for our own consumption.

StaceyHood

Stacey Hood

Partner, Guitar.com

Stacey Hood is a digital strategist and partner with Guitar.com, a community hub for guitar players and fans. Stacey has worked with major brands and clients. With over fifteen years of experience, he assists companies find the best successful marketing strategy. An early adopter of various marketing platforms, he offers digital strategies in content, social media, SEO and strategies for successful marketing campaigns.

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Comments

jonmikelbailey
Posted on March 7th 2014 at 6:05PM

Actually masterfully written by word crafter and Wood Street guest blogger Stacey Hood. Thanks for posting!

Avtar Ram Singh
Posted on March 8th 2014 at 3:16PM

I found that the article didn't really make a case for, or against content shock. I'm not quite sure where the theme or the content was going, generally it seems to be a "Not quite sure what's going to happen, let's wait and see". Guess that's fair.

However, this part:

"We’ll ignore the flood of content and we’ll know what speaks to us. What some may see as content shock, some will see as never being able to get enough for our own consumption."

I think that part might warrant a bit of discussion. The one thing I see emerging out of this would be to find a niche, and burn out content just for that niche. Posting content about Twitter? Go deeper. Post only about analytics. Posting about analytics? Post only about engagement analytics. Perhaps become the master in the craft of engagement analytics alone.

Content Shock is real. I feel it myself. I'm following about 25 websites in my "SEO/SEM/Social" section on Feedly, every day or two days it accumulates about 600 articles for me to read out of which I only actually read 25-30 in entirety, perhaps skim over about 100 that interest me during the course of the day. And that leaves about 475 odd articles that don't bother with because it's about something irrelevant or it's a topic that I've already seen enough on already.

90% of the time, it's about topics I've seen enough on already - which is why I skip them. And that's the main reason for content shock. There are too many pieces of "me-too" content out there, and that's what's causing this content shock in the first place. Not enough original content, not enough informed opinion pieces, just too many "5 Ways to Get Higher Twitter Engagement" stuff.