147666-693x693r1-Electrocution

You aren’t the only one struggling with poor content marketing engagement.

Content marketing initially proved to be wildly successful for many brands, and as a result, many others tried to jump on that gravy train. But over the last two years or so, it’s grown notably less effective as a lead generation strategy.

Increasing content quality and/or publication frequency has not been sufficient to combat this downward trend- even content giants like Buffer and Copyblogger have reported significant declines in engagement. The content marketplace is just too crowded and noisy now.

“More” and “louder” won’t work here- smart marketers know we’ve reached the point at which a new strategy needs to be used.

Find three such strategies below.

Content marketing worked for so long because it gave a brand’s target audience valuable information and/or entertaining material that helped to establish trust with said brand. If it was share-worthy, that content also increased the awareness of the brand in the marketplace.

To build trust and raise awareness in the marketplace now, your marketing materials need to be both personalized and engaging. Just as you need to prove the value of your product or service to every prospect, so does your content need to prove its value to each individual site visitor, and interactive content is one way to accomplish that.

1) Interactive Content

You’ve probably heard about interactive content by now, and understand that it represents anything from amusing personality quizzes to informative ROI calculators to impactful online assessments.

On the consumer side, interactive content is valuable because it allows the user to input all the information that’s relevant to them and get a result that reflects their needs and/or interests. This is exactly what good content marketing is meant to be, only with interactivity it is taken a step further, by presenting information in a captivating, responsive manner.

On the business side, interactive content provides valuable data about site visitors. This can help you tailor your messaging to increase conversion rates.

If you’re not interested in interactive content, there are two other options you might consider for disrupting content shock.

2) User-Generated Content and Influencer Marketing

Third-party validation existed as a concept in marketing well before content marketing. It operates on the premise that you’ll generate more trust in the marketplace by having someone speak on your behalf, someone who has no reason to endorse you other than the fact that you are in fact as great as they’re claiming, rather than you claiming to be that great yourself. Almost every company has some form of this, if only through customer testimonial quotes or case studies.

User-Generated Content (UGC) and Influencer Marketing takes a different approach to content marketing by letting multiple others speak for you. The underlying supposition being that enough touchpoints with these seemingly unbiased endorsements will cause your prospective customers to move down the sales funnel and become leads.

However, this approach necessarily allows others to speak about your brand, and if you’re not comfortable with that there’s still one other solid option for engaging your target audience.

3) Community-Building Efforts

Whether it’s a Twitter Chat or Slack channel or message board/user forum, there are other efforts you can undertake to better engage your target audience in ways that provide value to them.

These are the most manually-intensive, though for that reason they are also the most likely to result in relationship-building, as they actually entail individuals interacting directly.

Buffer may be a good example to look to here.