Avoid content overload with an overhauled strategy

A couple of weeks ago I went to a vintage shop – I came home with a rusty kitchen scale and an old silver colander.

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Last year my husband and I purchased a beautifully detailed yet chipped antique dresser off of a buy, sell, trade Facebook group in our community.

I guess you could say I like…old junk? Well, yes, but there is a bit more to the story.

Thanks to the inspiration from Instagram accounts like @countrylivingmag, @thriftydecorchick and @antiquefarmhouse, I saw the potential in the old scale and colander via carefully staged photos of countertops and accent tables these talented Instagrammers had posted. The antique dresser—that, too, found new life. With some husband handiwork, it became a vanity complete with sink in our renovated master bathroom. Thank you, Pinterest!

All of these examples demonstrate that you can have all of the content or “stuff” you believe you need but if you don’t know what to do with it all, it’s nothing more than…well…junk. And, unfortunately, that junk is cluttering up your office or your server. Or even worse, clogging your clients’ or customers’ in-boxes.

A recent study by TrackMaven looked at 50 million pieces of content from nearly 23,000 brands, representing every industry, and concluded that while content volume is increasing, engagement is steadily decreasing. In other words, less time is spent engaging per piece as more and more content floods inboxes and social channels. In fact, two key takeaways from the study emerged that point to why marketing is becoming more difficult instead of easier: the rise of mobile content consumption and the monetization of social networks. There was a time when marketers and public relations professionals delighted in using the free social tools to help deliver messages and content to wider audiences. Those days are gone, as we have entered an era of complete and total content overload with social networks and Google controlling how, what and when we see something.

What does this mean for businesses owners or communicators who understand the importance of investing in better marketing tools but aren’t seeing measurable results? It means it’s time to Stop, Collaborate and Listen. I may have just shown my age there with the 90’s Vanilla Ice reference! If you need to hear the song now, here you go. (You’re welcome.) Good ole’ Robert Van Winkle (AKA Vanilla Ice) knew what he was talking about, right? We always say the best communicators are born listeners.

Have you done the research to find creative ways to use your content so people will pay attention? Do you follow what experts are doing and using their examples as inspiration for your own brilliant content marketing? Or, are you putting out the same “stuff” as everyone else? As Vanilla says, it would be wise to stop. Don’t spend any more on marketing tools or new software programs. Find a communications or marketing consultant to collaborate with and really listen to what they have to say – their job is to help you make sense of what you have and create a meaningful plan for distributing your content so it stands out from the crowd.

Let’s look at what you likely need:

  • An audit to sort through what you have and whether you are telling your company story in a way that resonates;
  • A content plan to support the goals of your company;
  • Help drafting content and campaigns your employees or customers care about;
  • Assistance tracking results;
  • Ideas to “course-correct” if something is not yielding the benefits you’d expected.

If hiring a consultant is not in your budget, there are some great resources that offer suggestions, useful research and data to help you make better use of your content.

Here are some of our go-to resources:

MarketingProfs – in addition to excellent articles, their experts host seminars, forums and how-to videos. They truly have their finger on the pulse of what is happening in marketing today.

Content Marketing Institute – the leading global content marketing education and training organization, teaching enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling.

HubSpot – you may have heard of HubSpot as a robust software platform (we use it and highly recommend it) but they also have very informative articles, blogs and resources from top inbound marketing and content experts.

Before you look to purchase expensive marketing tools, do an audit of your current tools and available content. Without a plan, the tools will be useless. If you need guidance, there are plenty of resources, experts and consultants to help you in creating a meaningful plan to achieve your goals.

The marketing world is ever-changing as people consume information in different ways today versus 10, 15 or 20 years ago. It’s time to up your marketing game by sharing engaging and useful content – are you ready?

For more information on content marketing and how WordWrite can help you, download a copy of Content Hacks: 34 Tips and Tricks for Planning & Creating Content or call us at 412-246-0340.