The latest fad in web marketing is known as “content marketing”. Essentially, this means providing lots of content for Google to find, so your website will get a high ranking in the search results. Oh and of course, people will read the content too, building your brand and online reputation.
The more content, the better. That’s the theory. And agencies are offering various “content marketing packages” for a monthly fee. It’s a slow, steady process to create content, so you need to stick with it for several months (and keep paying the agency to write it).
Content is important but…
Now, I have always been a great believer in quality written content – online, offline, anywhere. People want to read things that are interesting, thought provoking and above all, add value to their lives.
But the problem today is we have so much written content already. Social media has made everyone into a writer. The world is drowning in content.
It’s simply impossible to keep up with everything that is being written.
Mark Schaefer, author of “Social Media Explained,” believes consumers are becoming overwhelmed with the amount of content being churned out by marketers.
Schaefer argues content marketing is an unsustainable strategy because the supply of content will soon outstrip the demand for it. This will lead to an overload of information, or “content shock.”
There’s a fundamental principle of supply and demand. When supply exceeds demand, the value of the product drops.
Oh, how the world has changed
It’s fascinating to think back 2000 years to the time of Christ. Back then, 98% of the population were illiterate. Only a tiny educated elite could write and they did it by hand with pen and ink on parchment scrolls. Jesus went around performing miracles and it was barely written about by his contemporaries – because most of them simply couldn’t write.
Today, in contrast, we have a world flooded with so much content that most people’s minds are rarely still.
And into this content-saturated world, we are now talking about producing more “content” in the pursuit of marketing. Hang on a minute.
So, what’s the answer?
Really, it’s simple. The fundamentals have not changed. Provide something of genuine value to an audience that is hungry for that particular information – and you’re onto a winner. But churn out “content” by the truckload just to keep Google’s search bots entertained – well, it might, if you’re lucky produce a short term result. But it won’t last.
The time is not far off when Google’s search bots will be just about as smart as a human brain. They almost are already. They’ll be able to tell genuine quality content from simple search engine fodder. And once more the majority of mediocre, “me too” websites will be back to square one.
What people really want to read is the genuine, thoughtful, insightful comments of a person who truly connects with them. If you can do that – and only if – your content will rise to the top.