As the plugged in millennial that I am, I subscribe to a few different streaming and content services. Between Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, HBO GO, and the collection of different websites I frequent, there is an endless supply of music, movies, TV shows, mini series, blogs, and podcasts to sort through and choose from. To be honest, some days I will sit down to watch a movie or TV show on Netflix and be paralyzed by the amount of choices that I have. I’ll scroll through the seemingly infinite list of media only to give up and watch an old episode of The Office for the tenth time. While watching the hijinks of Michael Scott is never a bad thing, it does bring up an interesting question. Is there too much content for internet users to choose from and absorb?
The Explosion of Content Marketing
The short answer to the question, “is there too much content?”, would appear to be yes. Over the past few years we have seen the explosion of content and inbound marketing practices. Everywhere you look there seems to be another blog post stressing the importance of “great content” for SEO purposes, conversion purposes, and traffic purposes. It has gotten so extreme that we even have blog posts for bloggers about how to blog better. Obviously, I’m kidding, and this is a great and useful post, but you get the point right? Everyone seems to be writing about the need for “great content”, but not everyone is explaining what that is, or how to do it. Writing content about content has become the new cliche in the digital marketing world.
Why This Is a Bad Thing
This rise in content marketing, and the rise in content that stresses the need for content marketing has made it very hard to get noticed online. With everyone using the same tactics to drive traffic and improve SEO, all of these efforts start to get watered down. With millions of blogs getting posted every day, it’s pretty hard for yours to make its mark. So how do you make blogging and content marketing work for you when thousands of other websites are doing it at the exact same time?
Only the Best Stands Out
If we go back to my example from above with all of the different streaming services, the one constant for each is that the best rises to the top. Personally, I’m going to seek out and engage with the TV shows, movies, and music that are deemed “essential”, or “the best” and I know a lot of others feel the same way. The media that receives rave reviews or that gets recommended to me by friends are the things that I will end up spending my limited time with. Look at the virality of a show like Breaking Bad for instance. After a few seasons of flying under the radar it finally rose in popularity thanks to Netflix and the positive buzz and critical acclaim that started to swell about it. Breaking Bad won the battle for people’s attention by being better than the other shows it was up against and people took notice.
So How Do I Make People Care?
This is where it starts to get tricky and where so many other content creators on the web fail. I have seen so much content that has been created just for the sake of creating content that it all starts to become meaningless. It has gotten so bad that the word “content” has lost meaning all together and has become just another buzzword that gets thrown around when talking about digital marketing. Instead of creating something just because you think you should, or you think it’s the right thing for your marketing department to be doing, make something that matters. Tell a story, connect with your audience, really relate to what they are thinking, feeling, and going through. You wouldn’t watch a TV show or movie if you didn’t connect to the characters right? Breaking Bad wouldn’t have had the success it did if we didn’t care where Walter White ended up. The same idea applies to your website and digital marketing. No one is going to care if they don’t connect with it or have some sort of stake in what you are saying. One of the easiest barometers for successful content is asking yourself, “would I want to read this?” or, “would I find this useful?” If that isn’t the case, you might not be doing enough to get yourself noticed in the sea of sameness that is out there. The best advice I can give for making yourself stand out is to find something that’s good and make it better. Do you want to rank on the first page of Google for something? Find what’s already there and make something that’s better.