Lately a dark cloud has loomed large over the content marketing world: the spectre of the so-called “content crunch”. The runaway success of content marketing over traditional approaches to digital marketing has many people worrying that we’re heading for a content bubble.
This is partly true: there is no more room for bad content. With more free content available than ever before, savvy audiences are getting choosier and choosier. They still need, and value, the answers and insights that your top-quality content can offer them. But they’re unwilling to scour through acres of text or video to find what they’re after – or to engage with anything that seems more sales-y than directly beneficial. This means that, much like bad advertising, bad content will blend into the background – even though it’s free. And that means you need to work harder than ever to keep your standards mega-high, and ensure that you’re learning and improving all the time.
Start by reviewing everything you produced last year. Break it down carefully. For example, did certain topics perform well in any format? Or did certain formats (blog posts, videos, etc.) strike a particular chord with your audience? How long was the content that did the best? Where did you share it? If you don’t already have a solid way to measure analytics, address that now. If you’re really good at making a particular type of content and your audience loves it too, focus in on that. Don’t just create content for the sake of creating content. For example, if your CEO is a natural when it comes to podcasting but just can’t get the same force of personality across in her blog posts, either drop the blog or outsource the writing to a pro who “gets” her voice. Don’t waste any time producing stuff that drags the bar down overall.
Second, practise being mega, mega brutal on the editing front. If a word or a sentence doesn’t need to be there, cut it out. Eliminate jargon from your vocabulary. Keep sentences and paragraphs short and easily digestible. Videos should never be longer than three minutes unless there’s a compelling reason to do otherwise. Anything that suggests to an audience that it will take more than 30 seconds to locate the information they need/work out if it’s relevant to them will see them shoot off the next Google hit faster than you can say “content crunch”.
Next, be really, really clear about exactly what you want from each piece of content. Stick to one goal per piece. For example, is your primary aim in a particular video thought leadership or lead generation? A lead gen-focussed video might also help with thought leadership, but if you try to pull in too many directions at once, your content will get messy. You need to drop the right breadcrumbs through your content to guide your audience to whatever action you want from them at the end of it. Your call-to-action should feel like it makes sense after whatever they’ve just seen or read.
Whatever your goal, keep it crystal clear in your mind as you create your content. To survive the challenges of 2016’s content marketing world, you are going to need laser focus, iron discipline, and a watertight strategy.
For more tips and advice for creating amazing content to beat the crunch, download the B2B Content Creation Masterclass below.