Every day I get at least a dozen emails on content marketing, how to write better copy, how to blog more using content and what to say to get followers. I bet you get them too.
A whole industry has grown up around content marketing. Like Gold Rush opportunists selling shovels to g miners, the only thing more prevalent than content are people and companies talking to me about content marketing. Daily emails tout the “essential elements for content marketing success,” how I can “improve my content writing skills,” “boost results, and build a repeatable system to effectively market any business with content.” And, I should mention the countless webinars offering to teach me content strategy and creative ways to develop content my audience is already looking for.
Content marketing was interesting when just a few hundred thousand people were generating it. Now apparently if you have two fingers (see monkey-typewriter theorem below) and a computer you’re pumping out content. See Paul Hemp’s Death by Information in the Harvard Business Review back in 2009. Yes, 2009. It’s only gotten worse. https://hbr.org/2009/09/death-by-information-overload#
Information inundation has become a serious problem. It can lower your IQ, lead to “continuous partial attention syndrome,” reduced creativity, demoralization, and information addiction.
Hemp writes, “Researchers say that the stress of not being able to process information as fast as it arrives—combined with the personal and social expectation that, say, you will answer every e-mail message—can deplete and demoralize you.”
I read this somewhere “The argument being that the explosion of publishing activity on behalf of brands and the growth of content marketing is leading to an inevitable devaluation of content, the current rock star of digital. While we’re certainly witnessing an increase in the sheer volume of content brands produce as they complete their transformation into publishers, that doesn’t mean the wholesale desensitization of audiences to branded content anytime soon. It just means the industry needs to get smarter in how it delivers the content.” Translation…we’re getting overwhelmed by content and if you want to play, you have to invent a different way. I can’t remember where I read it because it is buried in the avalanche of content I’m buried under. Kidding. It’s from http://www.outbrain.com/blog/2013/09/combating-the-content-overload.html
Apparently we’re testing out the “monkey typewriter theorem” that says that if a certain (large, often considered infinite, depending on who’s saying it and what number they can think of randomly) number of monkeys were given typewriters and a really long time, they could write the works of some random famous writer (e.g. Shakespeare, Dickens, etc.) it doesn’t really matter. Only now it isn’t monkeys; it’s us.
Having said all that, as a professional or business owner, you still want your share of the attention. You want your content to get through.
So, stop writing content. Don’t contribute to the deluge. Stop following the crowd. Create your message in a different way. Or, don’t create the content yourself, just pass it on.
That will be the subject of my next post. How to Stop the Content Marketing Fire Hydrant Torrent and Still Prove You’re the Expert in Your Field