Emerging media has created an increase in the volume of content being created, but as humans, we can only absorb so much information.
Mark Schaefer first hypothesized the notion of Content Shock. This theory suggests that content marketing isn’t a sustainable marketing strategy due to the sheer amount of content being produced. “Because of it’s [content marketing] success, content marketers are creating an ever-increasing amount of content (27,000,000 pieces per day), doubling the entire amount of available web-based information every 9–24 months.” Yet, the audience for this content is only human and can only absorb, retain, read, etc., so much information. Thus, the ability to be discovered, read, shared, etc., is becoming more difficult as more content is produced.
This content shock has led the way for the importance of Social Media Optimization (SMO). SMO is created by implementing changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on search engines. Although around social media gained popularity, SMO saw an increase with Google’s release of the Hummingbird algorithm. This algorithm, released in 2013, had a new focus on the social activity for SEO to list sights that provide valuable content consumer want to share, higher than those who just utilize keywords and phrases. Thus to help combat this content shock, marketers will need to create content that is more “shareable, endorse-able, pin-able, and more ‘like’–able than anyone else’s.”
Marketers can help make content memorable in a sea of content fighting for consumers’ attention by making content shareable by using visuals with bite-sized information. Long-form blogs are effective in communicating concepts and ideas, but micro-blogging, such as Twitter, are becoming more valuable because of the quick and immediate gratification for users. Marketers also can sustain a presence with consumers by focusing on being social. Social media is great for generating a two-way conversation, so putting the individual into the content is important in creating consumer value. Don’t interrupt the consumer; and talk with the consumer, not at them. Lastly, marketers can help discoverability by engaging with influencers. Marketers can find influencers in their field by checking out Klout, Kred, and Peerindex. Consumers tend to trust consumers more than brands, thus having these influencers can help propel your content.
In this digital world, connecting with the consumer via digital platforms is key to staying relevant. And, as the Internet becomes more and more cluttered with content, it is also important that your content stands out and supports the consumer in searching for your brand, product or service. Why do you think social media is important in consumers’ search process for brands, products or services?