Content marketing. Over the past few years, this buzzword has found its way into digital strategy and become an important cog in the marketing machine… And with good reason.
Producing valuable content on the topics of interest to your brand and your customers is a smart way to forge connections in today’s search-and-share world. Ultimately, that’s what marketing is really all about—connecting over shared interests.
But content marketing may have reached a tipping point. The reason: Overload. With more brands across industries producing more content across more publishing platforms, it has become harder to actually reach people. All that more has made for too much interference.
In today’s post, we’ll look at a new report revealing the challenges facing organizations when it comes to content marketing. We’ll also share a trio of tips for overcoming those challenges.
About the TrackMaven Content Marketing Report
The Content Marketing Paradox Revisited provides a comprehensive analysis of digital marketing activity in 2015 from 22,957 brands across all major B2B, B2C and nonprofit industries. The report focuses on six key content channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and blogs.
The “More Producing Less” Dilemma of Content Marketing
The big takeaway from the TrackMaven content marketing report is that brands are producing more content than ever before while getting less engagement for their effort.
According to the report, there was a 35% increase in content output per brand per channel in 2015—while content engagement decreased 17% overall.
This is particularly notable when it comes to social media, with brands active on more networks posting with increasing frequency. As the report states: “There is a ceiling to how much content can be consumed, liked, and shared.”
As a result of the increased content production across organizations, it’s harder to pull eyes in your direction. It’s the equivalent of taking a one-mile strip of highway that once had three billboards and adding a hundred more billboards. It becomes impossible to see them all.
Individuals are sinking in the quicksand of content. Even if consumers want to take it all in, they can’t. There’s just not enough time. So you have to pick and choose.
3 Ways to Get More Engagement from Your Content Marketing
Like all challenges, the overloaded state of content marketing isn’t unsurmountable. Rather, it’s an opportunity to shift tactics and find a way to more effectively and efficiently refine your efforts. You have to take action to make people pick and choose your content.
Here are a few ways to do that…
1. Hone Your Social Efforts
Posting more frequently on more social sites doesn’t necessarily yield more engagement. So you may want to consider honing your efforts—finding the best networks for engaging your audience and using them more effectively.
It’s noted in the TrackMaven report that “brands use six or seven social networks on average (six for B2B brands, seven for B2C brands).” If you’re using six networks and getting minimal or decreasing results, you may want to consider focusing in on your top three.
That might be mean tailoring content to the specific network. What type of posts do people like best? What are they responding to on each individual network? Rather than posting the same things across all your networks, customize your content based on your audience.
Maybe that means sharing certain types of blog posts on one network, and other types on another network. The idea is to make your social content exclusive so it has true value, taps into the strengths of the network and connects with that audience.
2. Recommit to Your Blog
While the TrackMaven report mostly focuses on social media, it also provides some findings about blogging. Unlike the uptick in social content, blog content has gone the other direction. The report states:
- In contrast to the results on social, the average monthly blogging frequency for brands decreased by 16% across 2015
The decrease in blog content creation has no doubt come about because of the increasing focus on social media—more posting on more networks has led organizations away from their blogs. That may be a misstep as the report reveals:
- Engagement with brand blogs, however, held steady, even climbing slightly to a peak of 190.7 average social shares per post in July 2015
It makes sense for your blog to remain the center of your content marketing strategy for a couple of reasons: (1) It’s housed on your site, so it serves as a content “home base” you have direct control over; (2) your blog content can be used to fuel your social content creation.
To that second point, your blog and social efforts can be used to feed each other—and your content marketing strategy as a whole. Your blog content can drive and inspire your social posts; while feedback from social media can help drive and inspire future blog post topics.
3. Leverage Digital Advertising
With organic social reach falling and networks becoming overstuffed with branded content, a useful way to get more people to see your content is through digital advertising.
By advertising on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can make sure your content gets in front of people—grabbing more eyes and driving more clicks.
Most or all of the major social networks have or are in the process of adding advertising opportunities for brands. These opportunities offer highly targeted ways of reaching specific audiences, or expanding your audiences.
Advertising on Google and other search engines is another valuable way to get your content seen. In this case, by people who are searching for information related to your topic. It’s another opportunity to make your content stand out in an endless sea of information.
More interesting stats on content engagement across the digital world in 2015:
- At the peak in October 2015, the average brand generated 87.5 social media posts per channel per month.
- Content output per brand increased most on Twitter and Facebook, 60% and 31% year-over-year respectively.
- LinkedIn is the lowest volume network. Brands post between 10.2 to 13.7 times per month on LinkedIn on average (or roughly once every two to three days).
- LinkedIn’s average engagement ratio is the most consistent of the major networks, hovering between 22.3 interactions per post per 1,000 followers across 2015.
- Engagement on Twitter was also relatively consistent—with engagement even rising notably at one point last year.
- Content saturation may be peaking on Pinterest right now. The average engagement ratio on the network dropped 49% in 2015.
All the stats above come from the TrackMaven content marketing report. We recommend you download the full “Content Marketing Paradox Revisited” report here.