Content Myths and Reality

QUICK READ: The creator economy has led to social media companies and some start-ups paying for content but in this model, do people really have enough time to read all the content out there? The answer is “yes” if it’s personally relevant to them.

I have over 500 readers a week via email, social media, and direct links to this site. I BLOG because marketing is a passion of mine, not to monetize my efforts. I am constantly contacted by PR and ad firms that offer me anywhere from $30-$50 per post, but I turn most down because the subject matter is too elemental for my audience.

Now it seems some start-ups are offering money to people who can write content or newsletters. The real question is can someone narrow their content enough to gather an audience large enough to make it worth their while?

I tend to read everything I can get my eyes on when marketing, branding, and media. However, I don’t have the time to read it all, so, like most, I skim articles for relevant content. Some sites understand that we are overwhelmed with content, and they provide summaries or callout bullet points with key points. Even the Harvard Business Review has a section where they summarize their monthly articles.

Business content is a little different than content targeted at consumers, but the basics are the same. You need to market your content and ensure that it’s relevant to your audience. For brands, content is a way to keep loyal customers engaged, but too many brands have too much content, and consumers can’t take it all in.

According to Pew Research, 26% of US adults are almost always online. They’re part of the 77% of US adults who go online daily. They go online between once and several times a day. But many marketers don’t know how to use content marketing. According to Marketing Profs and the CMI, 63% of businesses don’t have a documented content strategy.

 CMI’s digital content marketing stats show that 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement. In addition, 72% say it has increased the number of leads.

Thanks to the proliferation of lower-cost smartphones, laptops, and internet access, more folks on the planet have access to publishing platforms than ever before. Traditional content gatekeepers have been replaced with a much more insidious ones. The solution to “too much content” isn’t to ask everyone to make less(because creators won’t listen anyway!)… but instead, to ask everyone to make more relevant content.

Here are some ways to make your content stand-out:

  1. Always provide content that is also value-driven (even your promotional posts).
  2. Post regularly, at least 3-5 times a week.
  3. Create original content
  4. But also curate content (share other content you know your followers will love too).
  5. Start to use hashtags in your content so people can find you more easily.

Reading stats: How do people actually read online?

  1. 55%of all page views get less than 15 seconds of attention. (Chartbeat)

2.  60-70% of content churned out by B2B marketing departments today sits unused. (SiriusDecisions)

3. In 2008, a study concluded that visitors will only read about 20% of the text on the average page. (Jakob Nielsen)

4. 2-3 letter words are skipped over almost 75% of the time, while 8 letter words are almost always fixated upon. (Eyethink)

5. The chances of an individual word being fixated on varies according to whether it is content word (85%) or a function word (35%). Content words include nouns, verbs, adjectives and words that can usually stand alone. Function words create grammatical relationships and don’t mean much on their own. (Eyethink)

6. The pattern in which people consume online content isn’t your typical left-to-right reading that you learned in school — rather, it’s an “F” shape that indicates users aren’t reading your content thoroughly. (Jakob Nielsen)

So as you can see content, that people actually read is challenging. Posting content using Jello may get some people to read it, but it will most likely float in endless cyberspace unread. On the flip side, engaging content and making people think or touch a nerve on a strong opinion will always be read.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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