Content Saturation: What to do When You Have Too Much Content
Have you ever heard of content shock? It’s a real thing. The volume of content has surpassed our limited human capacity to consume it. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013. The way we consume and retain things have changed. The way we plan, produce, share and consume information has changed. Have you changed?
Each day, the average connected person is exposed to over 5,000 ads. That's over a 900% increase up from the 500 ads people saw a day in the 1970s. We’re all overwhelmed and this has led us to be more selective. To stay focused people today choose what they want to consume, how they will consume it and plan when they are going to consume it. The next time you have a lot of information to share and want to get better results, consider these tips to break it up and extend the overall shelf life of your content.
Make an eBook
eBooks are a great way to outline and break your content into bite sized pieces. Make them colorful, visual, interactive, shareable and make sure the purpose is to solve a problem your readers are having. Know the difference between an eBook and a brochure - don’t make eBooks about your product or service. With eBooks, people can easily take a glance, find what is relevant for them to consume and know exactly where to find it thanks to a great outline of the content.
With eBooks, it's smart to get feedback, update them and re-deliver any new releases to your readers. Just like we try to always become a bettwe version of ourselves, we should do the same with each version of an eBook. eBooks are a great opportunity for thought-leadership and to increase interest in the topic.
Write a Series
A series is very flexible, fluid and natural for you to produce. Series are easy for people to consume. Binge watching is a new trend that we shouldn't ignore. You can publish a series on a consistent day at a consistent time on a consistent subject (so people know what to expect and when to expect it), or you can be flexible and only add to the series when you have something valuable to share (recommended). Pick the subject you want to own and consistently create better versions of it. Be sure to link back to former content in your series, too!
There are many ways to present a series. Podcasts, videos, themed articles, news roundups - etc. When creating a series, make sure you provide an easy way for readers to find it. In case this is your first time reading, this post is part of a series on Content Saturation. On Monday, I covered the exact opposite of this article and shared tips for what to do if you don’t have enough content. Although both articles are on the same subject, combined these two pieces were way too much to consume, so I split them up.
Does your content, language and the visuals fit the audience on each network you share it on? Or did you just schedule it to be the same across the board? Probably. Taking the time to repurpose and tailor your content to the network you are sharing it on will drastically increase engagement. You have to give before you get. Use the image above for a quick reference of how people are most likely to share information about an iPhone on different social networks.
When it comes to visuals, Instagram users may want a vintage feel, while Pinterest users want commercial-grade high quality photographs. Google Plus seems to have a thing for GIFs. Then there are the networks where visuals don’t matter much at all compared to communicating clean and professionally, like Linkedin.
“Content is king, but distribution is queen and she wears the pants.”
- Jonathan Perelman of BuzzFeed
Let's all work to do less with more focus in 2015. If you have a ton of content and aren’t getting the engagement you hoped for, don’t give up. In fact, take a moment to scale back on how much content you produce, evaluate what has previously succeeded and use that for future planning.
Another great idea is to spend more time effectively distributing your content than jumping the gun and creating new content right away. To believe that all you have to do is publish and they will come (WHO?) is a little selfish, don’t you agree? If you need help breaking it up, planning ahead, getting your content in front of more people and creating an effective content strategy, act now.