Apparently Rand Fishkin has been reading my blog posts (I wish), especially the recent one on Content Saturation. Today he blogged on why Content Marketers Could Become Their Own Worst Enemy. I can't say I disagree with Rand very often, but I think he, and others predicting doom and gloom for the content marketers of the world, may be missing the point.
Mr. Fishkin's premise is that we are reaching the inflection point on an exponential curve showing that creating content, even high quality content, will eventually become a losing proposition when it comes to marketing. I hope you don't mind, Rand, but I've reproduced the Doom Curve below.
We've been here before, folks. Remember a few years ago when everyone was predicting email would die because there was just too much spam? It didn't die, did it? We became really good at filtering, and the spam pretty much went away. Can-Spam came along, and marketers had to give you an easy way to opt-out, so when we get too much of a boring thing, we opt-out.
Fast forward a few years and we have the social media blitz. Now everybody complains their social streams are choked with garbage. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn got smart (along with a bunch of savvy entrepreneurs) and gave us tools for filtering out the nonsense and focusing on content we want to receive. So yes, we are rapidly nearing the content saturation limit most of us have, but is this really any different from email or social media?
As Rand points out, it's too early to panic. We're still on the shallow part of the saturation curve, but it's time to plan ahead. He predicts that even if we get off the "more is better" bandwagon and get on the "better is better" boat, eventually our efforts will be in vain due to the overwhelming volume of great content out there.
I couldn't disagree more. The problem isn't the sheer volume, it's the filters. We have to understand how to "make the cut" when it comes to subscribership by our audiences. Yes, we should adjust our content strategy to reduce the volume of marginal content and publish superior content that:
Do your homework. Don't assume anything. Go ask your audience (buyers, subscribers, friends, etc.) what kinds of content they like, how they like to consume it and how they find it. Now craft your content creation and distribution strategy around those preferences. Don't worry about the amount of traffic coming to your blog or the number of "eyeballs" in all of the channels. That doesn't matter anymore. What matters is reaching the right people who are looking for your content but are having trouble finding it because you are trying too hard to reach a mass audience and getting lost in the noise.
Sorry for the rant, Rand, but I think we need to stop flaming the content saturation bonfire and start doing some sensible planning for the future.
Image Credit - Moz.com - thanks guys!