‘Content shock’ is real. And it’s happening faster than we think.
We’re reaching a point where the volume of online content is outweighing our human capacity to consume it. The rate at which content is being produced and published is doubling every nine to 24 months. And as a result, organic visibility is suffering.
So what can you do to future-proof your content?
If you want to stand out, you need to do just that: stand out.
It’s easy to fall into the misconception that if you focus on more esoteric subjects, you'll gain more visibility, but keywords are still crucial to maximising your SEO efforts - and with keywords comes competition.
Found a topic you want to cover? Could you flip it on its head entirely and offer your audience a new angle - something they’ve not yet read? Sustainable content is shareable, engaging, but most of all valuable. Something that encourages readers to share and bookmark it. Another way to attack this: try and find the best piece of content about this subject online and outdo it. Start creating 10x content.
Create a Pillar Page
Pillar pages are not a new concept. But they are more recently being leveraged by top content marketers as a way of positioning a brand as an absolute authority on a topic.
Firstly, identify your core topic (you could have more than one of these). Create a topic cluster of supporting subtopics, then consolidate all of the supporting internal (and external) content into one web page which will become a resource 'hub' for this subject. This might include links to internal blogs, infographics, videos, charts etc.
Yes, the days of only keeping content 'above the fold' are gone, but studies show that 90% of website visitors prefer to read our lengthy content in a PDF as opposed to a website page. So by doing this, you also create a conversion opportunity, since you can package all of the content into a gated format such as an ebook.
A pillar page will also act as a central link magnet within your website, allowing you to establish a strong link-chains with external thought leaders, while cementing your reputation as an authority.
Do not fear change
Albert Einstein once said something along the lines of ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.’
The same is true with this content promotion.
If sharing content on LinkedIn is not working, for example, ascertain exactly where your audiences are searching for content, and change your focus to other channels.
Likewise, new formats could bolster your content efforts. If blog views are dwindling, perhaps your audience now prefer to consume video content. There's an abundance of methods available for knowledge sharing, and different personas will be accustomed to different channels and formats. Try not to get stuck in a rut, and encourage other members of your team to branch out with new and exciting methods of content promotion and delivery.
Keep an eye on trends
In the world of B2B, it can be easy to get buried in sector-specific material, but it's important to take some time out now and then to assess what's happening not just outside of your market, but outside of your industry. Is there anything that's working well for others that could be tweaked and applied to your strategy?
Remember, trends occur for a reason. Because people are heavily favouring them. Notice where readers are funnelling towards, and leverage the technique in your own strategy. Things like SEO are changing almost daily. And up and coming trends such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, voice searches can vastly impact the success of your content visibility. You might not necessarily have to make huge changes, but just recognising them and re-evaluating your content in accordance could be enough to propel you in front of less savvy competitors. However, trends are often short-lived, so it's vital you keep your eyes peeled for 'the next big thing.'
Review your strategy quarterly
Condensing your efforts into 90-day segments allows you to spot problems early and realign your efforts to keep a consistent level of steady results, or even better, exceeding results.
With a quarterly calendar, you can look at harnessing seasonal marketing trends, industry-specific events or pain points that are pertinent to that time of year.
More importantly, trends are evolving, and technology is progressing. Quarterly reviews are a sure fire way for you to keep amplifying and refreshing your strategy to keep things relevant and, yes you've got it - future proof!
If you're diligent and avoid getting complacent, you surely will avoid falling victim to content fatigue.
It's an unavoidable truth that the fight for attention in the ubiquity of online content will always be a challenge for marketers. But knowledge is the key to staying one step ahead. The best thing to do is keep an open mind. Attend seminars, read blogs (the good ones!), and keep your ears and eyes open for ways to rev-up your content strategy, and keep content shock at bay.