Content Shock and the Search for Impact

So now you’ve done a bit of research and found that not only is your market saturated with content, but you’re up against some “heavy hitters”. Competition seems hopeless and you don’t see how you can make any real headway. Well, there are three tactics you can use that can provide you some leverage and opportunity.

  • Focus on sub-categories –  Dig a bit deeper into your market and audience research. Are there under-served or unrecognized subsets coming into the market? Start building the content plan to deliver amazing stuff for them.
  • Explore different kinds of content –  There are three types of content that, when combined together in an ideal mix, are wildly successful in building an long-term, engaged audience.
    • Hygiene content: “Hygiene” refers to content that addresses the daily health of your audience. It helps make them aware of you and connect to you when they need you most. It is usually specific, short-form material and most likely to show up in organic search. A couple of examples would include a series of how-to videos from a do-it-yourself hardware store or an infographic comparing types of green vegetables’ nutritional value from a health food store.
    • Hub content: Hygiene content may get someone to your site, but Hub content is aimed at keeping them there. This could be a variety of things, but might include more in-depth articles you have written about a topic, a series of stories by customers about an appropriate experience, or archived podcasts that you’ve produced and published. It could also be “evergreen” content that folks seem to be consistently attracted to and return to read regularly.
    • Hero content: As the name implies, Hero content transcends your regular content. It is brilliant, dramatic, surprising and amazing. This is the content that “wins the Internet”! It is shared widely, linked to by innumerable other sites and blogs, and stirs buzz for a long time with a large audience. This content is well-planned, well-funded and optimized for impact.

It’s important to understand the roles that each of these kinds of content have in your overall plan. Your research will help you identify where your opportunity is per category in capturing the niche where you have the most leverage possible.

  • Focus on social transmission –  Here’s where most companies fall down. They do the research. They identify and build the appropriate kinds of content for their niche audience(s)….and then neglect to “light a fire under it”! The old saying is, “If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?”. The same goes for your content. This is NOT the “Field of Dreams“….there is NO guarantee that if you build it, they will come. People have to see it, share it, comment on it, or engage with it some way. If not, you’re wasting your money and resources.

Put your attention on exposing and amplifying your content instead of just cranking out more and more. This is a critical marketing skill that will differentiate you in the land of content shock.

This series of Content Shock posts is based on my reading and interpretation of Mark Schaefer’s book “The Content Code”. As we go through this together, feel free to and your insights to the comments below or on the Social Sapiens Facebook Page.

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