We all know the old saying, “what goes up, must come down.” But how exactly does this saying relate to content marketing? Right now, content marketing is exploding and is the hottest marketing trend in the marketing world for small, mid-size and large businesses alike, so what in the world are we talking about here? Yes, content marketing is the hottest trend, but does the supply of content now exceed the demand? In a recent post, Mark Schaefer says the answer is “yes.” Mark has coined the term “Content Shock,” defined when exceptionally increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.
The reason being is that although content is now available to consumers and readers all over the world on multiple gadgets, which include smartphones and tablets, as well as multiple social media networking platforms, there is only so much time in one day for individuals to consume this content. People have lives offline and they have limits to content consumption. Who knows, we may even live to see a day where people become completely burnt out from content consumption all together, finding themselves returning more-and-more of their time and attention to offline activities.
Of course, the Internet itself will not die out, but content consumption may begin to fizzle for these reasons and for other reasons, as well. One of these reasons is the fact that businesses, organizations, and blog owners are competing fiercely for organic traffic to their websites and blogs through the production of quality content. But although many business owners and organizations are competing for more readers, the businesses with the deepest pockets seem to win when it comes to grabbing this organic traffic. What does this mean for businesses, particularly the little guy?
The Evolution of Content
Through the evolution of the Internet over the years, marketers have evolved into the world of content marketing. Content marketing has become a necessity for business owners and organizations and almost everyone is now a content marketing expert. Businesses either seek outside assistance with content marketing or they have created their own in-house content marketing teams, because content marketing is a “must have” marketing trend in 2014. But what does the future hold for content marketers and content marketing? The future looks bright and a bit bleak.
The Demand and Consumption of Content
With so many business owners and bloggers floating around the Internet compared to the beginning when content marketing first kicked off, competition for organic web traffic is fiercer than ever. And who is the winner of this fight for more readers and exposure? The winner is the business or organization who can fork out the most dollars. This leaves the little guy standing in the big guys dust, but in the long-run this hurts the big guy as well.
Why does this hurt the big guy? Because every year it seems that business owners find more competition with content marketing and they have to up their game. Upping their game = more money spent on content marketing. The more money that you put into content marketing to keep readers equals an eventual loss of money.
When supply exceeds demand, we have a loss of money. This is a trend that seems to look bleak for the future of content marketing. If your business has to continue to spend more money on content marketing year-after-year, you need to plan ahead and have a backup plan in the event that you need to cut back on content marketing spending, or content marketing crashes and burns.
The Future of Content Marketing
Can you count on content marketing as a future sustainability strategy for your business? You might not want to rely solely on content marketing as a means for successful marketing. Every year, more competition enters the arena, which means that everyone in the arena of the Internet has to up their game. Again, the winner is the one with the biggest budget. But are you the biggest winner if you’re spending a fortune to gain this organic traffic? That will be for you to decide.
Have a Backup Plan
Maybe it’s time for a backup plan in the event that content marketing eventually takes a side step. There will always be a need for content marketing, but, again, supply is already beginning to exceed the demand. So what do you do? Have your backup plan. Don’t rely solely on results from content marketing, and, of course, focus on building and/or sustaining your brands reputation.
Create and sustain long-term relationships with consumers and readers that will keep them coming back for more. There is only so much marketing that a business can do and in the end, it’s up to the consumer as to where they spend their dollars or time. The consumer is going to go where there is trust and value. Focus on bringing trust and value to the table and don’t be disappointed if you’re not grabbing as much organic web traffic as you’d like. Remember, it’s not you – it’s the nature of the game.