Any modern day small business owner will be familiar with the concept of “Content Marketing”. We’ve heard it time and time again, “Content is King”. It is a fact that content marketing is a critical part of modern business growth, but few realise that it can also be the undoing of any young business.
Content is there for a reason – it is there to help an audience identify with your brand and link their problem to you as their problem solver. It is there for informing and supporting – not for single funnel sales broadcasts and death by drowning in unwanted drivel about the social life of the CEO.
It is as easy for someone to leave your network or list as it is for them to join them, and contact attrition is a very costly business.
So – what are the dangers of content overload?
We put these into three areas –
Irrelevancy and trust
Overwhelm and blindness
GDPR and compliance
Irrelevancy and trust
All content in a marketing perspective needs to be highly relevant at an individual level. Relevancy in issue, time and logical steps. For more detail about these three points, see our blog post – The 3 R’s of content marketing
If you lead someone into a post or onto a webpage and give them a link that lands them on a generic page or article – you’ve quite simply lost them. Every step you provide to a contact must keep them on the same subject trail in order to keep them on the right logical path to seeing you as the answer to their issue at hand.
Using quick fix click-bait and irrelevant, unrelated blasts of content about “company news” or information on a separate product you’re trying to segue into conversation and share air time with will just lead to mistrust. It will smell like a sale, and everyone knows when they’re being sold to, and within a few clicks they will have “unsubscribed”.
Nurturing content is there to build trust, let the reader learn that you know your stuff, mean what you say and are genuinely helpful before selling a product. They are looking to research and learn, not purchase at this time, so keep relevant to their search criteria, and build that trust.
Overwhelm and blindness:
If your audience hasn’t unsubscribed while you’ve been sending constant streams of content to them, the next issue is simply overwhelm. Too much information from a source leads to a sense of panic or a chore. Your email or article may get flagged in their in-box or filed somewhere, but the thought of having to sit and sift through all the content to find what they really need is daunting and guess what, will never get done.
The consequence is that the reader doesn’t even look at the subject line of your emails the next time they come in – just sees who it’s from and leaves it till later. Then even when you send an amazing offer of 90% off or free trial, they just won’t see it. They will be blind to what you’re saying, and your content send cost remains the same or rises as your list grows, but the content is not doing anything to help you drive more sales or understand where your audience is in their buying cycle.
GDPR and compliance
Finally – yes it’s time to raise the hairy subject of GDPR.
If you are constantly sending information out to a contact, who opted into an offer related to product A, but your news is generic or about a different product, you are in fact in breach of GDPR. You need to be very clear when communicating in a nurture sense to a data list, that the individual has given you permission to talk to them about your industry or subject matter as a whole, and not just given you permission around a specific product / offer or topic.
Unfortunately, it's no longer possible to use these concepts of simple “online list building” business tactics, such as:
offer a free product
send a few mini-courses
then drive for a sale
You have to earn the right to “relevantly” market to an audience and be able to legally prove you have the right to do that.
You earn that right by giving your audience what they asked for, not spamming them and being completely irrelevant at an individual contact record level. The question is – how do you do that?
Well, the answer is:
A good content modelling process
And a robust, scalable systems to support logical distribution of your content according to the audience requirements.
So now that you understand content overkill can kill a businesses reputation of trust, it’s time to think more about how and what you’re creating for content, what the purpose of each piece of content is and how you’re going to distribute it.