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Content Shock Is a Real Phenomenon

Have content creators produced more than customers can chew? Not if the content is easy to read, engaging and solves the reader’s problem.

Two years ago, Mark Schaefer, a respected commentator on marketing content trends, coined the term “content shock” in a blog post that outlined why content marketing might not be a sustainable strategy for businesses.
Much of his argument is based on the basics of supply and demand. There is an “exponentially exploding” supply of content while the demand for content is flat, he writes.
The amount of content we consume daily has grown from two hours a day in the 1920s – the old days of daily newspapers and radio – to nearly 11 hours per day fueled by our use of all sorts of mobile devices, according to Nielsen and other sources. But, really , how many more hours a day can audiences devote to consuming content?
“The merging marketing epoch defined when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our human capacity to consume it,” writes Schaefer in his blog post.
He argues brands will need to “pay” consumers to encourage them to see the same amount of content — by “pay” he means content creators need to supply better content, which takes more time to create, and they may have to “pay” for advertising on Facebook and other social media platforms to make sure you see the content.
Last November, Schaefer wrote a follow up blog post that companies are, in fact, spending money to promote their content on social media channels like Facebook just to get it in front of customers. Schaefer writes about a company producing unique, engaging content that can’t get as many shares on social media as it once did.
Well, unless content is seen and shared it has no economic valuet.
Schaefer ends his blog post with a plug for his book, “The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business,” which promises to help businesses to do more than just create good content, but also ignite their audience to share their content. (Perhaps he created the term “content shock” to sell more books.)
As content creators, we all know the key to creating content that is seen, shared and ultimately nurtures sales is to produce content that achieves four things:

  • Solves a problem for the consumer
  • Provides an authoritative voice
  • Offers a fresh perspective to an old idea
  • Entertains and educates the reader

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