There are only 24 hours in a day. The amount of time we can spend consuming content is obviously limited. Still, more and more people and companies produce more and more content because we believe this is the most efficient way to reach people.
It can look a bit like this:
This means shitloads of content if you excuse my plain French. Shitloads of content that never gets read. And that’s the game we’re in right now.
Social media application company Buffer wrote a refreshingly honest post about their “social media failure” on Medium where I borrowed the above pic.
I was immediately drawn to the headline “We’ve Lost Nearly Half Our Social Referral Traffic in the Last 12 Months”. Most content marketers say headlines should be something like: “8 ways to improve your blog traffic” but here we have a headline that is centered around the company and how they have failed.
It’s so honest that I’m sure this will be their best social media campaign so far.
But is it enough to engage?
Buffer sourced Mark W. Schaffers blog post Content Shock which says that the demands on the quality of our content is increasing every year and that forces us to pay more and put more effort into reaching the same number of people.
Sounds pretty negative doesn’t it? But in a way it just shows us how we evolve and how our requirements (and lives) constantly change. People need to prioritize their time and look for the easiest way to consume information. A lengthy blog post is usually not the answer.
So how does Buffer propose how to tackle their social media/content issue and create better and more engaging content to satisfy our increasingly demanding tastebuds?
There are a few ideas on their table:
1. Pay for reach. Paying for social media reach can be very effective if you do it right. Believing in the viral super hit isn’t feasible. Which I also write about here.
2. Connect better with their audience. You do this by creating engaging content and opening up for dialogue. Many companies are trying to create awesome content but a lot of them forget about inviting and inciting conversation. It’s social media.
3. Make it easy for people to share content. This is basic stuff, but every improvement in the “share journey” can make a difference.
4. Design beautiful, shareable visuals. They’re saying Instagram is the most “positive” social media and for sure the most growing the last few years. Pictures are easy to scroll through and consume. And everybody likes puppies.
These four suggestions are all good and will help, but you also need to make sure you bring something new to the table. Most internet content is just regurgitating old stuff, with the idea of hopefully improving it and putting your touch on it.
Sort of like this post.