We let the facts do the talking.

Content Shock: Navigating the Era of Information Overload in Marketing

The Definition

Content Shock: The emerging marketing epoch defined as when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.

Mark Schaefer, the author of multiple best-sellers educating readers on digital marketing, keynote speaker, business consultant, and a holder of many other notable titles, introduced a beautiful concept that is set to revolutionise marketing tactics in 2019 – The aforementioned content shock.

Per his definition, content shock is more of an economic transaction – think supply and demand. There’s an increase in content output and a noticeable decline in consumption which leads to a grey area of overlooked material that, as a result, is quite uneconomical.

This extends beyond the realm of public relations and into the digital world where brands are now struggling for space, much like the case with newspapers. The material layout in the online world is overcrowded with information and it’s an uphill battle to stay relevant and visible. To quote Mark Schaefer: “The global warming of content marketing is in view.” On Facebook, for example, there’s an overload of content due to stories, video posts, sponsored content, and advertisements. An average user sees over 2,000 stories a day which is contributing to the lack of consumption. Simply put, it’s all too much!

What we can’t quite settle is the quality-over-quantity argument – Are content creators meant to saturate the output in order to salvage the current consumption decline?

The Fix

Following The Definition¸ let’s focus on the solution or the way forward. How do you talk to a digitally-savvy generation that absorbs their content through screens without invading their online space? Unlike the world of real estate, it isn’t about location, location, location. We’re running out of virtual space, so let’s ration shall we?

Every market, however saturated it may seem, has its vulnerability. With regards to content shock, there is an approach that will help identify untapped areas, garnering desired exposure for clients as well as reaching the relevant target audience.

Consider looking for an uncontested territory within the shared virtual space – Think about where you can place your content so it reaches the right audience on the right medium with a directed call-to-action?  Remember, you’re not the only one, so be smart about how you get noticed. Even try building on your online presence through (don’t’ say it, don’t say it, don’t say it) influencers.

Irrespective of how you feel about them, they’re an underrated communication medium with their own unique purpose.  Brands have tried technology and print among a host of platforms to get noticed, however, a human connection is always missing, leading to detachment and doubt.

A likeable, relatable person who demonstrates a product’s function and value engagingly is all you need at times.

Let’s head into this beautiful new year with a commitment to re-assess and re-evaluate our content requirements. Do we need to share mass news or can it be targeted?

Information density, it’s a real fear, folks!

Riya Vatnani is Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. |