The Age of "Content Noise"
We need to have a serious conversation with ourselves as business owners and as digital marketers. We need to sit down and ask ourselves some “back to square one” questions:
- Who are we?
- What is our message?
- What value are we adding to our respective industries and customers?
- Who are we trying to reach?
- How do we reach them?
- At the end of the day, what are we trying to achieve?
These questions seem very basic and fundamental in question, but in practice, they seem to be unanswered, wading in a sea of confusion. I say this because content on the internet has hit an all time high, but not for the right reasons. It’s no secret that we live in an age of mass content. I mean, MASS content. Everywhere you turn - there’s content.
I don’t want to be misunderstood in saying content is a bad thing. It’s not. In fact, you need it now more than ever, but content these days seems to be created for the pure sake of being created. There’s no clear goal or audience. It’s the digital equivalent of throwing everything you got against a wall hoping it will stick. SEOs and digital marketers alike are telling their clients and bosses, “We need more content!” But the “why” in creating content seems to be the missing link.
Instead of driving a Humvee, we need to be driving a GPS loaded, economically friendly Hybrid. I need to know where I am going, and I don’t need the extra “fat” to weigh me down getting there when it’s necessary or providing value.
Content Is A 24/7 Industry
In preparation for this post, I was reading a study that was put out by ACI Information Group discussing the amount of content created by the minute on the internet. The numbers are truly astounding, and keep in mind, these statistics are by the minute (and these are from 2014 - they've only gone up):
- YouTube uploads 72 hours of new video
- There are over 200,000,000 emails messages sent
- Google receives over 4,000,000 search queries
- Facebook users share 2,460,000 pieces of content
...and these are four out of the 15 data points available in this piece. Content is nonstop and it can be hard to distinguish between valuable content and content that can be left alone to widdle away.
But that begs the question, “What is content noise and how do I know when I am seeing it?” To me, “content noise” is encountering a piece of content that doesn’t live up to the offer or value it’s portraying in it’s title or description. It’s a waste of my time in that it didn’t offer me anything new or offer insights. It exists and that’s about all it has going for it. I know when I encounter it
So, I reached out to some of Marcel’s favorite industry writers, authors, researchers, and all around smart people, and asked them the following question:
How do you define "content noise" and how do you know when you’ve seen it?
Enjoy their answers below!