Mark Schaefer: In Content Marketing, Beware of ‘Digital Information Density’

By aiwpadminJanuary 19, 2016

by John Egan.


Here’s a startling prediction: From 2015 to 2020, the amount of content on the Internet will skyrocket by 500 percent. That forecast comes from marketing expert Mark Schaefer, who will be a keynote speaker on March 16 at LeadsCon Las Vegas.

Against that backdrop, Schaefer is issuing a warning: In a Web world awash with content, the tried-and-true approach to online content won’t cut it anymore. Why? Because, as Schaefer says, practically everybody — from businesses to schools to nonprofits to starry-eyed teens — cranks out content these days. He calls this phenomenon “digital information density.”

The persistent myth that surrounds much of marketing today is that content is king. And if you can just produce enough of this scintillating, ripped-from-the-headlines, epic and amazing stuff … dripping with keywords, stuffed to the headlines with relevance, decorated with Pinterest-worthy graphics and videos, and podcasts and listicles … you’ll win,” Schaefer writes in his fifth and latest marketing book, “The Content Code.”

He adds: “We’re stuck with a misconception that the most worthy content rises to the top, scorching the search rankings, and becoming a dazzling beacon for eager customers. And at one point, that was probably true.”

But it’s not true anymore, Schaefer says. “Creating great content is not the finish line. It’s the starting line,” he writes. “The imperative for your organization today is to unlock your content, unleash it, ignite it and somehow convert it to measurable business value within this shrill world of overwhelming information.”

In essence, Schaefer’s new book serves as a wake-up call for content creators. “While most marketers have understandably had their heads down producing content and building their audience, it’s time to look up again and see that we need to build a third competency — an ignition plan,” he writes.

Schaefer says that ignition plan, a strategy to ensure content is shared and consumed, relies on six components of a new “Content Code”:

  • Brand development.

  • Audience and influencers.

  • Distribution, advertising, promotion and SEO.

  • Authority.

  • Shareability embedded into each piece of content.

  • Social proof and social signals.

If you spell out the first letter in each of those bullet points, you come up with “BADASS.” As Schaefer’s book suggests, content marketers will need to adopt a badass attitude if they’re going to survive in today’s content-saturated universe.

To see Mark speak, click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2016.


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