Just 60 years ago, we saw the birth of The Peace Movement, and The Beatles were proclaiming that “All You Need Is Love”. While we find ourselves still chasing the elusive dreams of Peace and Love, there is one thing we are certainly not short of in the backend of 2020.
The world is churning out blogs, podcasts, videos, and social media posts at an unprecedented rate. But while we’re all producing and publishing as much material as we possibly can, we seem to have forgotten the point of it all, mistaking copious amounts of content for a magic pill that automatically pays off every time it’s set live. As always, reality is somewhat different.
Putting content into perspective
The total number of websites online at the time of writing this article was 1,8 billion (and you can check the most recent real-time stats here). It’s true that only about 200 million of these site are currently active – but to put that into perspective, South Africa has a population of 58.8 million. (That equates to every person in the country owning 3.4 websites.)
Of these 200 million active websites, there are an estimated 56.5 billion web pages indexed by Google.
The internet is, quite literally, drowning in content.
What the marketing world needs
It’s safe to say that we don’t need more content. We do, however, need more good quality content. As a small business, there are several steps you can take to make your content something worth consuming.
- Know who you are. By defining your brand, you have a starting point as to what you should produce, and how you should be optimally conveying your message.
- Stop trying to be everything to everyone. Analyse what your audience has reacted to in the past, or the questions they’re asking now, and create something that is in line with what they’re looking for.
- Play to your strengths. Are you great in front of the camera? Make a video! Budding Pulitzer Prize winner? Write a blog. Like the sound of your own voice? Make a podcast. Find your niche and use that as a starting point.
- Stop regurgitating what your competitors have said. Nothing beats an original thought, but originality is hard work (and a dying art, in my opinion). If you are using someone else’s work as a starting point, make sure it’s full of unique insights, intelligent opinions, and interesting angles.
- Aim for quality over quantity. The internet is flooded with mediocre (and downright crap) content. If you can separate yourself from the goomf, you’re proving to your audience that you put careful thought into what you do.
- Don’t forget that content is just one piece (albeit an extremely important one) of the marketing puzzle. You need to have an all encompassing strategy that makes use of a variety of approaches and methods.
Be part of the content revolution
As our focus shifts from reflecting on the lessons of 2020 to planning for 2021, I implore you to stop churning and start making something that creates value for both your audience and your business. It’s a long road and tough fight, but much like Peace and Love, it’s worth it.