Content Shock – Episode 114

Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy…or, is it?

1:21 – This episode is based off an article by Mark Schafer, “Content Shock: Why Content Marketing is Not a Sustainable Strategy“.

2:00 – Mark believes we’re on the brink of “content shock”, a point where there is more content being produced than we have the ability to consume.

2:45 – By 2020, there will be more than 6X the amount of content being produced today.

3:13 – In 2009, most of the popular videos were from amateurs, but now most are from larger companies with big spends.

3:45Shell Holtz says this isn’t a real concern, there will always be enough people to consume the content.

4:15Nathan disagrees with “content shock”

4:30Jacob counters by suggesting that content is improving, pushing out competitors, making it more difficult to break through.

5:25Nathan: It’s a per-platform type of issue. Each platform will have different difficulty levels to breaking through.

6:00Paxton: We’re thrown off by stats on how much content sits online. Most content is produced by bots and is seen by no-one. That shouldn’t be included in the previous calculations.

7:10Paxton: The amount of good content on the internet remains the same as it was in the past. What’s growing is the amount of bad content.

7:45Paxton: Good content will rise to the top. It’s rare when really good content is buried and undiscovered.

8:23Jacob: At some point, there will be too much GOOD content for us to consume.

8:55Paxton: Your definition of good content is limited. Content that WAS good, isn’t good anymore simply because it’s old. Content has an expiration date, which means that we’re not going to reach that “tipping point”

10:30Jacob: The speed at which good content comes out will exponentially grow because you NEED to produce great content. People are learning that, and thus more great content is being produced.

11:25Paxton: Very few people have the ability to produce great content. Even though people know they need to produce good content, most people CAN’T.

12:05Brandon: The reason we visit sites is for the content. Content marketing will never die. It’s what motivates us.

13:00Brandon: Content marketing won’t die, types of content will.

14:03Brandon: Smart marketers will move on when different platforms get too crowded, which prevents us from hitting a tipping point.

14:45Jacob: In the article by Shell Holtz, he says that this isn’t the first time that someone said content will overwhelm a population (dating back to the bible), and it’s never happened yet.

17:02Jacob: If it’s based on platforms, then what’s the next platform?

17:24Brandon: 360 Videos.

18:24Paxton: The idea that we’re consuming more content then we’ve ever consumed is false. We’ve been consuming the same amount of information as we’ve always been.

19:11Nathan: That’s if you define information as visual stimulation to the brain. More information can register in your brain with differences in that stimulation.

20:00Paxton: The amount of information into your brain as you’ve always been. Makes a comparison with food and content.

21:09Paxton: The actual fear arises from the fact that our attention is splintered rather than the amount of content we’re consuming.

21:45Jacob: There’s a difference between active consumption and passive consumption. Different kinds of content affect us differently.

22:12Paxton: The point is that the amount of information we absorb has always been the same.

22:45Nathan: You can’t ignore the fact that we have more access to knowledge than we have ever had.

23:05Paxton: The idea that you can observe more now then you could before is false.

23:40Jacob: Tons of content is irrelevant. While there is a lot of content, people (consumers) are drawn to what they’re interested in. People naturally filter out what they don’t want to see.

24:58Nathan: But what if you can’t actually find the content you want to see? There’s decision overload.


Last Word

25:50Jacob: We don’t need to worry about content overload or content shock. If we get close to a tipping point, we’ll move on to another, less-crowded platform.

26:48Nathan: Moore’s Law. The speed of technology should double every year, and they find a way to do it regardless of physical limitations. That could apply to this idea of content shock and a content tipping point.

28:20Brandon: We consume content on social and search. It’s the admin’s responsibility on each platform to make sure users are getting good content. Marketer’s have nothing to worry about regarding content shock. Just don’t repeat your past practices until they don’t work. Keep innovating.

29:35Paxton: Not a fan of the article. Your time is better spent on learning how to tell a good story rather than worrying about content shock.

3 thoughts on “Content Shock – Episode 114

  1. Respectfully, you guys really missed the point of the article. The cost of being successful with content is going up, whether that comes from producing “better content” or paying for promotion. Is the cost of being successful moving content on Facebook the same as it was two years ago? Of course not. Will the bst content naturally rise like it did when there was less competition? Of course not. Why? There’s too much stuff. That’s content shock my friends. It’s happening everywhere.In fact, when you make the point of the need to produce more content, isn’t the strategy to CREATE content shock for your competitors? I appreciate the discussion and carrying the conversation forward.

    1. Hey Mark,

      Thanks so much for your comment. You are right, we didn’t really focus on the “cost” aspect of your article. It’s tough to stay on track and hit every point in a 30 minute episode (especially with an organic format). We will have to do a follow-up episode in an attempt to give “Content Shock” it’s fair shake. I think this is an important topic.

      Perhaps you’d consider coming on the show for that episode to make sure we hit all the relevant points. 🙂 We’d love to have you as our guest!

      Thanks again for engaging with us!

  2. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the episode Mark. I’m honestly thrilled that we have the chance to hear your thoughts on what we had to say.

    The main point I was trying to get at (I think Jacob is more on the other side), is that I think your model holds up when you limit the view to a specific platform, but it gets a little unstable when you look at mass communication as a whole.

    I agree that it’s much more difficult to get large, organic reach on Facebook now when compared to two years ago, but it’s pretty easy to get massive reach on Reddit with very little investment in either content or promotion. In two years, that probably won’t be true for Reddit anymore (and people who wield big budgets will win out), but there will be other platforms that are old enough to have a significant audience but young enough where it’s easy to break through.

    However, I suppose a counterpoint to my way of looking at this would be to bring up the fact that while there may be new platforms constantly popping up that manage to amass huge audiences, that doesn’t mean your specific target audience will be quick to adopt new platforms, forcing you to compete against big budgets for attention.

    I know you’ve done a lot of study and research on this topic and probably have some valuable insight regarding content shock. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Heck, if you have some time, we’d love to have you on the show to give you a chance to set us straight.

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