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What is ‘content shock’ and why you need to know about it

Over the past 5 years, we’ve become more accustomed to the notion of Content Shock. Social media channels are becoming immersed with hundreds of thousands of brands and businesses mass-sharing content from websites and blogs. Facebook alone have stated that typically one person could be exposed to over 1,500 stories from friends and pages they’ve liked in one day, let alone every other social media platform. It’s shocking to think how much information that would be for one person’s brain to process if they read each story from beginning to end, right? At this point, Content Shock comes into play.

To combat the absurd amount of posts that Facebook see on a day to day basis, they moderate what you see. While the content is still there for anyone to go and view, it won’t necessarily be on your news feed. It does boil down to a simple case of supply and demand. It’s economics 101; when there’s too much supply, prices fall. The ultimate question is, how much are we willing to “pay” our consumers’ attention?

Logically, there are only so many hours in the day, so there’s a limit on how much time we can spend online. Although over the years the average amount of time we spend on social media has risen dramatically, it has to stop eventually because we simply do not have the time. While supply rises daily, demand has plateaued and there is a gulf between this demand and excess supply.

Consider engagement rates, there are cases of businesses having an organic reach of between 20-30% just 3 years ago but post-content shock, it’s plummeted to less than 5%. While their content may not have changed, if anything it could have improved technological changes and better targeting, their organic reach is still minimal.

How do we overcome content shock?

There’s a lot of speculation surrounding how we overcome it. With a saturated market, your content could be top class and better than all of your competitors, but that won’t matter if no one sees it. A lot of marketing today does come down to the amount of money you’re willing to spend, and typically those with a bigger budget do have better engagement rates. However, those in a niche industry can use this to their advantage; if there’s little to no supply in your niche, dominate it. Utilise Content Shock to take advantage of the lack of supply. Before major competitors arrive, try to answer the questions in our selected area. New brands will be forced to dig deep to counter your position, and temporarily, you could stave off a threat in your market.

Content Shock cannot be avoided, while content gets better the demand is still at the same level and is very unlikely to increase significantly. So the question still stands, how much are we willing to “pay” our consumers to look at content?

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Niamh Taylor

I am the Founder and CEO of Digital Twenty Four. I’m an award winning digital marketer who took a risk, and left the safety of a well-paid, super safe in-house head of marketing role to launch Digital Twenty Four in May 2015. But -it was a risk worth taking because I now own a brilliant company, with a brilliant reputation, and with the best humans working within it. And an award-winning digital marketing expert with over 20 years experience in marketing.