Content Shock - Have We Reached Overload?

At last week's 'Content Marketing World' event in America, the hottest debate topic was “Is The Death Of Content Marketing Imminent?”

The backdrop for the debate came from an article written back in January this year, by Mark Schaefer titled Content Shock: Why Content Marketing Is Not A Sustainable Strategy.”  At it's heart, Mark's view was that:

"When supply exceeds demand, prices fall. But in the world of content marketing, the prices cannot fall because the “price” of the content is already zero — we give it away for free. So, to get people to consume our content, we actually have to pay them to do it, and as the supply of content explodes, we will have to pay our customers increasing amounts to the point where it is not feasible any more."

 Photo:   Tomás Fano

In a previous post on the Knowledge Hub, we commented on the findings from the Content Marketing Institute survey which showed that fewer companies reported using content marketing in their mix this year. They reported a drop from 93% last year, to 86% this year.

This was attributed to a change in the definition of what content marketing means to:

"..a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and ultimately drive profitable customer action.”

The important change this year was the addition of the phrase "drive profitable customer action"

We view this as a sign that content marketing is maturing, and becoming more accountable. We agree that there has been a glut of content with increasing drops in quality. However, we also believe that the market will self-balance. As content shock sets in, it will become a survival of the fittest. Only the most relevant, quality content will engage audiences and show a commercial return. The rest will be ignored, and eventually have it's funding pulled.

So that's our view on the topic of content shock. Here's another blog article on the topic by the ever thought-provoking Heidi Cohen, which collects the opinions of 24 content marketing experts.

What do you think?