Why 50% of Content Fails & What to Do About It

Two years ago, Mark Schaefer coined the term “content shock.” It accurately depicts the state of the market today – there’s a higher supply of content than there is demand for. What does this mean? There’s an overload of content and not enough engagement. It’s a nightmare for any brand that relies on content marketing. Thankfully, SEO companies in Los Angeles are doing the math and learning why user engagement is down. A study analyzing one million articles showed that half of the content received 8 shares or less and even fewer links.

This is discomforting news for any SEO agency in Los Angeles. But it doesn’t mean the end for content marketing. What it comes down to is figuring out how to become a part of the other 50 percent that is doing well. To do this, we have to identify the root of the problem.

The Diagnosis

Let’s take a closer look at the findings of the analysis of one million posts. It showed:

  • Half the content received 8 shares or less
  • 75 percent received zero referring domain links
  • 75 percent received less than 40 shares

From these numbers, shares are easier to get than links.

why 50%

In the research findings released by Moz, 42 percent of blog posts professionally marketed received 9 or less interactions.

So Why is Content Failing?

First thought that comes to mind is that a lot of the content is poorly produced, and isn’t considered share-worthy. But is it possible that half of content production is low quality? Not likely. There was a time when great content was shared easily because there wasn’t an overabundance of exceptional articles like there are today.

Competition has risen, which means you need to do a lot more than write well. Even popular websites are suffering from content shock. Buffer recently admitted losing half of their social traffic. Obviously, it wasn’t because their content quality plummeted. It could be that there’s too many other similar topics out there or just too much other stuff to read and watch. It all comes down to testing different methods to see what works and what doesn’t, because what was successful last year may no longer be applicable the next year.

The same issues are being seen on a variety of other sites besides Buffer as well, including Copyblogger and Social Media Examiner.

why 50% of content

What’s Fueling Content Shock

There are three common mistakes found associated with the content shock issue, resulting to lower user engagement:

  • Lack of amplification
  • Lack of research (identifying what content resonates with the audience)
  • Lack of monitoring and tracking trends

So what you need to do is the exact opposite.

Conduct Research

There’s a lot of pressure on content marketing teams to keep pushing out content. But little focus is given to research. Knowing what resonates with your readers is important and is literally the deal maker or breaker. You have a better chance of engagement if you are answering questions your audience and prospects have.

Implement an Amplification Strategy

You know what resonates with your audience, but without amplification, they may never find it. You need to spend more time amplifying/promoting your posts, so that people can find it in the midst of all this content noise. You need an outreach strategy and social media marketing plan, which are services that can be obtained from an SEO company. According to Shareaholic, majority of Internet traffic today stems from social networks. Facebook alone drive more than 25 percent of Internet traffic. Make sure you’re spending equal, if not more, time on amplification as you do on content creation.

Monitor What’s Going On

Social media is like the ocean and you’re the surfer. You want to ride the biggest waves (trends), so that you can get max visibility and credibility. But the only way to find these waves is to pay close attention to what’s happening on the Web. The bad news is that trends are just like waves – they don’t last long. So you need to get in before they peak and die down.

SEO companies in Los Angeles specialize in content marketing, social media promotion and web design – all of which can help with building traffic and user engagement.


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