The theory that content supply will outstrip demand is not entirely outlandish, but such a scenario has yet to unfold and should not stop marketers from creating more relevant and compelling content, GetCRAFT’s top executive said.
“Content shock is not really a myth. There might come a time when content consumption will flatten out,” GetCRAFT Co-Founder and Group CEO Patrick Searle told his audience at the Content360 2018 conference in the Philippines April 26.
He was referring to a theory that the content landscape will be oversaturated such that content marketing or production will no longer be cost-efficient. Content shock posits that there will be more content than audiences can consume.
“But content shock is definitely a disconcerting reality. We’ve gone increasingly sophisticated at content distribution and hypertargeting but we’re not producing high-quality content,” he added. “In effect, we’re distributing spam.”
Searle’s arguments against content shock were simple: demand for content has been on the uptrend; content has been too focused on limited channels; and marketers have yet to hurdle the challenge of making content production easy.
The GetCRAFT co-founder pointed to data showing the continued rise of internet users globally to some 4.021 billion. “Also, up until late 2017, Facebook has continuously been iterating its algorithm so you see more content,” he added.
The combination of a growing audience base and the capability to target them has encouraged marketers to keep producing content distributed on social media. So much so that it has started to work to their detriment, Searle said.
“We ended up drunk on targeted reach, especially through social media,” he said, when in fact social media tends to cover only consumers at the beginning of a typical path to purchase identified by Google’s Zero Moment of Truth.
Overemphasis on social media has been aggravated by several platforms’ admission that they may have promised advertisers bloated reach figures. “This meant that not all of our spending on social media bore fruit,” he added.
Searle observed that marketers seem to have learned their lesson and have been reassessing spending priorities. GetCraft data in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, suggest increasing emphasis on content marketing.
But Searle lamented that even when marketers are keen on producing high-quality content, they are hampered by lack of skills and resources to do so, an assertion backed by a GetCraft survey about the challenges content marketers face.
Even when they admit to lacking the expertise, marketers end up trying to do content marketing in-house, Searle said, because “in the era of Uber, Zomato, and AirBNB, marketers and content creators still can’t find each other.”
The discoverability issue in the creative industry is a problem GetCraft hopes to address through its newly launched Marketplace, which connects brands and agencies with more than 4,000 writers, videographers, photographers, designers, influencers, and publishers.
Besides allowing marketers to directly hire freelance creatives or creative entrepreneurs, the platform also provides them with benchmarks that they can use to measure return on investment, another pain point content marketers identify.
Searle cited GetCRAFT data that majority of marketers are unsure about the effectiveness of digital campaigns. “In your defense, big platforms don’t make it easy to measure effectiveness. This is an industry-wide problem,” he said.
One channel that Searle vouches for is sponsored content—paid content co-created with and distributed through either publishers or influencers. A factor that makes it effective, he said, is the fact that cost includes both content production and distribution.
He also highlighted figures from Nielsen, suggesting high consumer trust in influencer recommendations and editorial content. “With trust directly linked to brand credibility, sponsored content is a powerful brand-building tool,” Searle said.