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The state of digital content 2024

Marketing communication

Smashing through the content overload barrier

by Casey Schmidt  |  March 2, 2020

4 min. read
A man sleeping on his desk.

More doesn’t always mean better. This has never been more true than with digital content today. Upon first glance, it seems great that there’s so much potential content to consume. However, as you experience the massive content wealth daily, it becomes clear that it’s not as helpful as it should be.

Fortunately, with a little creativity and outside-the-box thinking, you can create content that defies stagnation. Essentially, it’s possible to build an abundance of material that reaches audiences and overcomes the content overload that dwarfs so many other new articles. Here’s how.

The unfortunate reality of content overload

The most important thing in transforming your marketing projects and campaigns to deliver content that stands out among others is understanding the concept of content overload. By learning and fully grasping it, we can figure out ways to defeat it.

A woman fights with an evil computer.
Understand content overload in order to overcome it.

Content overload is when too many different blog posts, articles, ideas and suggestions cover one specific area. This has a couple negative effects. For one, it creates a vast quantity of material concerning a topic, making it hard for anyone to stand out. Another problem is it turns off the potential audience, as they don’t want to sift through endless content to find a piece they like.

So what are some ways we can stand out?

Create real connections with the audience

The first thing to understand is that our potential audience has adapted to content overload. Similarly, we need to adapt to this reality and reach them in a whole new way. Making ‘safe’ articles that have shown mediocre results in the past is just fueling the already blazing content overload fire. It’s time to turn this new reality on its head and use it to our advantage.

A man using a megaphone to communicate with digital devices.
Attempt to make genuine customer connections.

Let’s begin with a new, direct focus on our potential audience. This focus needs to extend deeper and further than normal – as everyone already mostly focuses on their potential audience. Instead, we need to build an honest connection with whoever reads our content. They should feel as if they’re reading a piece that was written by someone just like them with similar interests and ideas.

This is going to take a lot of research, hard work and creativity. There’s a huge difference between genuinely connecting with readers and pandering to them. More importantly, our readers are going to sniff it out immediately.

Discover new ways to overcome content overload

The reality of beating content overload is that not everyone has all the answers and solutions. While there are some examples of success to follow, there are still plenty of undiscovered ways to go about this. Similar to creating new and exciting content that differentiates from the field, also look for different strategies that could help your content stand out. The reason some pieces stood out from the crowd to begin with was they were developed using a brand new strategy that no one had tried before. This type of innovation is the key to overcoming content overload.

A man overwhelmed on a computer.
Get creative to make a breakthrough.

That all being said, there are still some fantastic suggestions and ideas that could get you over the top. You absolutely should implement these established methods in order to boost overall content success. However, it’s important to look for ways to differentiate your methodology as well, whether it’s through structures, specific content styles or even aesthetics.

The future of digital content

A tipping point has already been reached with digital content. There are no longer untapped content resources and keywords waiting to be written about. This is the reality of our current situation. The only thing to do now is adapt. Instead of focusing on how we’ll break onto the scene of a new and exciting idea, we should rather focus on our competition and audience, working to separate ourselves from our peers in the eyes of our readers.

A woman frustrated by her laptop.
Plan for potential digital content changes in the future.

Another thing to monitor and form strategies for is how we will go about creating content when new technology and other ideas sprout up. This happens at a much slower pace now than years ago, since the important tech we use is much more established now. However, it does happen and we need to successfully stand out when creating pieces about it when it does.

So where do we go from here? Make sure to evaluate your content periodically. See how it’s performing and determine why it’s doing so in that manner. Detailed analysis and tech tools are your friend when trying to break free from the cycle of content overload. As long as you’re thinking about differentiating from the competition rather than falling in line and playing it safe, you’re bound to succeed.

To further your control over digital content, consider implementing a digital asset management system.