As studies point to a decline in engagement rates, the focus should not be about the quantity of content marketing output; it should always be on quality.
Engagement rates are on the wane, according to a major study, which may cause a few brands to assess their content strategies, but the supposed phenomenon about “Peak Content” being an interesting theory.
In short, is there now so much stuff on the Internet that we’ve passed the point at which the world’s online content consumers can realistically discover, read/watch/listen and share, thus engagement rates have tailed off as our attention is spread over trillions of pages?
But if the amount of content per brand increased 78% in a single year then surely this point would come: there’s simply too much stuff, and a lot of it is probably rubbish.
The problem with engagement rates
Engagement can be a deceptive metric and sometimes something of a vanity metric, plus with the growth of so-called “dark social” apps such as WhatsApp and Snapchat, perhaps culturally people find it easier to share content privately.
Also add to that concerted efforts by Facebook to diminish organic visibility of Page content while pushing brands to pay for access. This is why Paid Media training is so important.
What I’d want to know is the outcome data:
- Are audiences clicking through?
- How long are they staying?
- Are they answering calls to action and giving the organisation permission to speak to them directly by following it on social, RSS or via email sign-up?
- How long did they watch the video before dropping off?
These to me are among the most important metrics of “engagement”, because I know that individuals have actually consumed the content and perhaps taken an action rather than perhaps retweet without even reading. We’ve all done that.
In short, less is more. Is it time you had a content audit and killed off some old content to help speed up your website (Google loves a speedy-loading site when it decides where to rank them)? Let’s get stick to content marketing best practice and remain relevant, interesting and to-the-point for our time-pressed target audiences.
As my former colleague Stephen Waddington says; “There’s enough crap on the Internet already, don’t add to it.”
If you’re interested in improving your online content, we can help you form a content strategy, and we also provide training on Writing for the Web, and SEO training for PR professionals and agencies.