I have a confession to make.
I’m a wanderer. I don’t only mean that I wander geographically, but professionally. I bet if you think about it this way, that you are too.
Have you ever found yourself in a conversation at a party where your focus drifts off to another conversation happening a couple feet away, even when the person you are talking to is chatting about things of interest to you?
I had this happen to me recently at a cocktail party.
I was chatting with someone about the impact of vertical video on social media. While I seemed engaged and was nodding my head, I was actually listening in on conversation a few feet away on butter. These folks were having a deep debate on butter, and whether they kept it on the counter or in the fridge.
A few moments later my wife came over and I introduced her as “my butter half” — so embarrassing, right? But I was thinking about it, and even though I was trying to filter out the butter conversation and focus on the person standing in front of me, I couldn’t.
I learned that researchers call this the “cocktail party effect” or selective hearing. Having this type of selective hearing is like a mini superpower, because all of us have this opportunity to be listening — even if only on the subconscious level — to our environment and our audience. We need to find what piques people’s interest but also the best position to stand in and be overheard. This is where distribution comes in.
The internet is the loudest cocktail party ever, and it’s not just sounds, but infographics, tweets, articles, and videos making it even more difficult to stand out.
The thing is, it’s all our fault.
Us… The marketers!
We have been preaching “create more content” because “content is king” and to produce constantly.
Well, the world has listened.
Content has become a commodity, and it has become easier to make it than ever before.
We have reached a saturation point, where good content is sinking to the bottom of the internet ocean. Quality content that you might have spent thousands of dollars and hours creating is now just part of the noise at the party.
Content is no longer king.
Google is scraping content and putting it directly into search. They will give you the answers, and there is no longer the need for a transaction to happen on a website anymore. Nobody needs to click on your link, no matter how much time and investment you put into making a product comparison or list of the healthiest foods for your skin.
Take a look at this:
Books showing up as carousel result in Google as well + shopping pushing organic pretty much below the fold pic.twitter.com/rXk8Kd6k8j
— Dan Shure (@dan_shure) February 17, 2017
Google eating away at more SERP space with a carousel for [foods to improve skin health] (sorry for the accidental bad pun) pic.twitter.com/iLf2ceqfgy
— Dan Shure (@dan_shure) February 20, 2017
— Dan Shure (@dan_shure) April 28, 2017
Google is displaying side-by-side product comparisons right in the SERPs. Between this and AMP I guess we don’t need websites anymore. pic.twitter.com/xEFMXLZHGd
— Ryan Sullivan (@ryandonsullivan) May 22, 2017
We need to redefine our strategy because of this.
It is becoming more and more challenging to come up with content that stands out.
One way to do this is to focus on content distribution.
This means taking content that we know resonates with people and doing everything we can to ensure that these pieces of content soar. We’ve got to get back to the hustle of content distribution. It’s the only shot we have to break through the noise.
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, said:
“Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.”
That’s a lot of cat photos… That’s a lot of news articles… That’s a lot of noise.
And in my latest talk at WistiaFest, I break down some of the things that you can do to distribute your content more effectively and give it wings as a whole.
Check it out and let me know what you think: