Overexposed: Is Too Much Content Marketing Bad?

By Toby Reed

A few days ago my wife deactivated her Facebook account. She told me she didn’t like the way it made her feel. Specifically, the polarizing comments made by people she was ‘friends’ with online. Facebook had lifted the veil on some people and opinions that in hindsight she had rather not been lifted. In addition, it had provided this platform for people, often non-expert on the topic they were writing, to preach or proliferate negative, hateful, or divisive opinions. Pile on top of that videos and photos depicting horrific atrocities and she had simply had enough. I understand completely where she is coming from. The onslaught of videos, memes and messages (both mobile and at home) frankly becomes tiring. Fatigued; you simply want to step away, unplug, and escape. But what about businesses? Can marketers overwhelm the senses of their potential customers too? Could they be fatiguing their brand? Could they be OVEREXPOSED?

Overexposed Marketing?

I know what you are thinking. Overexposed? Come on Toby, my brand hardly has the buzz of Pokemon Go, how could I be overexposed? After all, it is a Herculean task simply to get noticed with so much competition online these days. And you are right. Compared to traditional marketing channels before the internet, when much of the marketing space was reserved for more established brands, marketers had fewer competitors and more face time with consumers. But the internet has changed all that. With its low cost of entry and massive reach the internet has leveled the playing field when it comes to  marketing goods and services for companies of all sizes and marketing budgets. That makes the task of promoting your own brand that much more difficult. With the average person being barraged by an estimated 500 marketing messages per day a marketer’s task is as much about being noticed as it is converting customers.

But marketing ultimately is about the customer.  So we need to view our actions through their prism. Through their eyes. How do they view your brand? Are you a ‘disruptor’ or an ‘interruptor’? (see my post on the difference between the two here). Are you contributing to a conversation with your customer along their ‘buyer’s journey’or simply hitting them over the head with your content? My point being that as much as the internet and content have changed the marketing and sales landscape, fundamentally the sales and marketing process is still the same. A Buyer and a Seller need to agree to do business together. You cannot simply keep pushing content at buyers until they cry ‘Uncle’! This is how you risk overexposing your brand and subjecting your customer to what Mark Shaefer calls “Content Shock” or more simply brand fatigue.  Because we have more access, more data, and more tools to reach our customer now does not mean we can circumvent the buyer in the equation. They are essential to the process and it is their viewpoint that needs to be the marketer’s focus.

Customer-centric Marketing

So marketers do me this favor. When you are crafting your brilliant and creative marketing plans. When you are drafting your content, creating your ‘calls to action’, and deciding on which channels to allocate budget funds to in order to achieve maximum ROI; please, please, please remember your customer's vantage point. Then ask how your customer will view your brand as you execute those plans. Will you be viewed as a trusted, authoritative, thought leader in your product/service field…a Disruptor? Or will you be a loud mouth standing on a soap box, misinformed about your customer, lacking any real relevance in your message…an Interruptor?

Ultimately, these are important questions to ask. Because the former builds trust, drives engagement, and convert leads. While the latter is met with adblocks, frustration, and ultimately loss of customers. So be thoughtful about your marketing approach and how it fits your buyer's journey. Or just like my wife who deactivated her Facebook account, your customers could ‘deactivate’ your brand.

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