Content Overload: Are We Really Providing Value?
Take all the data created from the beginning of man, every scroll, painting, book and scrap of music, up until 2003, digitize it, and you would have around 5 exabytes of data. Five exabytes equals five billion gigabytes! That’s really a lot of data! Amazing though that may seem, even more surprising is the fact that we now create five exabytes of data every two days! In fact ninety percent of all the world’s data has been created in just the past few years!
If you want to know from where all this data is coming look at the following statistics:
- Every day 294 billion emails are sent
- Every day 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook
- Every day 864,000 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube (98 years’ worth)
- Every day two million blog posts are written (this post is included among that number)
As content providers our goal is to provide good content every week but how is this possible with so much content being uploaded every minute? How will one’s voice be heard in an ocean where millions are shouting the same things at the same time? For example the “Careers” page on Business Insider at the time of this post has numerous articles covering pretty much the same subject.
- 7 Scientifically Proven Ways To Achieve Success In Life
- 5 Skills Workers Will Need to be Successful In the Future
- 7 Characteristics of Highly Successful People
- Royal Caribbean President Explains The 3 Things You Need To Advance In Your Career
Do you not see a bit of overlap in those four posts? All four articles share tips on how to be successful. Here are four more posts shared since November.
- 7 Valuable Leadership Lessons From Linkedin’s Billionaire Founder
- 19 Leadership Experts Share Their Single Best Tip
- 5 Leadership Lessons From A Failing Startup
- 9 Powerful Leadership Lessons From the US Military
I’m not picking on Business Insider, you will see more of the same on Forbes or Inc.com but you get the point.
Perhaps your awesome leadership article received one thousand shares on Linkedin but how many of those one thousand actually read your content? Maybe like a message in a bottle the reader determined they had no time to actually crack it open so they threw it back into the ocean to “share” with their friends on the next island over. The thrown bottle plunged into a current also carrying a hundred other bottles and as the reader turned they saw one hundred new messages floating in from the other side. Which will they actually open and which will they forward on to the next chain of islands? In our efforts to look knowledgeable we share content but how much of that shared content is read?
Think, what does the guy/gal on the Island really need? Do they need leadership lessons from Richard Branson or Mark Cuban advice which may be totally different from one another? No. They need leadership lessons specifically about leading on a desert island. Do they need lessons on how to achieve success in life or do they need lessons on how to succeed on a desert island? Desert island, correct? Granted not many people need desert island lessons but the ones who do are going to read that content and share it with others who also have a genuine need for the content. I think there’s a difference between providing content and providing value. A post with the title, “Eight leadership lessons from Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski” sounds great but it provides less value than a post entitled, “Eight Ways to Create a Championship Basketball Team”. Yes, the content appeals to a smaller audience, basketball coaches, however it is more relevant and valuable than a general fluff piece designed to appeal to everyone.
Target your posts and readers will be busting bottles to get at your content.