If you read our blog regularly, you know we’re big fans of high quality, educational online content that companies and causes can use to educate and engage their target audiences. As more organizations have embraced content marketing as a tool for getting on their target audiences’ radars, getting one’s content in front of the right people has become an increasingly competitive process. The high volumes of original content being generated on a wide range of topics from small business accounting to how to showcase thought leadership assets from the Fortune 500 C-suite – not to mention lighter but also widely searched topics like cute baby animals and the Ryan Reynolds Super Bowl 50 ad – can lead to content fatigue. Yes, there really can be too much good information out there on a particular topic.
How do you avoid content fatigue and ensure your online audiences are receiving both the right quantity and topics of information from your organization? It all starts with knowing the tell-tale signs of TMI:
Stagnant or declining social media engagement levels
Some social media content is easier to engage with than others – take liking a photo on Facebook vs. writing a well thought out comment in response to a lengthy and highly technical blog post. That said, audience loyalty is powerful and companies and causes alike need to have their antennae up for decreases in social media engagement. Stagnant engagement levels can also flag cases of TMI as it often indicates even your most loyal audiences aren’t sharing your content with their own communities, thus expanding the reach of your information.
Declining email marketing open rates
For many organizations, email marketing is the holy grail of online marketing. Why, you ask? Because when people opt-in to receive information from an organization it flags an appetite for further engagement and education. It also means your organization is a known – and, typically, trusted – source of information, thus increasing the likelihood your emails will get opened.
If you notice your email open rates have been steadily declining, don’t automatically assume your audiences are saturated with information. First and foremost, experiment with A/B testing on both email subject lines and distribution dates/times. Also take the opportunity to note any trends in the types of emails that typically have the highest open and click thru rates. All of this data can help with refining your email marketing strategy.
If A/B testing and further review of your email marketing analytics point to content fatigue as the source of these declines, consider deploying a short 3-5 question electronic survey to your opt-in email list to gauge their preferences for everything from communications frequency to content type and format.
Shrinking event attendance rates
Getting people out of the office can be a challenge. Event marketing requires not only a strong hook but consistently shining the spotlight on the value to attendees. There are also environmental factors – for example, the fact that many nonprofits host their golf tournaments in June and September – that may impact attendance rates.
However, if you host either an annual/signature event or series of ongoing events that have typically had a strong base of loyal attendees and you find attendance is dwindling, it may be time to assess if you have saturated your audience’s appetite for information on a particular topic or if it is time to repackage and reposition what you are offering. This is another situation where a short survey may provide valuable insight to inform your next steps.
As companies and causes continue to embrace online content as a tool for educating and engaging their target audiences, it is critical to keep quality and consistency top-of-mind. By generating a cohesive array of content that demonstrates a strong understanding of your audience’s wants and needs, for-profits and non-profits can leverage their online assets to generate tangible marketing ROI.