koala bear sleeping in a tree
PHOTO: Cris Saur

Content fatigue. Every marketer is familiar with the phrase, and we all know exactly what it means. There is more content on the web than ever before, and it just keeps coming. Pretty much every company is spewing out copious amounts of content for their niche buyer. Said buyers also have higher expectations than ever, so it can be difficult — if not impossible — to stand out from the crowd. Sadly, many companies fall into the “content-in-a-vacuum” trap, where they end up creating content just to create content. These pieces end up going nowhere, with no one’s eyeballs ever making it to their videos, blogs, newsletters, etc. — no matter how hard the marketing team flogs them on social media, email and every other channel imaginable.

So, what’s a marketer to do? 

How to Cut Through the Content Marketing Noise

Creating content that cuts through the constant chatter isn’t easy, but it’s super important to your success as a marketer. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way.

Make it Personal

Prospects and clients are always telling marketers what they’re interested in, even if they don’t exactly know that they're sharing. Once you understand their preferred methods of consuming content, you can get a much better handle on how to reach them in the future. Using intent data as a “North Star” will get you much further in less time than simply throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. (I’ve heard this called the spaghetti test, but I can’t imagine cleaning all that starch off a wall ...)

If you combine intent data with the signals coming from your CRM and marketing automation, you can really take your content personalization to the next level. For example, correlate email performance, website visits and downloads with intent data to check out which topics your target personas tend to click on and download. You now “magically” know how to make your next content match that persona’s interests. If you don’t have any content on a trending intent topic, guess what you should do next?

Related Article: 5 Ways to Stand Out in a Sea of Content

Mix Up the Format

But just focusing on intent isn’t going to get you to the finish line. Effective marketers also vary the types of content they produce to keep their audience engaged, because no one likes to be spammed with the same thing over and over. Embrace “shock and awe” to disrupt the monotony and start reaching the important stakeholders at your target accounts. There are more tools and types of content than ever, so take advantage and create a variety of content to engage your audience. Videos, podcasts, emails, direct mail … the options are endless.

Related Article: Content Marketing Content Hubs: A Safe Space to Meet Your Audience

Time it Right

Sending the right content at the right time can be a huge game-changer. Your audience could be anywhere in the buyer’s journey, so sending content relevant to their specific stage in the journey can be a game changer. Our clients have the best results when they shift their messaging based on where their target accounts are in the marketing or sales funnel. This also helps to break up the monotony of your content for each person as well, which helps to get through the content “wall” and make your efforts worth it. 

Related Article: Bridging the Marketing-Sales Gap With Content Marketing Strategies

Ally With Sales

Sales is going to be your best friend when it comes to creating content that works. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Work together on writing outreach scripts for sales based on the persona- and stage-specific content that your team is producing.
  • Develop a content strategy around sales calls. First-hand is always going to be the most reliable source, so, yes, you should start listening in to what sales is discussing with their key accounts and prospects.
  • Ask sales what they want. No really, just ask them. If you can discover the top three tools they need to succeed and create those tools for them, sales will love you forever and always (OK, don't hold me to the latter).
  • Set up easy access and sharing tools for the sales team so they can share the content you work hard on in just a few clicks. The easier you make it, the more eyeballs your content will get.

Follow some of these “secrets” and you’ll be cruising to content bliss in no time. Isn’t there enough meaningless content filtering through your feeds every day? By using data to make it personal, being creative with format, checking your timing, and forming alliances with sales, you can create something meaningful and break through the absurd amount of clutter already out there. You’ll leave your competitors’ content in the dust, and — bonus — your prospects won’t get nearly as tired of you or your work!