Maybe you just created a great piece of content—which in your mind is the greatest thing since sliced bread. To you, this isn’t just any sliced bread. This is top of the line, nutrient-dense content that is sure to turn heads and generate leads. Unfortunately, no one’s buying your bread—yet.

There is a reason for this, and as a content marketer, you have to face many of the same challenges that a CPG brand does, except rather than competing for a customer’s money, you have to compete for attention. Unfortunately, there are a couple things that make your job a bit tougher:

  • Your prospect is on a much stricter budget. There are only so many hours in a day, and with that, your prospect only has so much time to discover, decide, and purchase your content.
  • There are a ton of choices. Much like the bread aisle, there are many similar choices that could pull your customer away from your product.

In this two-part blog, we will explore two reasons that no one is reading your content and how to make sure you get your ‘sliced bread’ content in the hands of your prospects.

The Economics of Prospect Attention

Think of your last trip to the grocery store. Did you end up buying something frivolous? There’s a reason for that. Nearly all grocery stores are built the same way—produce, deli, and bakery near the entrance, staples in the back. The plan is to provide a sensory experience (sight, smell, touch) to activate the shopper’s salivary glands in order to entice them toward buying something that wasn’t on their list.

Now take this grocery store analogy, and consider your prospect’s day. They wake up and check social media; they drink their coffee and read the news; they go to work and check their email.

Just as the sight and feel of the produce section and smells of the rotisserie chicken ramped up a grocery shopper’s hunger, technological stimulation did the same to your prospect’s mind.

Time is Money: Your Prospect’s Attentiveness Budget Might Not Include Your Content

We’ve all been there—in grocery stores and on the internet. In grocery stores, a twenty-minute trip turns into an hour in which you end up buying ice cream, chips, and gum, sometimes forgetting the items you wanted in the first place. On the internet, your prospects are running into similar problems:

  • The morning trip onto Facebook triples in time because of the article, “You’ll Never Guess What President Trump Tweeted about [x],” which turned into “21 Cat GIFs that Totally Explain What It’s Like to Grow up in Suburbia” which turned into a comment war on how to pronounce GIF (Jif is a peanut butter, short g is the way to be).
  • The coffee with the news turns into time spent on Wikipedia looking up the background of the article you just read, which begets more time on Wikipedia because a link interested you (try to not get distracted by something like “Six Degrees of Wikipedia, Wikipedia’s article on Getting to Philosophy, or Wikipedia: Unusual Articles.”
  • We all know how distracting and time consuming email (or Slack) is. By time this is done, your prospect stops to check social networks, read a few industry articles, and get to work.

At the End of the Day, There May Be No Room in the Budget for “Bread”

Simply put, all of this time adds up, and they’ve spent their entire budget on frivolities, impulse buys, and other necessities that don’t include “bread.”

This is the essence of “Content Shock”—a theory explained by Mark Schaefer as the idea that there will come a point when “exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect with our limited human capacity to consume it.” I discussed my thoughts on this theory and why it pays to embrace it and forge ahead in my blog, A Content Marketing Truth You Need to Embrace in Order to Grow Your Business.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog, which will explore a few unfortunate truths in the content marketing world, and the one big-picture idea you need to embrace to rise above the rest. While you’re waiting, I recommend you download our Content Marketing Whitepaper and Agency Selection Guide, and to get in contact with us to learn more about our award-winning content marketing services.