How to Handle Information Overload as a B2B Business
With the internet giving birth to an endless supply of content, it has become increasingly difficult for consumers to wade through everything and actually find what they are looking for. As a B2B company, sharing ways to help your audience navigate the treacherous waters of information overload and getting them to shore is indispensable.
Brands are under immense pressure to produce relevant, engaging content that speaks to their target audience. But with so much noise, how can you ensure that your content stands out from the rest? And more importantly, how can you ensure that your target audience will consume it?
In this blog post, we'll explore the symptoms of information overload on the consumer, the impact it has on brands, and the systems you can implement to cut through the noise.
Let's get started!
What Is Information Overload?
With the advent of the internet, people now have access to more information than ever. Information overload is a term that refers to the adverse effects of having too much information available. While it may seem like a good thing, it can lead to problems such as decision fatigue, anxiety, and overwhelm.
Consumers are bombarded with content from every direction, and getting them to sit up and notice your brand in today's noisy world has become even more challenging.
To combat this, brands need to understand what is (if they are) contributing to the noise and how they can become a beacon of hope in an information-overloaded market.
The Struggle of the Modern Consumer
Although consumers have become wiser and more discerning with their attention and can filter out what doesn't interest them. It's almost impossible not to be fazed by the neverending list of brands that are vying for their attention.
Below are common symptoms that arise from information overload and their impact on brands.
1. There's Just Too Much Information Out There
These days, consumers are inundated with information. With the internet and social media, we're constantly bombarded with an endless stream of news, articles, videos, and more. It has become so overwhelming that consumers can barely hear a thing. And what consumers do manage to hear makes them wonder: Is this content of real value, or is it all just to get me to buy or subscribe?
2. There's Too Much of the Same Content
As a result of the constant stream of rinse and repeat content, consumers are becoming increasingly tired and desensitized. With so many businesses regurgitating similar information, it's difficult for consumers to tell them apart. As a result, they often become commoditized, furthering the race to the bottom where the cheapest product wins. This diminishes content quality, frustrates users trying to sift through it all, and inhibits them from making the purchase.
3. We're Not Sure What's True Anymore
With so much information available, it's often hard to know what's true and what's not. We're bombarded with conflicting reports and opinions, and it can be challenging to sort through everything and find the truth. This can lead to confusion and anxiety, ultimately impeding the decision-making process.
4. We're Missing Out on the Important Stuff
Because we're trying to keep up with everything, we often miss out on the important stuff. There's so much competing noise that consumers find it difficult to choose between all the available options. In addition, they simply might scroll past your latest social media post or ignore your latest YouTube video because of content fatigue.
5. We're Not Sure How to Process All the Information We Acquire
The average person is barraged with 4,000 - 10,000 ads per day. That's a lot of information to try to filter through! And when we're faced with a decision that could cost us a lot of money, it can be even harder to figure out what the right thing to do is. We often end up feeling frazzled and in analysis paralysis by all the options.
The internet has led us into an era of infinite information. We can find out anything we want at our fingertips. However, instead of feeling empowered, we feel anxious, overwhelmed, and uncertain. In order to be successful, brands need to find ways to stand out amidst the noise and create meaningful connections with their consumers.
The Challenge for the Modern Marketer
Brands must take a new approach if they want to rise above the noise. The ones listening to their consumers' current and future needs will be able to transition them from overwhelmed to overjoyed and deliver the impact they desire.
How can we rise above the noise?
1. Create Snappy and Snacky Content
People are busy, and their attention spans are shorter than ever before. By creating bite-sized pieces of content that are easy for them to digest, you have a greater chance of getting your message across. For example, a two-minute video is more likely to be watched all the way through than something that is twice as long. This will satisfy their cravings while creating demand for more without the overwhelm.
2. Create for Your Audience
Brands that create with their target audience in mind create content that arms them with the information that they need to take the next step. If you can address their needs directly, they are more likely to remember you when they are ready to purchase. Write down the specific pain points that they are experiencing and how your product or service can help them solve those problems. When you know how to communicate with your audience in a way they find valuable, it's more likely to resonate.
3. Keep Your Content Focused
As Think with Google said, "People are building their own media worlds made up of what they love, and billions in studio-produced investment is not enough to keep up with this insatiable demand." Algorithms further support this by tailoring their content experience to their preferences. Brands that keep their content focused on creating the right message and delivering it to the right audience at the right time will be able to stop the scroll and get them to take action.
4. Share With Purpose
Don't just post for the sake of posting. Define what information is critical to your business so you can align what you create with your overall messaging strategy and ignore the rest. This way, you'll be able to cut through the noise and better engage with your target audience. For instance, in this blog, there is so much more I could share about this topic, but this is a blog, not a book. In addition, the topic itself is further niched down to help B2B struggling to get their message across.
5. Produce Quality Content
While quantity leads to better quality content, it doesn't mean you should throw anything and everything at your audiences, hoping something sticks. Consumers can spot insincerity a mile away and know when they are being manipulated. Consumers will weed out the bad content and not only move on, but if they do come across your brand again, they will remember it is of no value to them (ouch!).
6. Create Engaging Content
If your content is boring, no one is going to want to stick around for very long. That's why it's important to make sure that your content is engaging, informative, and relevant. If you can grab their attention and keep them engaged, they are more likely to remember you when they are ready to make a purchase. Look at your competitors or other external sources - see where they are missing the mark, where they are excelling, and how you can refine your strategy to provide a better experience.
7. Tap into Your Brand's Uniqueness
To stand out from the crowd, brands need to be different. They need to offer something unique that speaks to their audience's needs and the uniqueness of the brand. This means thinking outside the box and producing something truly unique and differentiable. Only then will they be able to capture the attention of today's weary consumers and get them eager to hear from your brand.
In the information age, the modern consumer is bombarded with information from every direction, making it harder for brands to rise above the noise. However, by understanding what propels and what repels content consumption, B2B marketers can create better quality content more likely to be consumed by their target audience.
Keep these factors in mind when planning your next piece of content. You'll soon be well on your way to creating content that packs a punch, fuels company growth, and resonates with your audience.
P.S. If you need help connecting the dots and taking all this information from theoretical to tangible, check out our blog, The Next Evolution of Marketing, where you’ll learn how to create authentic, engaging, and valuable content that will slice through the noise like a samurai sword.
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