One minute on the Internet – how will your content stand out from the crowd?
The internet is both a weird and wonderful place and has undeniably become one of our most important resources. It is essential for connecting people, both socially and in business, managing our everyday tasks, and occasionally having a giggle at a video of a cat riding a Roomba whilst wearing a shark costume (as you do).
Whatever you use the internet for you’re never alone. Activity levels across the web have sky-rocketed in recent years. So much so that for most people, it’s difficult to comprehend these figures and to hazard a guess at what even a fraction of the data equates to. among
Luckily the clever people over at DOMO (a computer software company specialising in data visualisation) have gathered up some statistics to create a visual representation of just how much activity occurs on the internet in any given minute of the day.
The infographic, titled ‘Data Never Sleeps 4.0’, looks at data from sources like Buzzfeed, Snapchat, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, and a whole range of other prominent places on the web. As the name suggests, the infographic is the fourth in a series of annual data reports produced by DOMO that analyse the figures for internet usage and where the activity is occurring. The results for 2016 are staggering. Here are some highlights…
YouTube users share 400 hours of new video.
Twitter users send 9,678 emoji-filled tweets.
BuzzFeed users view 159,380 pieces of content.
Instagram users like 2,430,555 posts.
Snapchat users watch 6,944,444 videos.
… EVERY MINUTE.
Boggles the mind doesn’t it? For every minute of the day, all of above activity and more is happening online. It’s safe to say, the internet is probably getting just a little crowded.
Just how crowded is it out there?
DOMO’s statistics show how over-populated the world inside the internet is becoming. Everyone is searching for, sharing and creating a phenomenal amount of content. For those publishing content in order to promote and grow their business, this may actually be a nudge to change up their strategy.
Let’s talk blogging. Most companies have a blog these days. They create content for their blog (or pay someone else to do it) but so do their competitors. Not to mention the millions of hobby bloggers who do it just for fun.
WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging platform, hosts 58.3 million new posts from its users every month. 58 million!! That is a LOT of blog posts. What about total website pages? In 2013, Google released information stating that it had crawled over 60 trillion pages, and that was three years ago.
As a species, we have an insatiable appetite for web content. According to DOMO, the number of internet users has grown exponentially over recent years, from 2.4 billion in 2014 to 3.2 billion in 2015, to a whopping 3.4 billion in 2016. The rise in content and the rise in users is explained by the basic economic principle of supply and demand: the more users searching for content, the more content that will be produced to satisfy their need.
The only problem with this is that all of this content production means the internet is getting rather ‘full’, and this kind of crowding equals competition. Do a quick Google search for any of the topics relevant to your business and you’ll see.
How will your brand stand out from the crowd?
So with all this competition, how do you make sure your content gets in front of the right people? Here are some suggestions:
1) Carefully constructed headlines
How much thought do you give to the headlines on your blog content? This crucial element of content curation is often overlooked, but research shows that only 2 out of 10 readers will read past a headline, which means there’s an awful lot riding on it. Get the headline wrong and nobody will see all the great work you’ve done.
Think about how you can convey a sense of excitement or curiosity in your headline, and how it can match what your audience is looking for. The ‘list’ format has proven to be the most popular choice for readers, so if you can section your article into a number of talking points it may just pay off when it comes to your clickthrough rate.
If you’ve got particularly appealing or engaging content in your blog post, put it in your headline. Adding [VIDEO] or [INFOGRAPHIC] can help the link to your blog article stand out from the crowd.
2) Content 10x better than the competition
When it comes to the body of your articles, you may be doing your best to curate some good, unique content for your blog – but is that enough? With the huge number of sites that are most likely writing about the same topic as you, how do you do a better job?
If your blog post is “decent” or “okay” then it’s not exceptional or remarkable. It’s destined to bob along in the ocean of content with the myriad other posts just like it. And even if search isn’t your main motivation, users have plenty of choice these days over which email newsletters to subscribe to, which content to share on social media and how long to stay on your site after clicking on one of your ads.
If you want your blog content to stand head and shoulders above the competition, check out Moz’s 10x Content Guide for some tips.
3) Smooth, consistent UX on all devices
The visual aspect of the content your brand produces is just as important as the information within it. If your audience clicks through to read your latest blog article but the formatting is weird and the font is too small, chances are they will bounce straight back to the search results.
It does not take much for people to exit a site these days, and issues like a slow load time or clunky functionality that makes content difficult to digest is enough to put your potential readers off. This makes optimisation for smartphones and tablets hugely important. More and more people use these devices to browse the web and Google will use mobile compatibility as a ranking signal.
4) Test, learn, improve and don’t give up
In terms of getting content seen and competing with the rest of the internet, perhaps the most valuable tip we can offer is exercising some perseverance. There will always be competition and it will always be a bit of a fight to get your content to the top of the pile, but in the world of content marketing it’s those who don’t quit that take home the top prize.
Building archives of blog posts on your site takes time, and it takes even more time and a lot more effort to make sure every piece of editorial is of a high enough standard, with the bar constantly rising. But if you can keep going while your competitors lose heart and quit the race you can reap the rewards of a growing, increasingly engaged online audience.