Why Content is Failing: Insights from Analyzing 1 million Posts

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As you might know by now, there has been a lot of talk about the “content shock” discovery made by the team formed of Moz and BuzzSumo. They analyzed over 1 million articles and found out that a lot of published content doesn’t get its fair share of links and shares. And that is because people don’t know how to amplify it or because the content delivered is quite poor. Or so they thought in the first place.

Content shock means that there is too much content out there, and too little demand for it. But why is this happening, and why is content failing?

It seemed a bit odd that a lot of popular sites that offered great content suddenly lost a lot of social traffic. That could only mean one thing: great content wasn’t enough.

However, they have discovered that content producers also make some mistakes that compound this problem.

The Monitoring

If you do not track trends, how can you expect to be on a roll and get enough attention from people? Since things happen very fast in social media, you must be faster and take advantage of anything new that is happening. If you put out a report, an article or an announcement fast enough, you can create a lot of interest. The key is to write about the hot topic of the moment.

If you delay writing about that too much, then you might end up losing the train to high visibility. What is engaging today, might not be so two days later.


If not done properly, then your content is probably going to excel at being poor. BuzzSumo, for example, offers a great way of seeing what the most shared content on the topic that you’ve had in mind is. There is no shame is acquiring some IT services and figuring out the best way to approach you’re investigating. To be more effective, search for last month’s top content.

It’s understandable – there usually is a lot of pressure in regards to making good quality content, and making it as often as possible.  But here is the point where you want to ask yourself whether you wish to be successful or not, and if creating less but much better content is the way to go, then you should be on that path.

Don’t be shy and look for your competitor’s work as well – what they’re interested in and what they’re doing. After all, competition is the match that sets everything on fire.

It is also important that you understand what your audience’s interests and tastes are. Knowing what they’re into helps you create better content that is more likely to be shared by them. Also, try writing content that answers to questions from your audience – this is a sure way to keep people satisfied.


If you don’t know what this is, then that’s not a good sign. Luckily, you can get your facts straight by reading further on.

You need amplification because assuming that people will find and share your content on their own is plain wrong. So, you must understand who will link to your content, who will share it and also why. That translates into having to set up a strategy to promote your content, whether you call it content ignition or content promotion.

A good way to achieve just that is through social media. And you can always turn to paid distribution. It is very important that you understand the somehow sad fact that amplification is equally as important as the actual content. As Mark Schaefer pointed out, this is the era of advertising being more important that content.

Don’t be deceived by the number of shares. They are not necessarily connected to linking, and to gain just that, you need to pull up a lot more work and strategies.

Although there is not much you can do about the content shock, what you can do is improve your strategy regarding your content. Take your time to ponder upon the points made above and see what you can do to make your content successful.