Can you have too much content? Industry pros have their say

Our latest Deep Dive feature assesses digital content in Asia and the challenges to boosting brand engagement. Here's how our industry experts responded to the $64 million question.

Are consumers content with content, or can you have too much of a good thing?
Are consumers content with content, or can you have too much of a good thing?

Digital content work is booming for Asia’s PR agencies, but several fundamental challenges exist to boost consumer engagement.

Our latest Deep Dive feature analyzes why engagement with branded content can be stubbornly low and what can be done to make it more effective.

But as more brands seek to push their own content, across an ever-increasing number of platforms, there was one question we had to ask our industry experts: Is there such a thing as too much content?

Edwin Yeo, general manager, SPRG Singapore: "Only if, as basic economics teach us, supply outstrips demand."

Jean-Michel Dumont, chairman, Ruder Finn Asia: "Just as too many press releases to a reporter will end-up in the dust bin, too much content will end-up in the computer trash. Targeted, well-crafted and relevant content are key elements to ensure impact. Keep it simple."

Gavin Coombes, president, Edelman Digital Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa: "If you don’t have the right structure and integrated experience, you can absolutely have too much content. There needs to be clear segmentation and a clear pathway based on the audience and their information or utility requirements."

Angelina Ong, president, Cohn & Wolfe Asia: "In APAC, many brands are not creating enough quality content. Hence quality should be key and not quantity. It’s better to produce fewer high quality pieces, than an abundance of sub-optimal content."

Narendra Nag, regional director, integrated planning & digital, MSLGROUP Asia: "Yes and no. Content that is not tied to business objectives, content that doesn’t help a brand [and] content for the sake of content is too much content. But if there’s strategy based on a real understanding of audiences and data-driven insights, and if there is a real way to measure impact and learn from it, then you can’t have enough content."

Peter McFeely, deputy general manager and digital lead, Singapore, Waggener Edstrom: "No – not as long as you have something intelligent, interesting, funny or relevant to say. If you don’t… As Thumper’s mum would have said if she worked in comms, 'If you can’t say something that will make your brand look better, don’t say nothin’ at all.'"

Thomas Tang, regional digital lead for Burson-Marsteller APAC: "Yes. You don’t want to create content for the sake of it. You’ll only add to the noise and not drive impact. We always try to find the right balance based on the engagement from a brand’s community and their responsiveness so our message will have the most impact."

Vivien Teo, vice president, director digital strategy, Ketchum Greater China: "Absolutely. We all know what it feels like to be spammed. There’s also well-known limits to how long people will watch a video for before switching off, how much of an article or blog they will read or how long they will browse for. Feeding your audience with too much of a good thing drains their natural inquisitiveness and curiosity, which is counterproductive."

Cassandra Cheong, managing director, Asia-Pacific, The Hoffman Agency: "Of course you can. It is estimated that every day we are exposed to close to 30,000 marketing messages. We are pummeled with so much content and information 24/7 that it is getting harder and harder for brands to stand out. The solution is not to compete with quantity, for sure—it would only exacerbate the problem. Rather, brands must recognize that content curation is as important as content creation, and find out what is relevant to your audience before churning out content."

Paul Mottram, managing director integrated strategy, Asia-Pacific, Text100: "Yes, and with effective measurement you can clearly identify the point at which diminishing marginal returns on content set in. But realistically, the majority of brands are nowhere near that point. It’s still early days, and for many, it’s still a matter of getting the basics right."

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