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5 Ways to Avoid Content Fatigue

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Ever go onto Facebook only to see the same viral video cascading down your feed by ten different publishers? A gnawing feeling creeps in the back of your mind: “I should watch this video because everyone is going to be talking about it, but I’ll get to it eventually.” And so you avoid it. Until you just can’t because the viral video has transformed into a pop culture moment. Finally, you click on the next publisher’s FB post who appears in your feed, not because you have a particular affinity for that publisher, but because you’ve finally succumbed to content fatigue.

Content fatigue plagues us on a daily basis. In the race for page views and traffic, publishers are losing their identity causing audiences to suffer from content fatigue.

Here are five ways to avoid Content Fatigue:

5.  Distinguish what emotion you want your audience to feel before you create a post

Writing a post just so you can check a subject off your list — we need to do a post about our take on [insert latest trend or viral moment} isn’t going to make it shareable. How your post makes a person feels is the ultimate barometer by which you should measure all content. Content around the emotion of wonder outperforms content that makes someone feel sad in our 18-34 demographic on Facebook. An example would be a piece of content like this from Mental Floss: Why are there 5,280 feet in a mile? We all know there are 5,280 feet in a mile, but have we ever stopped to ask why?


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4.  Talk about something no one else is talking about.

The cure for content fatigue? Maybe. Last week, the posts on our Facebook page achieving the highest traffic dealt with the following topics: aliens, syphilis, old computers and color blindness.  A post about March Madness? DOA on our page. The content is too saturated; the trope of alternative March Madness brackets holds no appeal to our audience because they’re already inundated with too much March Madness content. Provide your audience content fatigue relief by covering a subject that piques an undiscovered curiosity within themselves.


3.  Look to your archives

Some of the most popular Stumbles shared on our Facebook page during March were from 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2014. But it’s not about pulling out old dusty content, it’s about giving context to your archives. Without saying a word, three posts from the Magic/Illusions Interest on StumbleUpon performed well on our Facebook page because our audience was primed from the definitive pop culture moment of 2015: The Dress. However, we did not have make any mention or reference to The Dress in order for these posts to be successful.

Mind Trick

Einstein’s Riddle

Four Men in Hats

Remember how we talked about emotions? The first post about the mind trick gives you the emotion of “this is so me,” think identity here. That is the red thread in all of this. Each one of these posts created entertainment in the comments of the Facebook post. Each one of these asked our audience to think about something in an authentic way.

2.  Stand out with a black-and-white image or line-drawing.

Everybody today is a graphic designer. Or can hire one. So much of the content pushed on us is too polished. Stop adding your logo to everything. It’s redundant and makes your brand look thirsty.

Over a weekend, we did a test to see if black-and-white images/line drawings would perform better on our Facebook page. The results were an astounding yes. This tactic accomplished two things:

  • Standing out in the newsfeed from an aesthetic point-of-view
  • Creating intrigue in an intelligent way. The image was part of the ask.

Stop using images as click-bait and instead use them to enhance the clickability of the overall packaging of your content.

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1. Write more meaningful long-form content.

The backlash against listicles and empty-calorie content is real. So real. Content consumption habits are shifting as we’re more comfortable spending time consuming content on mobile.
A post without a “10 _____ photos you need to see right now” clickbait headline is one of our top performing posts this week on Facebook. The content clocks in at over 4,500 words, and deep dives into something called The Fermi Paradox.

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