I decided to start the new year with another blog post about content marketing? Why? Because I really believe that it’s a fundamental component of a digital strategy for all businesses. I also believe that it’s something that businesses botch on a routine basis. That might be due to the fact that there’s no governing body for content marketing. There’s not a certification or license like a CPA or CLU for content production. At any rate, there are a few important questions I think companies should be asking themselves when they go about producing content. Organizations that produce great content will put a lot of thought into these considerations whereas organizations that struggle will either breeze through them or ignore them entirely.
- Does the quality of my content match the quality of my brand? Content marketing experts have been stressing quality over quantity for years now. That’s all well and good, but quality depend on the eye of the beholder and the context in which it is written? I think it’s safe to say that if you’re creating content for Taco Bell, it’s quality is going to look vastly different from the content that you would create for Mercedes-Benz. The sophistication of the verbiage and vocabulary used would be a major point of differentiation. The length of the piece might be another. The subject matter would differ in quality as well. When planning your content marketing efforts, it’s critical to assess the match between your brand’s perceived quality and the quality of your content.
- Does my content truly reflect the breadth and reach of my company? This is an easy thing to overlook for large organizations with centralized digital/content marketing operations. If you’re a global company, does your content reflect an intent to reach an international audience? Or are you unintentionally writing to Americans only? Colloquialisms and metaphors are commonly used tools in creative writing, but sometimes they won’t make sense to readers outside of a specific culture. For example, would a content piece called “How to knock your next presentation out of the ballpark” make sense to people living in a culture that doesn’t care about or follow baseball? Probably not.
- Is the intent of your content disingenuous? I’m going to pick on real estate agents for a minute. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen an agent put together a series of blog posts on their website about caring for and maintaining a home. The world doesn’t need more articles about how to winterize your home, the importance of cleaning your refrigerator, or tips for organizing your garage. It’s obvious to me, as a digital marketer, that you’re just going through the motions of content production because some “expert” told you it was the key to getting on the first page of Google. To end users, you’re a poor man’s issue of Cosmo that publishes the same content with a slightly different spin ever single month.
- Could someone else create a better piece of content with minimal effort? Let’s say my piece of content is a haiku about running shoes. It’d be very easy for someone else to put together a more colorful, lengthier poem about the same topic. While this may be a bit an oversimplification, it’s important to consider the genuine value and uniqueness of the content you’re producing. You probably don’t need to put together some groundbreaking expose, but don’t waste your time on something that can easily be outdone by someone else. This can be a difficult exercise at time and is often wrought with failure, but at the end of the day, it’s a fruitful consideration.
With all that said, good luck with your content in the new year. It’s a great time to get started with it or improve on where you left off in 2016.