Are You Contributing To The Deluge of Content CRAP?
Years ago, the phrase “Content Marketing” was coined along with the phrase “Content is King.” Content includes words, videos, and images. As an internet marketing company, we’re concerned that much of it is just plain Crap, and I bet our prospects have noticed too. If not now, they soon will.
Mountains of content are growing all around us, and small businesses are pressured to jump in before they are buried. If you’re like 90% of marketers, your company plans to spend more on content this year than you did last year. How will you choose your message, who will create it, and how will you deliver it?
Let’s start with a goal suggested by my title. Your content needs to be Great to stand out in the crowd of Crap. I bet you believe your Brand is excellent, so every piece of content you create has to reflect its greatness. You can’t just say, “My product is the best.” Consumers pushed that claim aside many years ago.
Five Steps to Making Great Content
- Your first step in creating Great Content is understanding your buyer. Everything starts with their concerns, needs, and challenges. Your buyer only wants to know your solutions to their problems.
- Next, be authoritative in your niche. Stay with what you understand better than anyone while intersecting with what your buyers care about.
- Great content starts with a strategy. Companies often confuse strategy with tactics. If you’re unsure what the difference is, read my marketing strategy blog post to understand this critical step in creating Great Content.
- Be prolific. A one-off article topic doesn’t add up to a content strategy. And one article will not prove you are an expert.
- Be passionate. If you don’t care about the value of your content, why would anybody else?
So, what is great content?
- Great content helps people solve their problems;
- Great content that informs as well as entertains;
- Great content blows people’s socks off, then sells them slippers;
If your content doesn’t accomplish these, you’re probably publishing the other kind of content — the CRAP.
What form does great content use?
- Blog articles. Use Grammarly to check your grammar and punctuation as well as originality. Google penalizes copycats, and buyers recognize when content is not authentic.
- Social posts. Promote your article with a snappy teaser.
- Videos. Cut up your video for short Social posts.
- Infographics. Keep these simple for a quick read.
- GIFs —GIFs are Great. They aren’t new, but they’re engaging for short social messages.
- PowerPoint presentations. Another place to publish your content is Slideshare.com
Since there are nuances within each of these content forms, your choices will be exponential. Remember to include graphics in every post.
Repurpose your great content.
There are two opportunities for repurposing.
- If your company has been around a while, you will have promotional materials in print that can be converted to digital content. Remember to change your marketing perspective from describing how fantastic your product is to how your product can solve the buyers’ problems. Buyers only want to know how you can help them.
- One-off is a waste. Turn your blog article into many of the forms noted above. A 500-word article is unsuitable for most platforms. Still, the ideas behind the material can be turned into an intriguing snippet that can drive traffic to your blog and website.
Why should you be concerned about the quality of your content?
We are in the Post-Deluge era of content marketing. Surveys show that 90% of marketers plan to spend more on content this year than last year. Whatever your product is, you are competing with millions of other companies for that one precious scarcity — buyers’ attention. You’re not just competing with similar companies. You’re up against everyone who’s producing content about related issues.
Anyone can see that this increase in marketing spending adds up to a deluge of content coming our way. Your prospects are targeted with a tidal wave of eBooks, videos, infographics, and blog posts.
And as marketers, we’ll all be competing against a flood of potential Crap.
‘Copycat’ blog posts.
‘Yadda-yadda-yadda’ video interviews.
Three-paragraph ideas pumped up into 36-page eBooks.
Blogs full of the obvious disguised as the profound.
Only when BUYERS consume the information will they discover just how bad it is. And that will make them reluctant to trust the following content. YOUR CONTENT.
If you build a great content brand before the tidal wave of web content hits, your marketing will survive the impact. Most importantly, you will secure a place in the minds of prospects as thought leaders and authoritative contributors to the conversations around the issues that matter to them.
The difference between Brilliant content and CRAP will depend on the talent of your content producers. Can you write great content? Can your staff write great content? What is your marketing budget?
Suppose you’ve done your marketing strategy homework. In that case, you’ll know the personas of your target audience, the solutions they’re searching for, and the platforms where they hang out. It would help if you blended with each publishing channel’s tone and character publishing channel. Your social messages should spin off one brilliant piece of content. (Multiply that by your publishing frequency strategy.)
To stay out of the CRAP heap, your content creators need to be people who understand your business solutions and ‘get’ content. These creators need to understand the context and can produce content that your audience wants to consume. Yes, prospects are searching for your solutions.
So what are your choices? Content farms have spawned around the need for vast amounts of content. SEO agencies, copywriting agencies, video production companies, and contract publishers are all rebranding themselves as content marketing experts. This pool of inexperienced content creators is stretched to the limit. There’s only one result: we’re already buried in Crap. The good news is that great content will float to the top.