Cut the Crap

I had a history teacher in high school (I went to an all-boys Catholic school in Cleveland) who was a bit nerdy… the poor guy would get tortured in class. When we’d get rowdy and he was close to going over the edge he would shout “cut the crap!” He’s probably in therapy now.

How does this relate to content marketing? I’ve worried for awhile that the quick growth of content marketing might be its downfall. As this excellent slide preso from Velocity points out, EVERYone is a content marketer now, but that doesn’t mean everyone is producing stuff that’s not, well… crap. Here are some tips on how to make relevant, useful, not crap-tastic content:

  • Leverage your brand. Know what you are good at, and what you aren’t. Tide should tell us how to get that stubborn stain off our sweaters, but they probably shouldn’t tell us what snow tires to buy. It might sound silly, but I’ve seen my share of social posts from brands talking about stuff that is at the fringe of what they are known for. Go back to your brand positioning statement or promise. If your blog post, social feed or CRM efforts don’t feed into and amplify what your brand is, they very likely are off the mark.
  • Tell a story. Good stories center on people. Mine your organization for the people who embody your brand and write about them. Chances are, your customers already know and love them.
  • Solve problems. Does our content solve problems or simply try to shoehorn prospects into your funnel? A few jobs ago (in the days before social media) I worked at a B2B agency where the PR function was, really, content development. We produced great looking, entertaining custom publications for our clients. These publications focused on key industry problems we uncovered after some serious research. You should do the same. You know the pain points. Help eliminate that pain.

I hope the tips above will help keep your content out of the crapper!

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