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Thanksgiving week everyone tends to write about how blessed they are and about the things they are most grateful for, but I want to talk about two things every content marketer should be ungrateful for – more and mediocrity.
We’ve heard countless times this year that most companies are creating more content. More is a dangerous word. It’s loaded with expectations and pressure to just crank out content and be “machines.” Check the box. There is a false presumption that more content means better results, when in reality that generally is never the case. When companies create more content, it simply creates more noise and gives content marketers an even greater challenge to break through that clutter. We should resent the word more because the way to deliver exceptional content marketing results is not more content – it is sophisticated strategy that aligns the right content on the right channels in the right formats to the right audience. Focus your energy on defining “right” based on your business goals, and you will never have to worry about creating “more.”
The Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials blog has published 3-5 posts/day since it launched in 2012. We have consistently stuck to that volume for four years. And guess what? Without creating any MORE content, we grew from 0 visits/month to nearly 4.5 million visits this October. How? Why? Sophisticated distribution. Creating content based on data and understanding what our audiences want to read. Variety of format and approach to stories. It’s not about more – EVER – it’s about better. It’s about serving your customers with amazing content that keeps them coming back and looking for what you’ll create next.
Whenever we are faced with the “more” conversation, it’s crucial we advocate for content strategy, sophisticated distribution and fostering amazing creativity.
This word is my worst nightmare. I absolutely despise it. With more brands investing in content marketing, it is beyond crucial now more than ever that we not settle for mediocre content in any way. If the majority of us accept mediocrity, the discipline of content marketing will lose the momentum so many of us have fought so hard to gain. Mediocre content gives us all a bad reputation, and it serves no one well – not your brand, not your customers, not your bottom line. Mediocre content simply contributes to the noise that makes it so much harder for us all to do our jobs well. We must do better. We must push ourselves and our teams to create awesome. Try something new. Push yourself. Experiment. Test. Push your colleagues. Call out mediocrity in your organization! Stop it before it’s published.
I am always encouraging my team to think bigger. I want them to find new ways to create content that really draws our audience in and gives them information that is useful, helpful and relevant. It is so important that we continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards possible. Having been recognized as an industry leader, I want us to be deserving of that recognition every day with every piece of content we publish. And this isn’t just about the writing and design, it applies to the technology, the delivery, the timing, and literally every aspect of content marketing.
Don’t half-ass it. Ever. It hurts us all. Do it right, do it well or don’t do it at all.
tagged with: Content Marketing