Being a climber, I often try to satisfy my wanderlust by surfing the web during the week, but often I catch myself just sitting on the couch mindlessly jumping from one article to another. My boredom isn’t caused by a lack of content, it’s because what I am consuming just isn’t satisfying. It’s either poorly written, incomplete, or created, not to provide value, but to boost advertising revenue—I can only read so many top 10 lists. I’ve gotten so frustrated that I’ve started subscribing to magazines again (climbers, “Alpinist” is phenomenal) because I’m so tired of fruitlessly surfing the web for an hour to drum up 10 minutes worth of satisfying content.
Not only does this bother me personally, but it also troubles me professionally. Marketing is partly responsible for this travesty, and, as a marketer, this grieves me. To boost revenues, we have sold our souls. Instead of trusting in the ineffable ability of quality to compel, we have given in to the demands of quantity and gimmicks.
So, what are we supposed to do? Accept this as the new normal? Throw our hands in the air with apathy? Heck no! As marketers, we must step up. We deserve the right to create marketing content that has the legs to stand for itself and take us places. Our clients deserve this, and most of all the consumer deserves this.
Three questions to ask yourself as you write content:
- Am I writing something I would read? This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s probably the most important question to ask. Why? If you’re not proud of your work, what are you doing it for? I’ve read articles, not because the topics interested me, but because of how well they were written (“Apartamento” is a great example). As marketers, this is what we are striving for, and we are our best critics. If you don’t think it’s interesting, customers aren’t going to think so either.
- Should I ask for help? We’ve all been there. Many a tight deadline has pushed me to rely on content fluff rather than uncover the need and flesh it out with quality details. Commit yourself to giving your marketing content the care and attention it needs to shine. This may mean you need to swallow your pride and (gasp!) ask for help from your co-workers. I know for me, permitting myself to ask for help has been a blessing to my career. I’ve grown in my skills and my relationships, making my contributions more effective and my relationships deeper.
- Have I gone the extra mile? Sometimes even just 30 minutes of additional research can help you add the extra oomph to your content. I need to remind myself constantly that research is not a one-and-done kind of thing. Competitors are always updating their products, consumer’s habits are always evolving, do yourself a favor and stay aware of what’s going on. Your marketing content will improve, and your client relationships will garner more trust.