The waters of content marketing are on the rise, and we are drowning in the deluge. Everywhere we turn there are more articles to read, more blog posts to follow, more “must-know” lists that hook into our curiosity and seduce us to click. But these clicks yield little that we haven’t read before.
The Road to Content Hell
Sadly, much of this bad content is created with good intentions by marketers who know that “content is king.” Indeed, the practice of pumping out—and promoting—heaps of fresh content has elevated some brands to the top, dramatically boosting social and search visibility. In a desperate attempt to compete, companies may hire a web content writer to dash off articles and blog posts in quantity, often at the cost of quality.
What marketers need to know is that More is being dethroned by Better. These days, it’s the absolute best of the best that’s elected to content’s royal court. Marketers need to understand that one well-constructed, information-packed content piece—an expert white paper, for example—can easily trump dozens of lesser SEO-optimized articles. It’s a matter of establishing authority and competence naturally—say, by revealing valuable information about a fledgling industry or providing a surprising perspective on a familiar topic. Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, has a book in the works on this trend, in which he strives, in his words, “to say something worth saying.”
If Pulizzi’s goal seems at first like a low bar, ask yourself:
- Did you land on a web page today that wasted your time?
- Do you often feel relieved when you locate—finally!—the precise information you’ve been seeking?
- How likely are you to post, forward, or otherwise share content that is relevant, well written, and informative?
The Epic Future
The future of content marketing is here and it’s making demands. Marketers must kiss blather goodbye and take the time to understand how to say something worth saying. Because the content that’s enthroned now, says Pulizzi, is “epic” content. Epic as in tremendous value and no shortcuts. Epic as in it’s so good that people—lots of people—can’t wait to read it.
And read it they do. It’s one of the signals Pulizzi points to. It’s how you can see if you’re doing it right. Is your audience behaving differently? Are they staying longer, clicking through, subscribing, sharing more?
In today’s deluge of bad content, good content stands out like a beacon. It attracts us. We gravitate toward it. We are thankful for it.
Our readers are no different.
Norene G is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.