Why Your Content Sucks!

If it doesn’t benefit us, entertain us, educate us, solve our problems or advance our causes, we don’t want it. If we find something better, we switch.

Today, our mantra is “What’s in it for me?”

All too often, the answer is “Not much.”

We are flooded with content. This blog post will be one of millions published today. Blog posts and other content are clamoring for attention with louder promotions and catchier headlines in an attempt to cut through the content clutter. Yes, headlines like Why Your Content Sucks.

But shouting catchier headlines louder and louder, when everyone else is doing the same thing, will not fix your content.

Why Your Content Sucks

Today, your content sucks because you are focused on creating good content. Your audience doesn’t want good content. They don’t even want great content.

No, your audience is selfish.

  • They want their problems solved.
  • They want to be entertained.
  • They want to be educated.
  • They want it to be as quick and easy as possible.

So what is the alternative to creating more content that sucks? There are plenty of posts about content strategy, with advice that includes audience research, creating in-depth personas, mapping the buyers journey and then creating content in formats tailored to each stage of the buyers journey for each persona.

Much of it is good advice, but it is the advice everyone else is following.

How to Fix Your Content

If you keep doing what everyone else is doing, soon your audience will see the old hag instead of the young lady. Here is how you can do better:

  1. Stop creating content.
  2. Start solving the problems your prospects have.

The goal is not content. It never was and it never should be. Your audience doesn’t need content, they need solutions.

Provide solutions every day. Some days it will be through face to face meetings, phone calls and client presentations. Sometimes it may even include creating content to share a solution.

As long as your goal is to provide solutions to your target audience, prospects and clients, not to create content, you will begin creating content that doesn’t suck.

Your Turn

What challenges are B2B marketers facing today and what kind of solutions do they need? Share your own situation or observations of the market in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake). If it is an area I can cover here, let’s talk about it. And just maybe, it will spark content as well.

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  • michaelbrenner

    Eric, I love the gravitas of this post. You are sayin’ it and sayin’ it loud. 

    Seriously, I have claimed that this issue is the biggest mistake marketers make. You nailed it in the copy you wrote and I love the image!

    This is the #1 reason marketing is ineffective. This is the biggest driver of the marketing=cost=promotion cycle of marketing destruction. And this is why most marketing sucks. 

    I’m assuming you had a little too little sleep last night (like me) but please keep it up! 😉

    • Wow, thank you Michael!

      Yes, sleep and an 8 week old aren’t a perfect match yet, but its getting better!

  • lisagerber

    I think your headline should have been: How to Score Free Beer. 
    Also, I’m about thirty seconds away from hitting the sack, so that’s about as intelligent a comment as you’re going to get from me tonight. 

    • LOL. Thanks, appreciate it! Now, about the title… 🙂

  • Eric, don’t hold back – how do you REALLY feel about my content?

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  • SunJoo

    Eric, mind blowing and refreshing advice, SunJoo

  • Eric, I love your take on this. We (“marketers”) can really beat the wrong dead horse. Having spent a majority of my professional life with B2B/Industrial companies, seemingly unlikely settings for content marketing leadership, I’m reminded of the abundance of “content” they generate in order to simply do business with loyal customers–technical tips, white papers, calculators, industry trend newsletters, etc. It was never called “content.” It was called “business” that usually resulted from a situation like “Joe Customer said he really needed some info on this, so we just started doing a weekly update for all our customers.” Helpful, educational, solutions.

  • There’s probably another way to do this.  Why not first analyze what type of content a person would be good at putting out.  For instance, I’m not a great writer, but the videos I make for my golf students have an average time on page of 12 minutes with a 1% bounce rate.

    My writing gets about 3 minutes with a much high bounce rate.  It’s more about promoting your content than anything else.  Despite all that I don’t get much traffic..I just keep what comes over

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