There are easy ways to create good content, right?
Creating good content is hard. And it’s getting harder.
If you take the content shortcuts that are recommended by so many self-labeled content marketing experts, you will be sorely disappointed in the long run.
Here are five common bits of advice you shouldn’t follow.
Easy Content Myth 1: Just Post Your Slides On SlideShare!
When is the last time someone said “I love your slides!” And when was the last time you just put them on screen and advanced through them, not saying a word, and left the room wanting more? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Putting your slide deck on SlideShare is a recipe for boring what little audience you have left to death.
If good slides were easy to create, there wouldn’t be so many bad slidedecks!
Easy Content Myth 2: Just Record It
Have you noticed the number of hmms and umms in normal conversation? That would make your video painful to listen too already. Putting a video camera in front of most people will make it worse.
Once your video is created, your work isn’t done. To make it search friendly (and to make it useful for people that don’t love video), it needs to be transcribed or summarized in text.
If you have a legal team that reviews your content, you will need a script and you will need to actually stick to it. You will probably need to have both the script and the final output reviewed. And if legal has concerns with the video? You may have to pull the camera back out and do it all again!
By the time you’re done, you could have interviewed someone and written an article yourself, three or four times over.
Easy Content Myth 3: Just Answer Questions
You already answer these questions every single day. Just answering them in public for the world should be easy, right?
Not so fast. This approach does help you identify topics for your content, but it doesn’t change the burden of creating content or address the quality of content that often comes from individuals not normally involved in creating content.
In addition to leaving all of the hard work of content creation on the table still, for enterprise B2B marketers this approach often focuses content on topics that matter to late stage prospects, completely missing the early stage prospects still researching (anonymously) that you also need to reach.
Easy Content Myth 4: Outsource It
Outsourcing content is always a shortcut (with cost) option, but what are you looking to accomplish with your content?
If you are looking to present your perspective and incorporate your unique value proposition, you can outsource writing or production activity but the briefing and integration requirements are still significant.
If you are just looking to address current industry topics, remember: if someone can create it for you, they can create it for someone else too. Your unique voice and expertise is completely lost.
Easy Content Myth 5: Just Publish Guest Posts!
This approach leads quickly to two problems (and they are rampant, particularly on many blogs):
- Quality suffers. Today, many guest posts are thin, written for backlinks and apparently blindly accepted. As the overall quality suffers, the quality of the guest authors you can attract will decline, and your audience will quickly follow.
- Your perspective is lost. Sure, guest posts cover topics you care about, but does the opinion of a consultant or partner on an industry issue published on your site make someone look to you? No.
Third party perspectives are a valuable part of your content, but if it’s just a shortcut to content, the only person it might help in the end is the guest.
What other content shortcuts do you see individuals or businesses take that simply don’t work? Share them in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).
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