blog Post

Are you creating content for content’s sake?

Content Marketing
Content Strategy
email marketing
Case Studies

Everyone’s creating content these days, and many are creating content for content’s sake. Are you?

Sounds like a silly question but I am 100% serious. I ask because as a content writer who’s helped businesses create content for 15 years, I’ve found that many businesses create content without really understanding why they’re creating it, what they want to do with it, and the outcomes they expect it will provide. In other words, they’re creating content for content’s sake.

If that describes you, I get it. Content is a buzzword and you think it’s something you must do, so you start  adding to your company’s blog, posting to social media and maybe even sending out an email newsletter. The problem is, there’s not a lot of cohesion amongst all the content you’re creating.

Or if there’s cohesion, you haven’t stated any KPIs or desired outcomes you want from all that content you're churning out. It doesn’t bring leads in right away so you think it’s not working and eventually, you start backing off. The blog posts stop, the social media posts becomes less frequent and your email newsletter goes out quarterly (if you’re lucky) rather than weekly.

And if that’s the case, what’s the point?

How to tell if you’re creating content for content’s sake

First off, don’t feel bad if this describes you. You’ve heard so much noise about content that you can’t not create it and still sleep soundly at night. That said, there are some pretty tell-tale signs that you’re creating content for content’s sake. Here are a few:

If your content:

• Doesn’t demonstrate you know your audience and their challenges

• Isn’t addressing their issues

• Doesn’t show empathy

• Isn’t speaking to them

• Doesn’t provide value

…then you’re creating content for content’s sake.

Let’s break each one down.

Your content doesn’t show you know your audience and their challenges

Your content’s role is to inform, educate or entertain. That’s it; if it does one of those three, then it’s doing its job. But that’s not all it needs to do.

It needs to show your reader that know them and understand what their challenges are. If it does, then you’re taking the first step toward building a relationship with that reader, and that’s what you want from your content efforts. I’m not saying a sale or even a solid lead. Simply a relationship.

Your content isn't addressing their issues

By knowing your audience and their issues, you can easily address those issues with your content. After all, that’s why they are reading it. They want to know you see and understand them and can help them solve the challenges they came to you for.

Your content isn' t showing empathy

Listen, the internet is full of information. If you aren’t showing empathy (when appropriate) your audience can easily go find it elsewhere. That’s not to say there’s no room for tough love because there absolutely is. But you have to earn the right to give the tough love first. Before that, you need to hold their hand.

Your content doesn’t speak to them

Don’t speak in generalities; your audience doesn’t like that. And don’t use words or terms they don’t use or understand. Your content needs to speak – I mean really speak – to your audience. Twist the knife a bit because remember, they want to know you see them. Speaking to them shows them you do.

Your content doesn’t provide value

If your audience can walk away with a nugget or two from you, your content is doing its job. If they can’t, then your content needs to work a bit harder. End of story.

But what about leads?

This is all fine and good but you’re under pressure to bring in some leads. After all, isn’t that what this content is for?

Actually, no.

This content is to help you create a relationship with your audience so that when they are ready to buy, they think of you. One blog post here and one case study there isn’t going to cut it. Your audience is savvy and they have plenty of options when it comes to spending their money. Your content’s job is to help them understand the value you provide so when they are ready to part with their money, they give it to you.

To get it right, strategize

The best way to ensure you aren’t creating content for content’s sake is to have a strategy to follow. That means, along with answering the questions we discussed earlier in this post, you have a content roadmap that defines what you’re going to create, when, why and how you’re going to ensure your audience sees it.

Curious to learn more and get your strategy started? Reach out and let me know; I'd love to help.

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