The Content Quality Problem Here and There

Image by kopper.

More brands and people continue filling the channels with their blogs, infographics, white paper, etc. As a result, we’re experiencing a deluge of content, most of it suffering from over-messaged, self-important corporate sales talk, or worse, shoddy workmanship.

There’s no better example of this issue than our own marketing space where the effort to produce consistent content creates an ever increasing level of drivel. In fact, there’s so much “me, too” content, getting beyond a headline skim requires some real shake-up in the social media marketplace or a dramatic post.

When readers find themselves inundated with ever increasing quantities of the same, creators find themselves producing content with diminishing value. The situation devolves to the point where content becomes spam.

We all know what happens to spam. It doesn’t get read, it’s unsubscribed from, deleted, and relegated to the annals of digital indexing somewhere deep in Google.

Commit to Excellence

Last week, I had the opportunity to watch Vocus interviews with Seth Godin and Jay Rosen. Both the ultimate marketer and journalist made remarks about content quality issues.

There’s only one answer to the content quality problem. The market needs to move away from frequency and form as the primary focus, and return to delivering substantive insights that are differentiated and valuable.

Differentiation includes more depth and passion to provide greater insights. It means committing to our craft to deliver high quality content that stands out in both the standards of information and presentation. Consider tearing down existing form factors, and rebuilding to develop new approaches and ways to excel. Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi calls this epic content marketing.

In all cases the ultimate rudder has to be value for external stakeholders. If we don’t give people special content, they won’t be compelled to share it en masse or return for more.

People remark that every company and content creator (blogger) is now a media company. In consideration, we should look at the compass and determine whether or not success is possible by mimicking media production quantities.

The Content Problem Here

Sometimes you need to focus on the small picture.

After SxSW, I tipped my hat and said I would explore some new content approaches here. Partly, I’m motivated to enjoy writing again. I have also been quietly preparing you for the possible release of significant project later this year. The project has nothing to do with social media and marketing as topics.

As time progressed, essays and deeper non-standard insights into Internet culture provided more excitement, while marketing posts waned in interest.

This speaks to where my passion is as well as to the glut of marketing blogs out there delivering the 78 ways you can crowdsource toe cheese (a joke, albeit a gross one). It also reflects the amount of time invested in an essay, usually three or four days, which leaves little room for error. Prior to the essays, I’d usually write six posts a week, and choose from the best.

The end result is a lopsided content presentation, with essays and some posts meeting the standard, and others serving as quota fillers.

Last weekend I received some critical feedback on my private project. I am committing to release it this year at some point after the summer. In order to bring the project to fruition, some writing time is required. Kid, work, blogging/writing, in that order. Something has to give, and right now, quality is suffering.

It’s time to eat my own dog food, and reduce frequency to three posts a week starting next week.

When I blog about marketing it will be because I truly believe the post adds a valuable discussion point as opposed to needing to publish Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The Wednesday slot will be sacrificed to other voices more hungry and interested in becoming everyday thought leaders.

And I will continue migrating beyond tactical and strategic marketing posts. After seven years (my blogoversary was April 23, uncelebrated this year), I owe it to myself to 1) write about what matters to me, and to deliver a good lead up to the project release. That way you receive thought provoking content that’s well developed, no one is caught off guard, and the project has the best opportunity for success.

So there you have it. Eating Alpo.

What do you think about the content quality problem. Also, are you liking the content evolution here?