Content is king. This we are told time and again. But in the same way that Instagram has made a ‘photographer’ out of everybody, there is a danger that with the proliferation of content, its quality is devalued. So, how much value do you place on your content?
No longer just ‘filling space’
In the early days of content marketing there was definitely a tendency to simply ‘fill space’. Those days have, broadly, gone. Content is no longer the secondary role of another team member in most companies, no matter what size they are. However, because of the sheer volumes of content that digital media demands, there has been a general loss of emphasis on the quality of writing. Which is a shame, because of course to write well is a real skill, and many people spend a lot of time honing that craft.
Within our team at gigCMO we have leaders with a variety of backgrounds that incorporate high quality writing. There are those who cut their teeth at newspapers and publishing houses. They are adept at attention grabbing headlines and carefully crafted layouts for both print and online. They have adapted and ‘edited’ their skillsets in keeping with more contemporary requirements. However, those hard won, purist lessons still stand out when it comes to expertly executed articles. There are also those who have grown up in the world of content as we know it today. They’re programmed to write for digital consumption and trained to please both Google and the consumer.
Over the last 10 years content has grown and changed. Where once there were consumer publishing agencies, now they are content marketing agencies, and the value of certain roles has changed fundamentally. Once upon a time you wouldn’t have let any public facing article go out of the proverbial door without a skilled sub editor raking over it first. Today, how many people publishing material can say it’s been checked by a sub editor? The answer is very few, but plenty can tell you that it’s been checked for SEO.
So what point are we trying to make?
We’re not trying to tell you about the ‘good old days’ and we’re certainly not saying that SEO is not valuable. Of course it’s valuable. It’s one of the big reasons companies invest in content marketing. That, and all the other brand building functions provided by really good storytelling.
The point is that actually, contrary to how things sometimes seem, not everyone is a writer. Despite the number of people putting content out into the ether, quality still stands out. So it pays to invest in getting the right people to do the job.
The value of a good writer
That doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune, but it does mean spending wisely. It means enlisting the right skill sets rather than simply ‘filling the space’ on your content platforms. It means getting the basics right as well as looking at SEO.
Don’t dismiss the value of a well written article. The end user might be more likely to find your article because it’s searchable, but they are more likely to take away a positive impression if it’s well written. Perhaps even more importantly, they are likely to take away a negative impression if an article is littered with poor grammar and is an unpleasant read.
There is a real tendency to churn content out, and we would be remiss if we said that a certain volume wasn’t necessary. However, that has to be balanced with quality. Ultimately, if you’re not going to do something properly, when it comes to brand value, should you really be doing it at all?