The biggest challenge I face producing the screed each and every weekday is not in the writing of it. Most of the time the words come pretty easily. The challenge is in finding topics that I think will both enlighten and entertain you guys. Some days it seems as if there’s plenty about which to write; other days I stare at the screen while sorting through hundreds of articles trying to think of something that meets my standard – hopefully yours as well.
That challenge is shared by anyone who creates content: how to produce something that’s worthy of the audience‘s attention. How to produce something that satisfies the attention/value exchange on a fair basis. It’s a challenge that I think is met less and less often (and not just by me!) and let me explain how it might affect you on both ends of the equation.
I guess it’s obvious how it does on the consumer side. None of us like to invest our time and attention and be served the content equivalent of one of the foams that have gone so out of style in the food world. These foams are airy and sort of have a flavor but they fade quickly and are pretty unsatisfying. My real concern is how it affects you on the other end – the business side.
Everyone had become a content-producer. Companies that make remote controls or eyeglasses are suddenly making content as well. Sometimes they hire people who once were copywriters but now are “branded content producers.” Idiots who film their friends at parties are now “rich content generators”. Kids who annoy their friends over social networks are hired as social media content specialists. Everyone and every brand produces “content.”
The effect is that we’re all overwhelmed by a lot of crap that doesn’t serve the audience. White papers that are just ads for a product. PR releases disguised as microsites. The answer to this is, I think, not to get caught up in it if you’re a brand. If you are going to send something out into the world, make it as good as your product. After all, you wouldn’t let something out of your door with your brand on it that was inferior. Make it as smart as your audience and worthy not just of their attention but also of the audience with which you want them to share it. Hire professionals to generate it on your behalf, not your nephew who can speak reasonably well.
Anyone can produce drivel (and no remarks about how this blog proves that point). Great brands need to produce great content. Right?