5 Quick Questions for Your Content

Written by on October 23, 2012 in Strategy - No comments

Five years ago, we just thought we were overloaded by information. With the explosion of social networking, blogging, user generated media and sophisticated inbound marketing campaigns, the web is awash in information of overwhelming proportions. And there are still lots of marketers out there who think the best strategy for being seen and heard is to inundate the world with content, whether it is compelling or not.

The web is a very noisy place these days. It can feel a lot like the picture here. Mangled piles of information to sift through. Every time you send new content into the wild, you are either adding to the noise or cutting through the clutter.

Here are five quick questions to ask yourself before posting, sending, sharing, updating, tweeting or otherwise distributing your next morsel of content.

 

1. Do you have something meaningful to share?

Ok, a lot of folks just shut their computers down if they are being honest with themselves. Too many times, we hold ourselves accountable to a calendar or a preconceived frequency or schedule.  I’ve been told many times to only share when I have something shareable. I think that’s very sage advice.  Yes, you should have content plans that guide you. Yes, you should strive to be fairly consistent with your content creation and curation. But there will come a time when you are posting just to be posting. And in that moment, you need to stop and walk away.

 

2. Is the content relevant to your community?

Who cares? And is it the people you care about? Something can be meaningful but not relevant. And something can be relevant but not very meaningful. It takes both. In terms of relevancy, do you know the types of information your constituents are seeking? The questions they are trying to answer? The problems they are wrestling? If not, I’d suggest you spend some time figuring it out.

 

 3. Is your content true to your brand?

Of course, everything you say and do should be “on brand” but I’m amazed by how frequently, organizations and individuals create and share content that isn’t consistent with who they are, how they think and what they stand for.  The content you create should be intertwined in your brand story. It should be an extension of your brand story. A reflection of the true you. This goes for the content you curate as well. Which means the next time you feel the urge to blindly hit the forward or retweet button, take a second to make sure you aren’t about to “endorse” a point of view that is damaging to the brand you’re building.

 

4. Do you have the time to do it right?

We all are pressed for time. There’s never enough of it. But if you can’t commit adequate time to craft quality content, you’re better off doing something else. Sharing nothing is better than poorly written, sloppy, disorganized and nonsensical content. If content is a strategy for you, it needs to be a priority. Protect time in your day to work on more thoughtful posts and refine them until they are actually ready. By all means, stay flexible so you can act quickly to take advantage of trending topics and the fast-paced world we live in. But before you share anything, make sure it feels right and not rushed.

 

 

 5. Is there a purpose for it?

Do you have an ultimate business goal, or are you just posting content because someone said it was the thing to do nowadays? Are you trying to generate leads? Influence donors? Are you trying to raise visibility for your brand? Are you trying to help spread an idea or influence popular opinion of a person, place or thing? Are you trying to position yourself as an expert? These are but a few of the good reasons for posting new content. Just make sure you have at least one of your own, and that your content is designed to help you achieve that goal.

 

What would you add to this list? What challenges are you facing when it comes to content marketing?

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