I’ve got a bone to pick with the content marketing industry.
As much as I absolutely adore content marketing, it is an industry full of a bunch of BS. (Which, I feel “qualified” to say after working in it for over 10 years.)
And one of those BS pieces is the myth of high-end content.
This rant got triggered when I saw a job brief that was chock-full of annoying industry jargon, but was centered around creating “high-end content.”
Basically, carbon copies of the “cornerstone posts” that every alpha male and his brother in the online marketing space has been churning out for the last five years.
Ultimate guides. 🤢 🤮
SEO-rich blog posts.
Screenshot-heavy case studies.
“Thought leadership.” (What even?!? 🤷🏼♀️ 🤨 I know it’s a commonly used phrase, but let’s all do a collective WTF about this one, okay?)
Thing is, the poster of this job (along with MANY other posters of MANY similar jobs) got caught up in what alpha-bro marketers “swear by” without getting them caught up in what REALLY matters:
Answering their audience.
Why “High-End Content” is BS:
First and foremost, it’s a myth because I can tell you from 10 years of SOLID experience in the industry that “high end content” is never, ever the kind of content you get thanked for, or that your users & readers eat up & can’t wait for more of.
Sure, it might get vanity shares just because the sharers know that associating themselves with something “high-end” makes them “look good” …. But I’ll tell you right now, the high-level content experiments I’ve done with countless clients have been good for almost nothing except vanity shares.
(Not that vanity shares are inherently a bad thing. I love the spotlight & pumps of dopamine from Twitter as much as the next girl. But if you’re trying to grow a business from the ground up, this is not the smartest way to do it.)
- It’s more concerned with ranking in the search engines than actually being useful to your audience.
- It’s all about out-doing and one-upping others in your niche, which is never healthy for anyone.
- People are damn sick of it. (To the point that no one takes the “ultimate guide” label seriously anymore… or even reads them.)
- If you’re a thought leader, you’re a thought leader. It comes through in all of your content, not just “thought leadership” pieces… whatever those are. (Also, people can smell the BS of you trying to “prove yourself” a mile away, so stop trying so hard and just be yourself. People will love you for it, I promise.)
And why ‘Answering Your Audience’ is the thing to be concerned about:
The “answering your audience” approach is what I talk about in this blog post on SEO to easily rank high in Google.
When you start with the approach of “let me answer my audience,” you get MUCH better results than if you start out with the approach of “let me create some high-end content so I can beat out everyone in my niche.”
- You rank EASILY on Google because you’re using keywords that people are already using to search for relevant information…. and that are low-competition because very few people care enough about their audience to take this approach.
- You give people the EXACT answers they were looking for, making them loyal to you & all the other advice you give… because you’re not trying to jerk them around with an obviously sales-based agenda.
- It’s MUCH easier to get people to sign up for your newsletter / lead magnet, because you’ve already gained their trust.
- It’s much easier to sell to people, because you’ve proven yourself helpful & have gained their trust.
- It’s actually A LOT easier to set up pointed sales funnels with this type of content at the top of the funnel, rather than generic ultimate guides…. and you get CRAZY higher conversion rates if you deliver pointed advice rather than generic advice… for obvious reasons.
Not to mention… producing this content is SO MUCH EASIER, and it’s usually just you writing answers to questions you could answer in your sleep.
Yeah, I’m a fan.
An absolute, total, all-out fan.