You Ask, I Answer: Bad Content Marketing Advice?

Lisa asks, “What’s the worst advice you’ve received or seen given to content marketers (or about content marketing)?”

Interesting question. There isn’t a ton of terrible advice out there per se – most content marketing advice falls in the same general buckets of “create content people love/people want”, “create as much content as practical”, “create content for the audience, not the company”, “be human”, etc. None of this is bad, but it all lacks nuance, and today’s marketers are so rushed and under such resource constraints that they either ignore it outright or mis-apply the advice. The net result is that content marketing is still somewhere between terrible and mediocre.

The solution is for content marketing leaders to provide much more specific, granular, and do-able content marketing advice, and for content marketers to pick apart the broad cliches and focus on continuous improvement, or kaizen in Japanese. Do keyword research on one blog post. Improve the cold open of your newsletter by writing it to one person. Reply to one social media post thoughtfully. Build a culture of doing things a little bit better every day in your content marketing.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Lisa asks, What’s the worst advice you’ve received or given to content marketers or about content marketing?

That’s an interesting question.

There isn’t, there isn’t a ton of terrible advice out there per se most, most content marketing advice falls into the same general buckets right? The same because we’ve all heard, create content people create content people want. create as much content as practical gave enter Chuck’s advice. create content for the audience and not the company. So being audience centric and in content, marketing, be more human, etc. None of this is bad advice.

None of its particularly helpful advice either because if it lacks nuance,

Today’s marketers, you mean, everybody we work with are so rushed. And under such resource constraints being asked to do more with less across the board that marketers either ignore the advice outright, or they miss apply it. They they

they don’t have the bigger picture plan goals, etc. And so the net effect is that content marketing by and large is still stuck somewhere between, you know, terrible and mediocre.

And again, this is not because the advice is bad, it’s just overly general. Think about other overly general pieces of advice. How do you lose weight, eat less exercise more?

Okay, that’s pretty obvious. How do you how do you get rich, buy low sell high, very, very general advice that lacks nuance that lacks

The specifics we need to be able to turn the advice into action. Right? And that’s, that’s where a lot of this advice falls down, create content that people love. Cool, what do people love?

Right?

There are even even things I’ve said like, you know, your content should either be something you love something you learned while you’re making or something,

you know that that you just can’t stop talking about.

But even that’s a difficult how do you do that? What are those things?

The solution to this problem, to the extent that there is one is that for those folks who are dispensing content and content marketing advice, leaders in the field, to provide much more specific, much more granular and much important doable, content marketing advice in smaller bite sized chunks, that sounds so

sounds like it’s dumbing it down.

But it really isn’t in a lot of ways it is making the advice more actionable.

There’s a Japanese term for this Kaizen, which means continuous improvement change for good as the literal translation of the characters.

And that’s incumbent upon everyone, all of us in content marketing, you and me to pick apart these cliches and find a little thing that we can do a little bit better every day. So real simple.

do keyword research for just one blog post, not you have to do a whole blog, you don’t have to take start a massive project and get a ton of of budget resources. Just pick one blog post that maybe gets a lot of traffic. You know, look at your Google Analytics, what’s your highest traffic blog posts Good going, going and tune the optimization and make it a little bit better? improve the cold open of your newsletter by writing it to one person and Hamleys advice.

You know, it’s it doesn’t take a lot of resources to pull that off. But instead of having the same generic newsletter, take the time to write a cold open just to that. Reply to one social media posts thoughtfully or one question thoughtfully.

By building a culture of doing things a little bit better every day, and your content marketing, your content marketing will get better now, is it going to be massively transformative and tomorrow you’re going to win a Webby Award? No, of course not. But over time, as you get better at your content marketing, you will get away from that constant, unwavering mediocrity and and slowly angle up towards towards good, then pretty good then really good then then great eventually. But it’s it’s that ability to pick apart a cliche and turn the cliche into something you

usable that really sets apart

a good Content Marketing Leaders advice and for all of us who are practitioners is the dividing line between which of us are good marketer versus which of us are an okay or not a good marketer to be able to be able to do the same to, to see something, pick it apart and figure Okay, how can I do this? How can I make this a reality for my company, my content, my organization,

my team.

And that’s tough to do. It’s it’s not something that people think about. So the takeaway here is, regardless of the advice you’re getting, if the advice is seems like a good idea,

focus on how do you pick it apart and break it into actionable steps and then just take one, take one of those steps until you’re good at it, and then take the second step and the third step and you can even take content marketing

advice that is so vague

and turn it into something that really delivers results for your company. So, good question. Interesting question. Again, the advice out there isn’t terrible. It’s just not actionable. So focus on giving and creating actionable content marketing advice. As always, please subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter I’ll talk to you soon.

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