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Quality over Quantity: Why Weak Content is Killing Your Brand

I don’t spend a lot of time using Twitter, but when I do, I am searching for content that will either educate, entertain, or maybe even inspire me. My situation mimics that of most business decision makers – I have limited time to explore, and I want to be productive during that time.

Low quality content, often stemming from a high volume publishing approach, ruins that experience.

You know what else it does? It kills your brand. (Unless your brand doesn’t want to associate itself with quality, in which case you have bigger problems to deal with.)

According to the 2013 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, 79% of B2B marketers are using content marketing to increase brand awareness. But instead of brand awareness, shouldn’t these organizations really be concerned with brand sentiment? Shouldn’t every piece of content tie your brand to a certain brand promise or message, and not just serve as an awareness vehicle?

Back to Twitter – let’s see how this brand sentiment issue plays out via a simple exercise. This morning, I logged on 20 minutes before having to leave for a family event. Again, there’s not a lot of time or patience for material that doesn’t educate, entertain or inspire. Here’s what I see, and how I make my decisions. (Actual names redacted to protect the innocent guilty.)

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BRAND1 @Brand#1

15 2013 Marketing Mistakes…vow not to make these NOW. [LINK]

Reaction: Brand #1’s content is list-heavy, and contains only surface level material. They try to use humor to make up for the lack of depth. Not a chance I am wasting my time here again. No click.

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BRAND2 @Brand#2

Inside Sales: Why Marketing Should Take Over Lead Qualification via @MarketingPerson1 [LINK]

Reaction: Be mindful of who you retweet. I’m typically interested in this topic, and this brand generally publishes solid content. That said, I’ve read material from @MarketingPerson1 and it’s often self-centered and promotional. No click.

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Harvard Biz Review @HarvardBiz

Turn your goals into questions [LINK] @HalGregersen

Reaction: While I don’t know exactly what this post will cover, nor am I familiar with the author, I know HBR consistently publishes high quality, thoughtful posts from vetted authors. This earns my attention. Click.

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This scenario plays itself out with thousands of business decision makers daily. Every single day, 2 million blog posts are written, 294 billion emails are sent, and 864,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube alone. As a publisher, and more importantly as a marketer, you are fighting for already short attention spans, and you’re doing it in a sea of cluttered content.

And it’s only going to get more cluttered.

So, what type of content will win the battle for attention and contribute to positive brand sentiment?

Hint: It’s not the low quality, volume-oriented content. It’s also not the content constructed purely for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

The good stuff will win in the end. The good stuff may take longer to research, create, edit and design, but the good stuff is a long-term investment with massive ROI potential. The other stuff? It’s like day trading – always a gamble, rarely a legitimate investment.

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