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Can We Stop The Crap Content ?

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Like most content producers, I have a content plan for this blog but the post I planned in for this week has been bumped down the list because I’ve got to get something off my chest – crap content.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been exposed to so much rubbish content it’s quite unbelievable and this is only going to become a big issue for the content marketing and publishing industry if things continue in this way.

More often than not, the first touch-point for my crap content experience is social media.

You could argue that I’m not following the right people, brands or publishers, but I’d say you were wrong.

A bit of quality control would go a long way

The problem is that my bad content experiences are the direct result of the explosion in non-traditional publishers who are producing content alongside every man and his dog. While, I wouldn’t want to go back to pre-social media times, I would like to see a bit of quality control.

While some people hate click-bait, I see nothing wrong with writing attention-grabbing copy which piques people’s interest and gets them to click through. Who doesn’t want to ‘sell’ their story to their audience; this is simply copywriting at its best.

But what I do have a problem with is being let down and having my time wasted.

If you manage to lure people in with a great headline or post then that’s fantastic until you let them down and fail to deliver on what your post promised, which is arguably more damaging for you in the long term.

The golden rule of content: always add value

Content is not there to be used as a cheap tactic to drive visitors to your website through an alluring social post. It’s a tool to be used diligently to add value to your audience.

While I’m not pointing any fingers at any part of the marketing industry, the change in SEO tactics over the last couple of years – which puts more of an emphasis on content – is having an impact.

While everyone knows, content helps support natural search rankings, you should never produce content just to satisfy SEO goals or strategies. You should also never be starting from the premise that content is SEO. The amount of times I have heard this point of view, is frankly, quite scary.

Content is precious and is your most powerful tool to communicate with your audience and customer. We should not be cheapening it for the sake of click-through rates, SEO or anything else.

Take pride in the content you are producing and before you throw any more content out into the world, remember to ask yourself this question: ‘Is my content adding value?’

If it’s not creating a debate or furthering it, if it’s not getting people to think, re-think or feel, if it’s not educating, informing, entertaining or inspiring, then please for everyone’s sake, think again.

Is crap content here to stay? How can we stop its spread? Share your views with me here.

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Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall

Hi, I’m Chris, Content Editor at BrandContent. I work on content strategy, planning and creation. I have nearly 15 years’ experience as a journalist and editor. I bring a newsroom mindset – along with a heavy dose of pedantry – honed from writing for the likes of the FT and Sunday Times. Outside of work? Pizza and my two small children are the first two things that come to mind.

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