An overwhelming quantity of content hits the web every day – as much as 27 million pieces. What’s even more interesting is the fact that around 70% of all this shared content goes unused, consistently. It happens due to a variety of content marketing mistakes committed by most businesses out there. Whether it’s an article, a blog post, an infographic, a video or simply any other form of content, it won’t hit the spot if it’s not targeted at a specific group of people. Not conducting keyword research and lack of adequate promotion are other key reasons for content mishaps or failures.
And here’s one more reason – boring content.
Even when you understand who your target audience is, know the most important keywords for your business and have a promotion plan in place as well, creating boring content could easily throw water on all efforts. But do you know what boring content is like or how you can identify it?
Here are six symptoms to look out for –
#1. Easily Found Elsewhere
Before you hit the ‘Publish’ button to share your content online, you should take a step back and ensure that it’s not something that’s easily available on other websites and blogs. If it is, your content won’t possibly do much good as far as accomplishing your content goals is concerned. Remember, the web is already cluttered with all types of low quality content. You’re required to do something that cuts through the noise rather than adding to it.
Content that’s too common or generic doesn’t only bore readers, but it’s also a big waste of time and money when it comes to building expertise or authority for yourself or your company in a niche.
#2. Too Simple
I remember this quote from somewhere – ‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not too simple’. Content that’s very basic or too simple for readers should be avoided at all cost. One major reason that you may end up creating this type of content is that you aren’t actually aware of the level or demographics of your target audience. Though you should write for different levels of your audience’s expertise, you shouldn’t publish content that wouldn’t satisfy anyone except a few fourth-graders.
#3. Too Advanced (or Hard to Understand)
What do you think you will achieve by sharing content that’s far past the knowledge of your readers? Just like too simple content, too advanced content also bores the audiences very much.
Hard-to-understand content doesn’t help readers because they can’t use it. In case you want to talk about certain subjects or technologies that are relevant to your niche but too advanced in regard to the average readers’ comprehension level, you should always try to explain them in an easy and lucid way.
Otherwise, you should just leave those topics out. You can’t risk messing with readers over and over again.
#4. No Personality
People like to connect with people. Content pieces that lack a personal touch, therefore, sound dry to readers. Whether readers will like, pass on and remember a particular piece of content depends on the kind of personality it showcases. It’s the personality (of content) which makes readers feel that they know and like the author or the speaker. Another excellent benefit of creating content with personality is that it can’t be easily imitated.
If you don’t want to bore readers, remember to give your content a unique voice and a distinguished style. In any case, make sure the personality of your content is in tune with the personality of your brand.
#5. Blatantly Promotional
This is one of the biggest reasons why most of the content marketing campaigns fail miserably. Content that talks solely about your company, awards you have won and the products you sell doesn’t only make readers feel weary but it also sends them a quick signal that you’re a desperate, blatant promoter. Content marketing is just the opposite – it focuses on the ‘customer’. Though it’s been advised time and again that the customer should be the hero of the story, very few businesses understand it. Before you create and share a piece of content, ask yourself this simple question – What’s in it for the customer?
If it does not serve readers with value-added information, it will only exhaust and drive them away.
#6. Poorly Formatted
Have you ever wondered why some sites – even with all their good content – struggle to keep users interested? It’s because the content is either poorly formatted or not formatted at all. Lack of formatting can easily bury even some of the most valuable written material. At the very fast glance, the way a particular piece of content has been formatted should let the user know why they should stay and read it between the lines. Otherwise, the user will simply choose to go back to Google and check out the next result.
How is your content performing? Please feel free to talk about your experiences or share your opinions in comments below.