The most egregious error by small businesses is in generating content. Not that they are not creating content. Nor that they are just slapping something together to post. Okay, maybe the latter happens more frequently than it should. The E2 (egregious error) of content marketing by small businesses is that content creation is becoming more automated, even when being created by a team member!
It is so easy, even tempting, to create by a content creation checklist. Here’s what that behavior sounds like in the content creator’s mind:
- Proof for typos, grammar, spelling. Check.
- Include a call-to-action? Oh, yes I did!
- Is the link good? Worked for me.
- Is the image clear? That’s as good as it’s gonna get.
- Optimize image for size? Optimized.
- Logo or watermark? Up there in the upper right corner again – BOOM!
- Schedule post for optimum reach? Here goes!
And that is the egregious error of content marketing. The checklist was followed. Everything done. All steps completed. But…
A Word About Content Marketing Checklists
We need those checklists. In fact, we have a checklist to follow when writing these blogs. The error is that the story of the content might not get the reach it deserves because of the conveyor belt mentality of content production. That mentality tends to think that it’s efficient and productive to fulfill the checklist and move on to the next creation.
Checklists are important. Very important. Just ask any pilot. There are checklists for sitting in the cockpit, starting the engines, preparing for takeoff, executing the takeoff, preparing for landing, executing the landing, shutting down the engines, debarking from the plane. All this can be done by a computer! The computer does much of the flying when you board a plane. But, the pilot still has the power, authority and ability to override the computer. The pilot can do so because the automated process is incapable of intuitive sensory assessments of the actual situation. The checklists execute a program. They don’t think. The automated process may not know what to do when an engine goes out in flight, a warning light comes on or a passenger falls ill.
Content marketing through your social and digital media platforms takes work. It can no longer be a copy and paste exercise if you want to stay ahead of your competition. Have multiple sets of eyes look over the content. Take pride in the success of the content rather than the authorship of it. Have different folk assess your overall content and ask them to tell you what they think your story is. If your time resource is limited, consider spending more time on selecting specific content but reducing the overall amount of content. Never accept “It’s okay.” People will stop listening to a story that’s just okay.
Don’t treat your content like an automated checklist. The story of your business demands a storyteller, an engaged, enthusiastic and entertaining storyteller.