It was great content that made us want to share it with our friends because it was interesting and different. That’s why I’m sad to announce that we have reached Peak Content.
Just like the idea behind Peak Oil, Peak Content is a point in time in the blogosphere when our rate of producing quality content declines to the point where we are no longer capable of original thought.
To that end, I give you the Pope.
Branding Meets Religion
Branding experts everywhere started sharpening their pencils when the news broke that the Pope was soon to grace our shores. It’s well understood that when a major event occurs, there is always a blogging and/or branding opportunity that comes with it, which is why you always see posts that stick to the following equation: Major event + area of expertise = blog post.
The post practically writes itself!
Not only was the Vicar of Christ here to spread a message of goodwill and peace, but he also wanted to teach marketers how to better attract people to their brands, and talk to us about personal branding.
So nice of him!
I have no doubt that when he was planning his first visit to the States, Pope Francis made sure his speeches were littered with click bait-y nuggets for branding experts to sift through and add to their posts.
And then, to put a cherry on top of it, His Holiness held a private meeting with Kim Davis, everyone’s favorite self-important human being, in Washington, D.C., which I’m sure had bloggers everywhere falling over themselves to pen 52 reasons why this meeting signifies the Apocalypse.
The Dangers of Newsjacking
Sadly, writers are all too eager to look for something that isn’t there and churn out what is; quite possibly, the laziest kind of writing we see on the web.
At a time when our attention spans are the shortest they’ve ever been, our writing has been compromised for the Almighty Click.
As social media consultant Paul Sutton said in a recent blog post, there is a fine line between writing content well that takes advantage of current events, and writing content that makes the person or brand look silly.
And, most of the time, when you try too hard to “newsjack” the news, it ends up being the latter.
Writing, in my opinion, can be therapeutic, especially when it allows you to explore and investigate those ideas that are bouncing around in your head, but it seems like a lot of us have resorted to writing content that is less than genuine, and instead tries to capitalize on a current event only because we know people will be Googling those terms.
So here’s a recommendation: Stop it.
Just…look, if you’re going to write a post on what Orange is the New Black can teach us about marketing (oh yes, that link, right there—did you think I was kidding?) stop and think for a second about what you are actually accomplishing.
Are the words coming out of you worth the time you spent putting them down on paper? Did it light a fire inside of you? Will it light a fire inside anyone reading it?
Or, did you just write a post to keep up with your content schedule?
I remember long ago hearing that the quickest way to blogging success was to publish 2-3 times per week.
While there are bloggers out there who have achieved success with a full blogging schedule, 2-3 times per week is still a lot of content. It’s inevitable the blogger is going to mail it in with listicles from time to time. Maybe, in this case, it’s better just to post nothing at all.
I propose a shift to less content with more thinking behind it. More artistry. Content that makes the reader sit up and recognize that what you are writing about lights a fire within you.
Our mothers used to tell us: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Switch the word “nice” to “interesting” and “say” to “write,” and I think we’re on to something.
What do you think? Do you agree that most of the content out there today is just weak? Have you been sucked into the newsjacking phenomenon, and regretted it? What type of content still grabs you in this day of non-stop publication? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Additional Resources on this Topic:
15 Examples of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Newsjacking
How Doug Kessler Went From Limos to Crap to Content Marketing Success
Stop Trying to “Go Viral” – Viral Content Hinges on Community (Podcast)
Brad Marley is a public relations professional living and working in Metro Detroit. He is interested in all things writing, media & social media, and is always looking to connect with like-minded people, but he thinks it’s more fun to engage with people who don’t hold his viewpoints since it makes for more engaging conversation. You can find him on his blog, on Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumbler.