By: Jessie One of my bike tires gave out in October, and I finally took care of it this past weekend. Like any great procrastinator, I had my reasons for not prioritizing a visit to a local bike shop, but the delay really came down to a feeling that I should have been able to fix it myself. As it turned out, my entire front wheel was rusting and needed to be replaced – three spokes had popped by the time the shop employees started investigating the problem – and the problem was actually beyond my expertise the entire time. That didn’t justify my procrastination habit, but unfortunately, it didn’t give me a reason to stop. The problem with content fatigue is that it usually takes root slowly, like the initial popped tire that took my bike off the road. I don’t use my bike for my daily commute, so it wasn’t a problem I immediately needed to address. As a content creator or marketing professional, you may start to realize your blog has gone stale, but if your business is continuing to grow, upheaving your lame content is an easy problem to ignore. However, as Julia McCoy noted recently on Search Engine Journal, the amount of information available online will increase 600 percent by 2020, and most brand voices are bound to get lost in that static. Bland marketing and PR content often results from one of the below problems. If any of these resonate with your company, stop making excuses and start creating better work. Problem #1: You’re pretending to be an expert. One of the most helpful pieces of advice I’ve ever received about marketing and PR is a simple reminder: “You’re a writer, not an engineer.” If you’re repurposing the same tired e-book because you’ve exhausted your grasp of a certain area, go interview your chief technology officer (CTO). Ask her about the topics you’re seeing resonate among the blogs and news sites that you know your audience reads, or which trends she’s keeping an eye on. Then, help her find and amplify her voice. Problem #2: You’re writing for the wrong audience. Are you writing for your CEO, your ideal customers or your actual readers? If you’re not keeping your intended audience in mind during every step of the content creation process, you’re probably not telling the stories that they want to hear or offering solutions to the problems they’re suffering from. Worse, you’re likely to hit a roadblock when you try to expand your target audience to include the prospects you actually need to grow your business. Problem #3: Your content is contributing to social media spam. Quantity matters when it comes to social, but only when you have quality content to back it up. Flooding your followers’ news feeds with repetitive posts and pushing the same messages until you sound like a broken record won’t do anything but annoy your existing community and stunt your growth among new contacts. Track and dig into your analytics to find out which posts perform best on various social platforms, and which pieces of content spark downloads or leads when shared with certain audiences. Then, build this new understanding into the initiatives and plans you create. Problem #4: You’re bored. Writers care about the end goals of their work, but we also dwell on details. If you feel exhausted by the details in the work you’re producing, you shouldn’t be surprised if it starts taking on a sub-par quality. If your brand voice is no longer resonating with prospective customers, pivot. Try switching up your content by weaving in personal stories and examples, using an online tool like HubSpot’s blog topic generator to get your creative juices flowing, or picking a co-worker’s brain in exchange for coffee and the chance to collect his fresh take on your themes. These new perspectives, coupled with an informed approach to tracking the return on investment (ROI) of your content program and PR efforts, can help reduce the wider industry problem of content fatigue. Has your well of content production run dry? Read our tips and raise the bar on your blog, press releases, interviews and more.
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