Aug 10, 2010

The secret to being memorable: don’t produce crap!

There are a lot of pages on the Internet. The first Google index started with 26 million pages in 1998. By 2000 Google reached the 1 billion mark, and in 2008 it indexed over 1 trillion pages. The rate of content growth is exponential.

But here’s the question. How much of that content do you actually want to see? 20%? 10%? 1%? 0.0001%?

The good stuff rises to the top

There is so much content being produced, you can’t read it all. Nor do you want to. You only want to see the really interesting and relevant stuff.

The Old Spice commercials with Isiah Mustafa went viral, because they were funny, engaging and easy to digest. They were entertaining. Seth Godin’s blog has been consistently rated in the top 5 of the Ad Age Power 150, because he writes really good stuff. He has great marketing ideas.

The best content rises to the top.

Ok, but what is great content?

If you were to rate most business content on a scale of 1 to 10, most would fall in the 4 to 7 range. It’s not bad. It has a point. It does its job. But it’s not memorable. It’s not engaging. And chances are you won’t forward it or tweet about it.

Producing great content is all relative. It requires:

  1. Clearly understanding your audience, and providing them value.
  2. Having a unique point of view. This means having an opinion and sharing it.
  3. Executing well. No, executing exceptionally well.

To rise to the top, shoot for the 10’s. If you want to be memorable, produce content that brings real value to your audience. It can be entertaining. It can be intellectually stimulating. It can be educational. Whatever the goal, it has to be a cut above.

Aim for the 10’s, but be satisfied with the 8’s

Producing great content is hard. Really, really hard. Check out Seth’s blog. The bulk of his posts are good, but only a select few just knock it out of the park. The same can be said for most content producers.

Always strive for producing the best content you can. Aim for the 10’s, but be satisfied with the 8’s and 9’s. You can’t hit a homerun every day. That isn’t realistic.

That being said, if the content is mediocre don’t publish it. Honor your brand and your audience, and make sure your content is a cut above all the other crap online.

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