This may sound like a rant. In a sense it is – but one done as a serious warning.
A job ad appeared in my inbox a couple days ago. It matches one of my Google Alerts, so I glanced through. Cloud services provider in Southern California, okay. Looking for a Web Content Writer. I’m not looking for full-time, but I might know someone…
Then I saw this.
“Fresh graduates encouraged to apply.”
*Insert record-scratch sound here!*
No pay listed. But considering that line, I think it’s a low-salary gig.
Worse still – looks like they don’t value web content very much.
Going Cheap on Content Means You Don’t See Content’s Value
Wanting a fresh college grad to write content might make business sense, in terms of ROI and budget. But if you’re looking at content as an expense, your values are messed up.
Putting one college grad in charge of content creation just to save money? It means web content is “low man on the totem pole” at your office.
Let me say it another way.
You’ve placed the lowest priority on the most powerful marketing tool available.
(Please note – I’m NOT saying this to belittle college grads. We would not have Google or Twitter without them! I just don’t think they should be the ones writing content, if that content is not valued by their employer.)
Low Value on Content, Low Respect for Readers
There’s danger in devaluing web content.
More content is created now than ever before. Much of it is so poorly-written that it’s lost in the swamps of Low Traffic Land.
Why? Because the writers (and their work) were not valued by the organization.
The attitude isn’t new; Brain Traffic addressed it in 2009. It’s pervasive though. And it doesn’t stop there.
Not valuing content suggests one scary thing: You don’t value your audience either.
Giving content creation to someone fresh out of academia? Who’s had little (if any) real-world experience with marketing and user research?
Readers will think your company doesn’t know what they’re doing!
Don’t Dump the Foundation of Marketing (Content) on “The New Guy” & Forget About It
Content creation is not rocket science, I admit. But it isn’t easy either.
If you’re just throwing words on a webpage, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of persuasive power.
Content’s real power comes from:
- Understanding your reader (user research)
- Employing content strategy to convert readers, capture leads, develop them into sales, and build a regular client base
- Taking into account everything from audience interest points to SEO to future content
All of this is part of content creation. But you won’t reap these benefits if you don’t value it.
Throwing one inexperienced person at web content? You devalue the content, and risk insulting your audience. The people who keep you in business.
Have you encountered this before? Businesses that treat content like a low-value commodity?
Was your impression of their business affected as a result?