Here’s a sampling of “content” that I’ve mostly ignored over the past day:
“5 things every business owner needs to know about.”
“5 principles of engagement marketing.”
“The 2015 App Marketing Guide: 7 irresistible stats to note.”
“7 pitfalls to avoid in social marketing.”
“5 ways to connect with prospects.”
“5 reasons your customers are unsubscribing.”
This last one is my favorite: “4 tips to writing better headlines.”
The reason it’s my favorite is that the idea is so familiar. It reminds me of David Ogilvy’s “4-U Formula For Writing Headlines,” and this is why I actually read “4 tips to writing better headlines.” Here’s the really interesting part: The content of the article is almost a direct lift from David Ogilvy, but the unknown millennial author of the article gives no credit whatsoever to him.
So here’s the 1 sure-fire way to creating crummy content: Stick a number in your headline, and then don’t communicate any original thinking.
If you’re interested in creating great content, I have a suggestion: Develop a sense of empathy. Think less of your audience as targets, and more as people. Pretend that they are living, breathing, thinking and feeling human beings who have real hopes, needs and aspirations.
It’s time we stopped using formulaic tactics to just get clicks from people, and start finding ways to create real connections with them.