Our current influential marketers and business developers have dubbed content marketing as the rising star of marketing in 2012. If you search the term “content marketing” in the ‘skills and expertise’ section of LinkedIn, you will find that its relative influence has increased by 27% in the last year.
I, for one, was convinced. The problem was that individuals and companies from around the world, word (and image) vomited content in order to become the next beneficiary of this “marketing phenomenon.”
Some content can be so inspiring that we feel like the next Peter Parker.
“Stories are what bind humans together. Inspire trust by touching people emotionally. Educate and entertain. Become a thought leader through your insightful content of utility.”
But, not all content is good content. And in some cases, it is counter productive.
Do your readers a favor and stop devastating your marketing campaigns with crap content. Besides making the rest of us in your marketing community look like egotistical, self-promoting spammers, your professional masochism is offensive.
Here are 11 examples of content that you should not be creating or sharing.
#1. Provide a link with no text
This tells me two things about you: (1) you are uncreative and (2) you are lazy. Not only will I not click your link, I will judge you and your employer.
#2. Provide a link with spammy text
This has never worked. It still doesn’t work. Unless I spill coffee on my keyboard and accidentally fall on your link, it’s not going to work tomorrow.
We do not live in a time when people want to hear you talk about yourself. Unless you are a celebrity, it’s time to get creative. A basic rule of thumb is that if your mom wants to put it on her refrigerator, it’s time to start fresh. We want utility, entertainment and authenticity – not a professional autobiography.
#4. Intoxicate your posts with keywords to boost you SEO
We know what you are doing, Sherlock. Optimization is an important part of any content-oriented campaign. (Let’s not be naïve.) But posts where you repeatedly abuse me with an attempt to assert your thought leadership in a particular subject leave me with editorial bruises. I want to help you, but I’m also kind of mad at you. Get smart and find a way to talk about these topics without giving singular posts SEO-poisoning.
#5. Say something that has been said 1 million times
Content marketers tend to think they are the craftiest people on the planet. Truth? It doesn’t matter how well you write. Unless you find an original spin, with new research, data and a cheery outlook, you can go ahead and give the article printout to your mom and expect an audience of one.
#6. Write about something that bores your colleagues
Assume that the people exposed to your content have a certain familiarity with the subject. If your co-workers think there is junk in your trunk (not the good kind), then the readers you want will also think your final product is trash.
#7. Write something that bores you
If you don’t smile once after reading what you’ve written – or cringe at the thought of reading it again – chuck it. If it doesn’t make it through the first content filter (you), it needs to be re-organized and recreated.
#8. Ignore the importance of visuals, formatting and grammar
Looks matter. So does your intellect and precision. Make your content aesthetically superior, pay attention to format and detail, and seek to impress your old 8th grade English teacher. Don’t be the “would-be” hot guy who can’t put himself together and forgets to clean underneath his fingernails. Use what you’ve got and make that extra effort to appear as more.
#9. Make it about you
If you don’t understand by now that content should be purposeful for the reader, then it’s time to rethink your marketing career. Write to satisfy your ego – but be sure you are polishing up your resume as you do.
#10. Have a strong title, but crap content
If you are smart and witty enough to craft a “clickable” title, then you are fully capable of writing something of value. Nothing makes me whack harder at my keys than the marketing snake who reels me in with a title that is full of humor and utility and then leads me to content that is ego-infused, dry, lazy or a scam. You are a car salesman in my book, a car salesman.
#11. Care more about the kudos than the impact
If you don’t give a rat’s ass about the impact of your content on your professional community, then your community won’t give a rat’s ass about you. There are a lot of egos in the marketing biz. Leave your desire to receive praise for your after-hours work at the shrink.
You don’t have to go to Oz to put heart into your content.
Provide something of utility – professional, intellectual, emotional, spiritual – for your target audience. Take creative risks. Strive to produce content that is entertaining, hopeful, tutorial or inspiring. And make us feel something that moves us to action.
Guest Author: Erin Nelson, who happens to do a great job at exploreB2B
Want to Learn More About How to Create Compelling Content that Your Audience Wants to Read, View and Share?
My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.
It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.
I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 130,000.
Home Prices Climb by Most in Six Years
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose in November from a year earlier by the most in more than six years, indicating the U.S. housing rebound is gaining ground.
Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — Karl Case, co-creator of the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 U.S. cities, talks about the housing market. The S&P/Case-Shiller index increased 5.5 percent in November from a year ago, the biggest year-over-year gain since August 2006. Case speaks with Tom Keene and Michael McKee on Bloomberg Radio’s “Surveillance.” (Source: Bloomberg)
Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) — Susan Wachter, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and Keith Jurow, author of a report on the U.S. housing market for Minyanville, discuss the outlook for the housing market. They speak with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line.” (Source: Bloomberg)
Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) — Robert Shiller, a professor at Yale University and co-creator of the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values, talks about the global economy and the U.S. housing market. He speaks with Tom Keene on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance” on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Source: Bloomberg)
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 5.5 percent from November 2011, the biggest year-over-year gain since August 2006, a report showed today in New York. The median projection of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 5.6 percent advance.
Mortgage rates near a record low are propelling demand for real estate that’s outpacing the available supply, a sign prices will keep strengthening. Home-equity gains and an improving job market may help to put a floor under Americans’ confidence and spending, the biggest part of the economy, cushioning the hit from a higher payroll tax that began in January.
“With inventory of both new and existing homes still very low, prices will likely continue to rise,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics Advisors Inc. in White Plains, New York, said in a note to clients. “Each successive price increase adds more weight to the idea that the housing market is recovering, and nothing pulls people into the market faster than the thought that prices will rise further.
Consumer confidence slumped more than forecast in January, reaching the lowest level in more than a year, as higher payroll taxes took a bigger bite out of Americans’ paychecks, another report today showed.
The Conference Board’s sentiment index decreased to 58.6, the weakest since November 2011, from a revised 66.7 in December. The January reading was lower than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey, which had a median estimate of 64.
Stocks dropped after the confidence data, erasing earlier gains. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell less than 0.1 percent to 1,499.75 at 10:03 a.m. in New York.
Bloomberg survey estimates ranged from 3.4 percent to 6.4 percent. The S&P/Case-Shiller index is based on a three-month average, which means the November data were influenced by transactions in October and September.
The October reading was revised to show a 4.2 percent year- to-year advance from a previously reported 4.3 percent gain.
Home prices adjusted for seasonal variations climbed 0.6 percent in November from the prior month, matching October’s increase. That compares with the Bloomberg survey median of a 0.7 percent rise.
Unadjusted prices in the 20 cities fell 0.1 percent in November from the previous month. Property values typically fall during this time of year.
The year-over-year gauge provides better indications of trends in prices, the group has said. The panel includes Karl Case and Robert Shiller, the economists who created the index. Year-over-year records began in 2001.
Nineteen of the 20 cities in the index showed a year-over- year gain, led by a 22.8 percent jump in Phoenix and a 12.7 percent increase in San Francisco.
New York was the only city to show decreases both month to month and year to year. Over the 12-month period, values in the city decreased 1.2 percent.
“Housing is clearly recovering,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, said in a statement. “These figures confirm that housing is contributing to economic growth.”
Combined sales of new and previously owned properties last year rose 9.9 percent, the biggest annual gain since 1998, data showed last week.
Purchases of previously-owned homes, which unexpectedly fell in December, were constrained by a lack of houses available for sale, the National Association of Realtors reported. Some 1.82 million existing homes were on the market last month, the fewest since January 2001, according to the group.
Lennar Corp. (LEN), the largest U.S. homebuilder by market value, reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as revenue jumped 42 percent. Stuart Miller, chief executive officer of the Miami-based company, said “a long-term demographic need for housing” is driving the housing recovery, which also is bolstering prices.
As “pent-up demand unwinds, homebuilders are gaining pricing power,” Miller said on a Jan. 15 earnings conference call. “After years of home prices falling, in 2012 the trend turned positive, initially stabilizing and then allowing for price increases across the country.”
D.R. Horton Inc. (DHI), the largest U.S. homebuilder by volume, said today that fiscal first-quarter profit more than doubled as demand for new houses climbed. Orders jumped 39 percent to 5,259 homes. The company’s contract backlog, an indication of future sales, rose 80 percent to $1.76 billion.
“We experienced broad improvement in demand in most of our markets this quarter, and we significantly increased our investments in homes under construction, finished lots, land and land development to capture this increasing demand,” Chairman Donald R. Horton said in a statement.
Low borrowing costs are helping buyers who qualify for financing. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was at 3.42 percent last week, close to the 3.31 percent in November that was the lowest in data going back to 1972, according to McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac.
The fiscal pact passed by Congress on Jan. 1, while avoiding sweeping tax increases, let the payroll tax used to pay for Social Security benefits return to the 2010 level of 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent. That reduces the paycheck by about $83 a month for someone who earns $50,000.
Single-family home prices in the United States slipped in November from a month earlier, but were up 5.5 percent compared with a year ago, according to the S.&P./Case-Shiller housing price index released Tuesday.
The annual increase builds on a string of gains that point to a housing market that is on the mend.
“Housing is clearly recovering,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S.&P. Dow Jones Indexes, said in a statement.
Prices on a nonadjusted basis slipped 0.1 percent from October. Prices fell in about half of the 20 metropolitan areas covered by the survey, with the winter months typically a weak period for housing.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the index gained 0.6 percent from October to November, in line with economists’ forecasts.
A separate report releaed on Tuesday said that consumer confidence in the United States had dropped in January to its lowest level in more than a year.
The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 58.6 from an upwardly revised 66.7 in December, falling short of economists’ expectations for 64. It was the lowest level since November 2011.
At the start of the year, Washington came to an agreement that averted spending cuts and tax increases that had been set to come into effect. But the deal did raise taxes for many Americans and a number of budget decisions still remain.
“The increase in the payroll tax has undoubtedly dampened consumers’ spirits, and it may take a while for confidence to rebound and consumers to recover from their initial paycheck shock,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement.
In this Jan. 5, 2013, photo a “for sale” sign is seen outside a home in Glenview, Ill. Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week but remained near record lows, keeping home buying more affordable. (Photo: Nam Y. Huh AP)
- Home prices in the 20-city index slid 0.1% in November from October
- Only NY shows year-over-year drop
- Low supply contributes to higher prices
Home prices rose 5.5% in the 12 months through November, providing more evidence of a recovering housing market, a closely-followed report showed Tuesday.
The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index of 20 major cities showed prices rising in 19 of the 20 cities for the 12-month period. Prices fell only in New York — by 1.2%.
Compared with October, the index showed a 0.1% decline.
“Housing is clearly recovering,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the home price index committee.
The November numbers were stronger than October with 10 cities posting gains month to month. Only seven cities showed monthly gains in October’s Case-Shiller report. Declines in 10 cities are not unexpected for November because of winter weather and normal seasonal slowdowns in housing markets.
In Phoenix, which has led the recovery, home prices posted the strongest monthly gain, up 1.4%. San Francisco also saw a 1.4% rise. Minneapolis followed with 1%. Chicago was among the weakest with a 1.3% drop in November from October.
The housing market helped pulled the economy into recession in 2007 but it has finally emerged as a bright spot in the economy. Prices are rising as are both new and existing home sales.
Case-Shiller’s data shows the Southwest — represented by Phoenix and Las Vegas — have the strongest home price gains while Southeastern cities Miami and Tampa are close behind. Year over year, Phoenix prices are up almost 23%.
California’s cities are also showing strong improvment but the Northeast and Midwest are lagging.
Other home price data also show increases for last year that came in higher than most economists expected.
Prices are being propelled by several factors.
In December, the nation’s supply of homes for sale fell to a 4.4 months, based on that month’s sales pace. That was the lowest level since May 2005, the National Association of Realtors says.
The supply situation, which has been tightening for six months, has led to multiple bids for houses in some markets.
“Any new listings are getting eaten up right away,” says EJ Bowlds, managing broker for Coldwell Banker Bain in Mercer Island, Wash. Multiple offers of 6 to 10 per home are now common, he says.
A slowly improving economy and low interest rates, which ticked up slightly to 3.42% the week ended Jan. 24, are also fueling demand.
Prices are expected to keep moving higher this year, many economists and market watchers say.
Prices will rise an average of 3.1% in 2013, according to the most recent survey of more than 100 economists and real estate experts surveyed by market watcher Zillow.
“We have probably hit bottom and we’ve probably come off the bottom a little,” says Lawrence White, economist at New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business.