I get the honor of chatting with Overit clients before they become Overit clients. I get introduced in the early conversation stages when they’ve come to us looking for digital marketing services and, as a team, we work with them to create the most effective marketing plan to meet their needs. It’s a fun process. Okay, it’s a really fun process and I feel pretty grateful to be part of it.

Over the past six months or so, there’s been a common thread in a lot of these meetings. So much so that it may actually be hurting their efforts.

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but content marketing is currently king. Every brand and its brother is being instructed to add more content, more pages, more blog posts, more whitepapers and more words to their website in whatever form they think best to take. As I oversee the content marketing department here at Overit, you may think I am on board cheering this revolution.

But I’m not. Not always, anyway.

I’m here to tell you that more content, all the time, is a lie.
More content will not automatically create a better site.
There are site and brand elements more important than fresh content.
Sometimes investing in content is a waste of your money.

Below are some best practice things to do before you ever considering investing in new branded content.

branded content

Clear Messaging

Some may disagree with this stance, but we put brand before anything else. To our team, your branding and your messaging is what guides everything else we’re going to do. That means if you don’t have a solid brand, if you don’t understand your core brand tenets or if you haven’t identified your key messages, then we don’t think you’re ready to invest in new content just yet and we won’t steer you there. You still need to identify what it is you want to say and who it is you’re speaking to. Without that, there’s no sense throwing more content on your website to speak to an empty room. Or worse yet, the wrong room.

Get your brand messaging down so you know what message you’re trying to put out. Then, let’s talk about how to amplify it.

A Compelling Point of Difference

If you’ve ever read my bio on the Overit site (and, I mean, why wouldn’t you have done that? ;)) you may know I don’t care what it is you do or what you sell (sorry). I want to know why you do it.

  • What’s weird about you?
  • What’s different?
  • What makes you stick out?
  • Why did you eat your lunch in the bathroom during high school?

That is the good stuff! That’s what will get your brand noticed.

If you’re not sure of your point of difference or if you even have one, you’re not ready for content. Because engaging content is rooted in the intersection of what your customer needs and what makes you weird. Get to know yourself first. We can help hold the mirror, if you need.

A Professional, Functional Website

If you haven’t updated your web presence since the early 2000s, sure, we’ll talk about content. But before we do, we need to talk about the condition of your website. We need to stop the bleeding.

Never-one-to-mince-words, Patrick Sexton shared this image not too long ago and it made me laugh.

contenthouses

Nailed it.

You don’t fix a website by adding more content to it. You fix a website by fixing the website. You do it by addressing the site’s functionality, by evaluating how it should handle on different devices, by addressing usability mistakes, and by looking at important search engine optimization (SEO) factors like everything from titles and page descriptions to Authorship and schema markup. That’s how you create a more professional, more functional, better-converting website. The content is important, but there’s no sense leading a horse to water if the well is caved in and foaming at the mouth.

Better Existing Content

Despite the experts’ pleas to the contrary, your customers probably aren’t asking for MORE pages on your website or MORE content for them to download. They’re asking for better, more targeted content. Instead of looking to what’s shiny, fix what you’re already working with. Rewrite those stale product or service pages so that they convert a user and tell the right story. Don’t just add a blog for the sake of it, reorganize and redesign the dusty resources already sitting on your website. Get more from what you already have first. Make your home tidy and presentable before inviting people over for more of the same.

Maybe you need fresh content on your site. But maybe you don’t. Maybe you need to improve the foundation of your website. Maybe you need stronger messaging. Maybe your strong play is to improve upon what you already have. Take the time to find out.