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Content is king.

I read it all the time in industry pubs. I hear it at conferences.

As a copywriter, those three words make my little heart flutter. I love the idea that differentiation is—and will continue to be—driven by message.

But “content is king” deserves one giant, humungo qualification. Content is only king if it’s something the reader actually cares about.

Everyone knows that, right?

Uh, no.

Here are few don’ts inspired by real-life examples that fail the M&C “Who Cares” test. Excuse the vent.

  • Company tweets about weather, your mood, where you’re having coffee or anything else that would probably bore even your closest friends. Save it for Facebook (personal page), and you might even get hidden there if you’re not careful.
  • INSTEAD: Share industry news, new innovations, unexpected partnerships or brief success stories. Caveat—you can still go the random route, but make sure your musings are funny, witty, engaging or otherwise unexpected (but not inappropriate of course).
  • Web videos that last longer than 30 seconds—seriously folks, threshold for video entertainment is high. I feel robbed of moments of my life when it’s crap.
  • INSTEAD: Viral videos are good when they have a purpose, and it’s not just chestpounding. Check out YouTube for top viewed videos to get an idea of what keeps people interested.
  • An elaborate contact strategy telling me about your new logo. Trust me, you care more about your logo than the rest of us. Much more.
  • INSTEAD: A simple message about the change in look will suffice. Reiterate that the new look doesn’t mean you’re leaving your old personality behind. After all, you don’t want to scare your current customers who’ve come to know and love you.
  • An overcomplicated request. If I need crumbs, two Goonies and a GPS to understand what’s being asked of me, I’m out.
  • INSTEAD: Humans are simple creatures. Basic requests—consistent buttons—make the brain feel good. Test your marketing out with a variety of age groups to be sure.
  • Company newsletters filled with the 374 ways I can buy your product. It’s a waste of your time to create—and mine to read.
  • INSTEAD: I love newsletters—print and online—but think long and hard before creating one. They take a lot of work, and unless they’re done well, don’t deliver a great return. If you have one, go the extra mile to create articles with actual information (see #1 ideas) and not just re-packaged marketing copy.