There are 3 reasons (probably more) that the stuff you and your team churn out under the guise of 'content' isn’t working, its probably because you're not creating conversations, you're creating (very poor) ads dressed up as 'content';

How often does a piece of 'content' drop into your feed on LinkedIn, Twitter or other Social channel feeds?

Well, if you are on social media and other news feed channels probably quite a lot. Every day we are privileged enough to be exposed to limitless amounts of information that can help us along our journey. You could argue that we are subject to 'information' over load, so how do you stand out above all that noise?

Thankfully enough people take the time to create authentic and industry relevant copy, produce it, pump it out & promote other people who do that same thing - consistently. The social world of today has helped give a voice and democratize the 'opinions' of the masses- no one says you have to agree with it, or read it - that's what the 'filter' and scroll functions are for.

The ones who are authentic, share expertise about their industry, put in the effort, get huge engagement, lots of interactions and build credibility with their network & peers as a result they are ‘earning trust’. 

Problem is, you think telling everyone about your product/service, or latest award win for the 'fastest boiling kettle' is valuable information. 


C'mon, people know it’s just a self serving advert. It’s the equivalent of the ‘Golf Sale’ sign guy on the street who everyone just walks past.

Even when/if you get a comment on the feed you can’t even be bothered to acknowledge or reply? Guess what, your team see you doing this so they follow suit. 

I don’t know anyone whose made a sale on social, but I know loads whose sale process started on social.

As a marketing guy I get the need to deploy what you believe is a ‘content led’ strategy, you engage or employ clever wordsmiths/copywriters who write (on your direction) subject matter copy & fun campaigns that potential readers will find so compelling they simply have to comment and share it. You have convinced yourself that it’s not advertising, it’s simply sharing content that people might be interested in right?

As a strategy it certainly worked for me to recover a website from a site wide Google penalty a few years ago so, it’s gotta be that simple - hasn’t it? - Wrong......

1 - It isn’t of value to me, it’s an advert dressed up as editorial copy & your audience knows it.

2 - It’s a one way conversation, it’s all about YOU - always the most boring of people, me, me, me and more me.

3 - You listen to reply, you are trying to ‘sell’ something - not to understand another point of view. 

If you are writing copy with the sole intention to produce 'click bait' then that's a very short lived strategy. As the article mentions says no-one remembers 'content' from 25 years ago, but they do remember a good advert. In my opinion the same can be argued about stimulating a great conversation, it can be recalled many times over and shared with friends, family and colleagues, over many, many years .

My colleague Adam Gray from Digital Leadership Associates often says it's more important to 'sell' through your network not to them, that's why authentic information is vital for your network who might then want to engage with and share it. Example here 4 Simple Steps.

Good Conversations are a two way process, but they are as much about 'listening' in order to provide a response that adds value to the conversation. Simply adding a ‘like’ to content (whilst easy to do & flattering) isn’t ‘engaging’ in the conversation. It’s the equivalent of a smile during the conversation, which is fine in itself but on its own it’s not going to move the conversation on is it?

So, don’t just publish 'content' for the sake of it, go and find other peoples content join the debate, get involved. Because as in life that’s how you get people involved from your own conversations.

And if its an advert, be HONEST about it, but make it a great advert.