Do You Have R.O.T. Content?

Over the last few years, content marketing has become a popular tactic for companies seeking to build search rankings and revenues through their websites.

Although you could probably find dozens of definitions for content marketing, Sonia Simone of Copyblogger Media describes it as “the strategic creation of text, imagery, audio or video that delivers a relevant, interesting message to a customer or prospect, while at the same time paving the way for a sale” (from Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars, p. 56).

Do You Have R.O.T. Content?

Many high-profile brands like Coca-Cola, Purina and Gerber, as well as countless smaller companies, are developing informative and engaging content to help demonstrate their value rather than just claim it. This, of course, is a great development for the customer as it helps them get to the meat of their problem and find a solution rather than picking whatever offer sounds good and hoping for the best.

Marketers have met this revolution head-on by developing an endless supply of blog posts, presentations, infographics, how-to videos and so on.

The problem is that most marketers simply focus on creating more without having much understanding of what their customers want or need.

We recently had the pleasure of catching a webinar from the Digital Marketing Depot entitled What’s that Smell? Your R.O.T. Content.

In the webinar, which you can view as a presentation below, we learned how the rush to develop volumes upon volumes of content has led to a dearth of non-performing content assets. Rather than trying to understand customer needs and develop content around that, many marketers and companies simply just create more.

Most companies, more than two-thirds in fact, have no documented content strategy, but rather than taking a step back to better understand their audiences, these companies create more content.

Over time, this leads to a website full of R.O.T. content, or content that is:

  • Redundant (duplicate, too wordy)
  • Outdated (broken links/images, expired offers, outdated material)
  • Trivial (content that doesn’t provide value to the visitor, or isn’t relevant)

You need a content marketing strategy

If a company has a team of writers and designers developing content on a daily basis, it can be easy to develop a site full of R.O.T. content on short order if they don’t have a clear strategy and strong governance.

Many marketers think their job is finished once they identify their audience and develop the content. Unfortunately, this creates a situation where you have outdated or irrelevant content that you eventually have to go back and address.

In other words, “content execution gets prioritized over content strategy.”

In the past, search optimization pretty much boiled down to keyword usage. Include these phrases in your headings, copy and meta tags, and voila, your site’s profile grew in Google, Yahoo, etc.  However, search engines have become much more sophisticated and now base rankings on themes and intent rather than keywords only.

Having R.O.T. content on your site creates confusion among your customers, which of course harms your credibility as an industry thought leader.

What’s a content marketer to do?

First step is to take an inventory of your site’s content then assign each piece a score. Is the piece relevant to the customer and does it contribute to your overall business goals? Next, determine what can and can’t be fixed and get rid of the bad content.

Last, but not least, integrate some governance into your content creation strategy. Rather than scratching your head and just creating more content, evaluate the performance of your content and adjust your strategy based on available data and user feedback.

Browse through the handy presentation below for more information to learn more about R.O.T. content and how you can clean up your site to better serve your customers.

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