Donald Trump’s errant mouth reminds us that words matter; Gobbledygook vs. Good Content

Winston Churchill said, “We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.” Words matter both for what is and isn’t said, and how. Donald Trump provides a high-profile reminder of the impact of words, and the consequent critical effect they can have on our lives.

Trump, whose behavior often mirrors that of a not-so-prescient five-year old, doesn’t seem to care. While he’s been able to maintain his position so far, most in the marketplace don’t have his power or ability to survive poorly chosen words over the long haul.

A digital marketer recently told me that in the world of SEO, content is indeed king of the hill now (even more important than keywords). What too often gets lost in the shuffle is the distinction between “content” and “good content.” Content (a/k/a gobbledygook) carefully crafted to satisfy the Google gods is not necessarily the same as good content that makes clear, compelling statements and sets a company apart from its competition.

In other words, develop a memorable (and hopefully well-liked and respected) brand. Satisfying the Google gods and developing top-notch content can work together very well—as opposed to “words on a page” that do nothing other than satisfy SEO requirements. Good content is a craft, not a commodity.

Here are three timely tips to get past the Google Gobbledygook and on to Good Branding Content:

1. Think about writing that resonates with you. Is it: Entertaining? Compelling? Funny? Persuasive? Memorable? Once you identify and categorize what you like, seek to adopt that model in your content.

2. Understand that good content resides everywhere—digitally and in print. There are reasons to deploy content through both. In fact, it can be argued that the best results come from a mix of the two in many cases. The pronouncements that “print is dead” are inaccurate and shortsighted. Print, in fact, is making a comeback among everyone from millennials eager to read hard-copy books to marketers finding that direct mail is the “new now,” and that email in some situations has become passé (akin to the direct mail of old).

3. Be very wary of SEO and digital specialists eager to talk only about the science of it all and who only pay lip service to “good content.” You may be hearing only half the story.

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