Most times, I’d call it what it is: clickbait. But three times this week, I’ve seen compelling, extreme headlines that made a bold case about the content marketing industry and then backed it up with thoughtful rationale. By making such bold statements, these authors challenge the status quo—but maybe that’s a good thing. And maybe they’ll trigger a shift in the way we do business.
Here’s what caught my attention this week:
- Don’t use stock photography. Penned by Buddy Scalera, this piece from the Content Marketing Institute caught my eye, so I shared it on LinkedIn. Apparently it caught other folks’ eyes, too, since I saw a few comments, likes and shares of the popular piece. Of course, the writer’s not saying to completely abandon stock, but he is saying authentic images are (almost) always the trump card.
- Don’t ever do keyword research again. Never’s a strong word, especially in this case. But as Nate Dame writes in this Search Engine Land post, keyword planners can miss the mark occasionally. That’s why it’s imperative to understand user intent—and most importantly, to listen to people to understand what they’re searching for, because Google may not always produce the right mix of terms.
- Get rid of thought leaders. Though this post originally published on the Global Copywriting blog in 2014, the author recently published it on LinkedIn and it immediately started trending. That’s probably because Sarah Mitchell says “it’s time to kill off your thought leaders” in the very first paragraph. Her argument is about the label, not the concept. Creating thoughtful, expert content is still the strategy—but by saying it’s delivered by a “thought leader,” you can diminish the end result. After all, she says, “when everyone is a thought leader, no one is a thought leader.”
No doubt about it—these statements are bold. But that’s what made them so popular—and for someone attuned to clickbait, it was nice to see disruptive headlines paired with insightful facts.