Define Crappy Content

Yes, there is such a thing as crappy content. I know there are inbound marketers everywhere who will tell you that having some content is better than none but I disagree. Content can make you look worse, not convince people you’re trying.

How do I know? I’ve experienced this in both marketing and recruiting roles, for one thing. Ten years in the workforce has taught me something. Also, I read a lot. Between editing blog posts, researching white papers and reading just for fun (yes, I do that too) – I’m the ultimate consumer of content. With that has come a certain expectation and today, a more clear distinction of what makes crappy content and I think it very simply boils down to this:

You have to say something and show something.

While I may disagree with your philosophy entirely, if you have one – you’re already doing better than most. That’s why I start most of my posts and presentations with a real life story most people can relate to. That gives perspective, brings a concept to a real level and gives the person a chance to connect before they digest some heavy theory or action items.  It shows my context, not just my philosophy. It makes a theory something that prompts a response and that’s a lot more powerful.

Next up – you have to show them how someone did this successfully.

Why do writers expect everyone to buy into their bull shit when they can’t prove it actually works? It’s simple really. Stats that have citations. Case studies with links. You have to show up or ship out in my book. Remember, it’s not a best practice if no one is actually practicing it.

You’re doing everyone a disservice by citing data that doesn’t actually mean anything to convince them to do something you haven’t done. HR Tech vendors frequently commit this faux pas. The big media companies do, too. They fill their queue with people who have never done a job and expect them to help readers “propel to success.”

I cringed a little typing that. I think you get it. We have to give a little to get something from content.

I’ll step off my soap box now.

rant over


Katrina Kibben View All →

Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.

Katrina has written for,, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

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