By now, you’ve probably seen the video of Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman being interviewed by Erin Andrews after Sunday’s NFC Championship game. This interview might become known as the “Smack Talk Heard ‘Round the World” because everyone from ESPN, to Forbes, to FOX News is still talking about it.
But what on earth can it teach you about content marketing?
After Sherman’s interview, the web portrayed him as everything from a thug, to a horror movie monster, to a drama queen best-suited for the WWE. During an interview that lasted less than 30 seconds, everyone seemed to forget that Sherman finished with the second-highest GPA in his high school class and went onto graduate from Stanford. Instead, he was a complete jerk who ranted and raved like a crazy person.
Your web content can generate the same backlash.
Oh, sure, you may not wind up trending on Twitter or as the subject of viral memes, but a content screw-up can definitely make people think the worst of you. After all, the web is full of people who are looking for instant answers and solutions. As a result, your content only has a few seconds to pull people in and convince them to keep reading.
Approach it from the wrong angle, though, and in the same amount of time Sherman’s interview lasted, your web content can make people think you’re everything from a fool, to boring, to a slimy salesman that wants nothing more than a quick buck.
Remember, EVERYTHING you publish on the web has a direct impact on the brand you’re trying to build — and, thus, on the money you make.
So, if you publish an article that’s light on facts or a blog post that’s simply a sales pitch disguised as legitimate information, and you’ll wind up with a reputation that isn’t much better than Sherman’s. Even a silly grammatical blunder (like the one I uncovered over at Burger King) can turn you into the butt of jokes.
When it comes to content marketing, even a few seconds can forever change the way your business is perceived. If you don’t believe me, just talk to Richard Sherman. After seeing the firestorm his short interview caused, there are probably a few words he’d like to take back!