Worth queuing for?

Is your content worth queuing for?

One thing I was prepared for when I returned to New York recently was queuing – especially at restaurants and cafés.

Out in Brooklyn last weekend, some friends and I managed to score a spot at a popular local café with a wait time of an hour or more (yes, there was a crowd of people patiently queuing with take-away coffees outside), while right across the street another venue sat half-full on a bright and warm Easter Sunday.

Why? The popular venue had a better product (and no doubt better word-of-mouth marketing to go with it).

The same can be said for brands, organisations, consumers and content.

Just as consumers are happy to wait out on the pavement for a spot to sit and a good meal, so too are fans happy to subscribe to brands online, and interact with and share content they deem of value.

After reading this post from Jay Baer earlier in the week about the make up of users’ facebook news feeds and Americans’ distaste for receiving brand promotions in social media (according to this study from Exact Target they prefer good ole email), I started unsubscribing to a number of brands that were blasting away with the promotions.

Much like we all have a magic number for the amount of social networks we can maintain engagement with (hat tip Scott Monty), I believe we also have a limit to the number of brands whose content we wish to queue for and welcome into our news feeds – and we don’t need to wait an hour in line to join or unsubscribe.

The good news is that in general, I feel that the current content being produced by a lot of brands is falling short of what fans would like to see and genuinely engage with or share.

Why is that good news?

While it may sound pretty negative, I believe it equals opportunity for brands to step up to the plate and provide value in their online marketing and communication.

Doing a bit of an audit of the brands I follow, subscribe to and share, I identified only one brand that I would actually rave about, and whose content I actually look forward to receiving in my feeds.

That said, there’s still plenty of room for more brands to capture my attention and to be added to my list.

As Seth Godin put it – we live in an attention economy.

Just like I’ll always be happy to wait for a great café or restaurant, I’ll look forward to new content from those brands that I know care and are in tune with what consumers find of value in these online spaces (hint: it’s not coupons).

The question is:  Is your content worth queuing for?


What do you think?

Are the brands you follow producing content you deem of value? How many brands would you actually rave about when it comes to content marketing effort? Or am I being too harsh here as brands begin to learn these new channels and develop their ongoing content marketing strategies?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

Image credit: GoldMoneyNews, via Flickr CC 3.0

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