Good Content is More Than Just Sexy

Sexy content There’s been a conversation brewing in the world of content marketing about the need to create “sexy” content to entice new readers/customers/users/ whatever. Beyond the complexities of birds, bees, and whatever other animals are needed for a proper dissection of human sexuality, there are some other (and less potentially hazardous) problems with the idea of just making your content sexier.

 The Supposed Power of Sexy

It seems like there’s a lot of steam behind what I’m going to go ahead and call “the sexiness train” to make the “steam” part of this sentence make sense. There are plenty of commentators and bloggers talking about making content sexier to make it better.

Even Christina Milanowski seems to fall victim to the idea of sexy content by proclaiming that one of the four tenets of quality media is “Satisfy[ing] Desires with Your Content.” The word choice there is just too evocative to ignore. The concept of building not only data-driven content, but content that works on the level of “sexy” is, obviously, a pretty enthralling one, but it doesn’t necessary need to be the only thing driving your content.

In fact, Milanowski’s other three tenets involve telling a good story, crafting content capable of inciting action (which anyone who’s taken a writing class will tell you is an important part of telling a good story, but I digress), and creating content that fits into a larger strategy, so I don’t want you to think I’m throwing her under the bus. She places that desire thing as just 25% of her overall idea of content creation, which is an absolutely reasonable number for that.

 The Real Power of Quality

Echoing the old phrase “quality over quantity,” the new phrase “quality over sexiness” can be a valuable one for content creators nearing the precipice of relying on sexy to build an audience. Rather than relying on the power of supposedly sexy content, why not build a hint of sexiness into a larger, more qualitative approach to making what you make.

Take Brian Solis, who didn’t mention “sexy” once in his extremely interesting article on how People and Purpose are the fifth and sixth P’s of marketing. Especially with People in the article, you’d expect at least a mention of our baser instincts, but Solis prefers an approach that appeals to the better angles of people, giving them content that will appeal to humans on a human level.

In case you were wondering, the first four P’s are Product, Place, Pricing, and Promotion.

In fact, the article that inspired the conversation on “sexy” content, “The Battle for Sexy,” actually names data as the properly sexy thing in content. Considering the data you’ve put together for a project will absolutely help you build better content in your future. Utilizing the analytics gathered from your content will help you build new content that can not only interest your current audience, but also appeal to new customers and potential clients.

What are your thoughts on so-called “sexy” content? 


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Michael is a graduate of New York University’s Film and Television program. He specialized in writing, channeling a passion for storytelling, no matter the medium. In addition to his work at CEM, Michael primarily works in web content production, including projects like Geek Crash Course, a geek-educational series, the Ansible, a comics-based interview show, live performance series The Next Lab Sessions, and many more. In addition, he’s written and edited for the digitally distributed Champion! Magazine.

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