Why Inspirational Quotes Are Not A Content Marketing Strategy. But first let’s take a look at how we got here and how misusing or over-using inspirational quotes can actually hurt your brand. So you see a lovely quote on Instagram and decide to share it with your own followers. If we are strategic, creative, and respectful of our audiences in our quote-posting practices, we can uncover tremendous opportunities for building relationships. These tips are a good place to start: Post quotes that have some connection to your brand promise. Post quotes that your audience can relate to. Always brand your quote images. Be selective about the quotes you select and make sure that each one serves a purpose beyond “getting more likes.” Always keep your audience in mind and share true insights that enhance their lives. Most importantly, make sure every quote you post serves your brand well and advances your content marketing strategy. And yes, you can quote me on that.
“But they get so much enga-a-a-a-agement …”
I can still hear the whine from that one client who swore up and down that inspirational quotes deserved top priority in their content marketing strategy.
They were a B2B company serving the oil and gas industry.
Folks, this inspirational quote thing has gotten out of hand, and it’s time we did something about it.
Now, y’all know I’m big on research, so when I sat down to write this post, I wanted to know what others are saying about it. When I typed “inspirational quotes” “content marketing” strategy into Google, here’s what I got:
And here’s what I did:
Before I launch into what’s wrong with the whole inspirational-quotes-as-content-marketing-strategy thing, let me clarify. I’m not talking about all quotes. I’m talking about ambiguous, feel-good stuff like this:
Used strategically and creatively, concise insights from thought leaders in your field can actually serve you quite well, and here in a bit, I’ll show you how to do that. But first let’s take a look at how we got here and how misusing or over-using inspirational quotes can actually hurt your brand.
How Did We Get Here?
Take a spin through your feed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and you’ll be assaulted with a barrage of vague, sappy quips intended to inspire you to aim higher, feel better about yourself, handle challenges, be nicer, follow your dreams, learn more, and take on a more positive attitude. Just follow every piece of advice you encounter, and eventually you could become the Most Annoying Human Being on the Planet.
So how did we get here? Why did this love affair between marketers and the feel-good snippet begin in the first place? Three reasons:
- They’re easy to find and quick to post
- They make people feel good (… maybe)
- They get lots of engagement
That third reason is really the kicker that got us into this mess. Give people something that makes them feel good about themselves, and they’ll be quick to like and share it, right? And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. It’s just not a foundation for a content marketing strategy.
How Quotes-Done-Badly Can Hurt Your Brand
As we’ll discuss below, sharing insightful quotations strategically, creatively, and with respect can benefit your brand and foster meaningful connections with your audience.
Sadly, far too many marketers, attracted by the promise of easy engagement, wind up doing quotes badly. Not only is this a waste of time and effort; it can actually hurt your brand, and here’s how:
Misuse of inspirational quotes can make you look silly.
Posting the occasional dose of generic inspiration makes perfect sense for some businesses. If you’re a life coach or own a coffee shop, go for it. But if you’re an accounting firm, a real estate agency, a software vendor, or an oilfield service provider, posting generic feel-good snippets one after the other can make people question your professionalism.
You may be unwittingly promoting someone else’s brand.
So you see a lovely quote on Instagram and decide to share it with your own followers. Did you happen to notice the URL at the bottom of the image? Smart marketers know the importance of branding the images they share (more on this later), and by sharing some of the quotes you find out there in social media, you may be inadvertently endorsing brands…