What is Content Debt, and Why AI-Generated Synthetic Content?

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What is content debt, and why is there so much of it?

You know what I’m talking about if you are a content manager, marketing agency, or PR firm. We’ve all done it, but it’s got to stop.

So, what is content debt?

You can call it debt, waste, loan, liability, obligation, I O U, promise to pay, arrears, overdue, outstanding, and red ink. And, like the national debt, we all owe something.

As we enter the new realm of synthetic data, we are testing some interesting LLM models and wanted to see if we could change our tone and voice in this post. When you finish, please tell us what you thought of it as we learn daily. Thanks, and let’s get started.

Oh, content debt! That sneaky little gremlin that creeps up on you when you’re not looking. Imagine this – You’re busy creating all this awesome content for your audience, but you need to track it all. You must update old stuff, remove what’s redundant, or align it properly with your current brand message.

And before you know it, Bam! You’re knee-deep in content debt – a heap of outdated, irrelevant, or even incorrect content that’s no longer serving you or your audience. When you forget to clean your garage for years, suddenly, there’s no room for the car. Not the best situation, right?

We will explore content debt vs. content issue and how modern smart synthesized AI-generated content (SSAIGC) technology has revolutionized how content is created and distributed.

How many blogs are on the Internet that are active?

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The precise number of inactive blogs on the Internet is difficult to ascertain due to the vastness and dynamism of the digital landscape. However, a significant proportion of the over 500 million blogs may need to be updated. 

One study suggests that over 60% of blogs become dormant within six months, or 300 million need updating. 

Whether due to a lack of time, resources, or a clear content strategy, these silent voices contribute to the digital clutter, exacerbating the issue of content debt.

So I’ll give you an example. Say if you’re a small engine repair person trying to fix the carburetor on a lawnmower, your natural tendency is to go to YouTube.

How much is poorly written content on the Internet?

So, how much poorly written content is out there on the Internet? If the Internet was a hot dog-eating contest, badly written content would be the guy who shows up with buckets of hot dogs but no buns. In other words, it’s a mess.

Exact numbers are tricky to pin down because of the vast digital landscape. However, with over 1.7 billion websites worldwide, and each one churning out content at a staggering rate, the lackluster, sloppy, and downright abysmal content can be mind-boggling.

Consider this — it’s estimated that 4.4 million blog posts are published daily, 500 million tweets are sent, and 294 billion emails are exchanged. Now, not all of that is going to be Pulitzer Prize-worthy content. Much of it can be considered ‘content debt’ — poorly written, outdated, off-brand, or just plain wrong.

So yes, the Internet could be better with better-quality content. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. But fear not! With proper strategy, regular ‘content audits,’ and a commitment to quality over quantity, you can ensure your content shines like a diamond in the rough.

How much-outdated material is on the Internet?

How much outdated content material Internet

Quantifying the exact amount of outdated material on the Internet is like trying to count the stars in the night sky — near impossible due to its vastness and constant flux.

However, given that an estimated 409 million people worldwide view more than 20 billion pages each month, it’s safe to say that the volume of outmoded or irrelevant content is enormous. 

The speed of information exchange and continuous technological advancements also contribute to the rapid obsolescence of online content. So, it’s like a never-ending game of digital ‘Whac-A-Mole’ trying to keep everything fresh and up-to-date. 

But remember, the Internet might be a Wild West of outdated content, but your website doesn’t have to be. Regular audits, strategic updates, and a keen eye for quality can ensure your content stays as timeless as a well-fitting pair of denim jeans!

What is the productivity loss due to outdated material on the Internet?

Imagine you’re on a treasure hunt, but instead of a detailed map leading you to the gold, all you’ve got is a sketch on a cocktail napkin. That’s the experience of wading through outdated material online – you’re spending time and energy but not getting anywhere fast.

Outdated content causes productivity loss in several ways. 

  • It wastes users’ time as they sift through irrelevant information, searching for what they need. It’s like trying to find a rock concert amid a library – totally out of place and a real time-sucker.
  • Information needs to be updated to correct decisions or actions. You won’t make the best call if you’re relying on old data or misleading info. It’s like deciding to wear flip-flops to an event because an outdated weather report didn’t mention the incoming blizzard.
  • Cleaning up outdated content can be a drain on resources. Whether reclaiming storage space, updating SEO, or ensuring your brand looks up-to-date and reliable, tackling content debt is necessary but time-consuming.

In the grand scheme of things, dealing with outdated material on the Internet is a bit like having a mountain of laundry to fold – it’s not the end of the world, but boy, wouldn’t it be nice if it could just take care of itself?

When did content debt become a problem?

Trying to pinpoint when the content debt first became a problem is like remembering the first time you said, “Just one more episode” at 2 AM. It’s blurry. But one can safely say that with the boom of the digital era, content started pouring out at an unprecedented pace. 

Businesses began pumping out blog posts, social media updates, videos, webinars, you name it, faster than you can say, “binge-watching.” It wasn’t a big deal when you could count your content pieces on your fingers. But as we started generating content like rabbits in the springtime, keeping track of it all exponentially became tougher. 

And so, the content debt began to pile up. It’s like when you’re a kid, and you can easily manage the toys in your small toy box. But as you grow up and start collecting more and more, suddenly, you’re tripping over action figures and stepping on Legos in your sleep. Ouch! That’s when you realize – you’ve got a problem.

How many websites on the Internet are not active?

Concerning the number of inactive websites on the Internet, a definitive figure is still being determined due to the Internet’s vast and constantly evolving nature. 

However, considering there are over 1.7 billion websites currently, it’s reasonable to assume that a substantial fraction are dormant or inactive. These may be due to various reasons, such as abandoned personal blogs, outdated business websites, or domains purchased with enthusiasm but have yet to be used. 

These idle regions in the digital landscape only add to the clutter, becoming part of the increasing content debt we face today.

Quantifying the exact number of websites that have yet to be updated in the past year of 2022 is a daunting task, given the enormous and ever-evolving digital landscape. However, estimates suggest that many 1.7 billion websites today may not have seen an update in the past year. 

The reasons for this are manifold – some may be due to a lack of resources or interest, while others might result from a lack of a clear digital strategy.

 Whatever the cause, these neglected online spaces contribute significantly to the growing problem of content debt.

Digital content on the Internet comes in various forms, each playing a unique role in disseminating information and engaging audiences.

 Here are some common types:

  1. Websites: These range from personal blogs to corporate sites, e-commerce platforms, and educational portals.
  2. Articles and Blog Posts: These offer insights on various topics and can be found on individual blogs, news sites, or specialized platforms.
  3. E-books and Whitepapers: Comprehensive and detailed. These are often used for deep dives into specific subjects.
  4. Images and Infographics: These visual elements help communicate information in a visually appealing and digestible way.
  5. Videos: From tutorials to webinars and vlogs, videos are a versatile and dynamic form of digital content.
  6. Podcasts: Audio content that covers a wide array of topics, allowing users to learn on the go.
  7. Social Media Posts: Short snippets of content aimed at engaging and keeping followers updated.
  8. Email Newsletters: Sent directly to subscribers’ inboxes, these offer updates, promotions, or valuable content.
  9. Online Courses and Webinars: Educational content that helps users learn new skills or knowledge.
  10. Software and Apps: Digital tools and platforms that enable users to perform various tasks.

Each of these content types contributes to the richness and diversity of the digital landscape but also adds to the growing challenge of content debt when not managed effectively.

How can you tell content debt from a content asset?

Well, telling content debt apart from a content asset is like sorting through your old high school wardrobe. Some pieces are timeless classics that need sprucing up, while others, like parachute pants, aren’t returning anytime soon.

Content assets are those little gems – current, relevant, and aligned with your brand message. They attract traffic, generate leads, and generally make your audience happy. They’re the black dress or the perfect pair of jeans for your content wardrobe.

In contrast, content debt is like those acid-washed jeans buried in the back of your closet. It’s outdated, off-brand, or just plain wrong. These pieces of content may have been super cool and trendy once upon a time, but now they’re just taking up valuable space.

In the digital world, content debt can hurt your SEO, confuse your audience, and dilute your brand messaging. So, just like that wardrobe clean-out, it’s vital to regularly review and refresh your content to ensure it’s working for you, not against you.

Who causes the content debt?

Now, who’s the culprit behind this content debt menace? It’s like pointing fingers at who ate the last piece of pizza when everyone’s been grabbing slices. Content debt can result from actions by many different parties within an organization.

It could be overzealous content creators who focus on quantity over quality, marketers pushing for trendy content without considering long-term relevancy, or a need for more oversight from management. It’s not a one-person show but rather a collective responsibility. Kind of like how it takes everyone to clean up after an awesome but messy pizza party.

Why is content debt a problem?

You might be thinking, “So what if I’ve got a bit of content debt? Aren’t there bigger fish to fry?” Well, dear reader, content debt isn’t just a tiny sardine—it’s more like a giant, angry shark with sharp, gnashing teeth. Here’s why.

  • Content debt can be confusing for your audience. Ever walked into a party wearing a Halloween costume, only to discover it’s a black-tie event? That’s the kind of confusion outdated or irrelevant content can cause. It sends mixed signals about your brand, making it hard for your audience to understand who you are and what you stand for.
  • It can hurt your SEO. Search engines love fresh and relevant content like we love fresh and hot pizza. Content that’s outdated or doesn’t match your current brand message is like cold, day-old pizza—it might fill you up, but it’s not going to win any awards.
  • Content debt can dilute your brand message. Imagine trying to tell a joke, but a loud, annoying honk is interrupted every second word. That’s what content debt does—it interrupts and overshadows your message, making it hard for your brand to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Content debt may seem minor, but it’s a silent killer of audience engagement and brand authority. So, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and start cleaning out that content garage!

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How do we stop content debt?

Alright, we’ve identified the content debt monster. Now how do we slay it? Or rather, how do we make sure it doesn’t grow into a Godzilla-sized problem in the first place? It’s like maintaining a healthy diet so we don’t have to deal with those extra pounds later.

  1. You need a robust content strategy. This is like our nutrition plan—it should outline what types of content we need to produce, how often, and for what purpose. It should also tell us how to keep our content fresh and relevant. It’s our game plan to avoid the junk food of outdated content.
  2. You need to perform regular content audits. This is our fitness check-up. It’s about taking a step back, looking at what we’ve produced, and assessing what’s working and what’s not. It’s about identifying those content assets, still doing the heavy lifting, and just sitting idly on the couch.
  3. You will need to refresh and update our content constantly. This is our exercise routine. It keeps our content in top form, ensuring it continues to serve its purpose and resonate with our audience.

So, in essence, beating content debt is all about a healthy lifestyle for our content—proper diet (strategy), regular check-ups (audits), and exercise (updates). Now, who’s ready for some content cardio?

Financial Impact of Poorly Written Content on Brand Reputation and Bottom Line

In this era of the digital marketplace, content is king. It’s the tool brands use to communicate with their audience, establish a reputation, and generate revenue. However, poorly written content can negatively impact a brand in several ways. 

Are you beginning to see how low-quality product content can affect a brand’s search engine rankings, revenue generation opportunities, and overall reputation?

Impact on Search Engine Rankings

Search engines like Google use complex algorithms to determine the quality of content. These algorithms look for relevance, uniqueness, and value provided to the reader. Content needs to be written to meet these criteria, leading to lower search engine rankings.

Poorly written content can also increase the bounce rate (visitors leaving a website after viewing only one page). High bounce rates signal to search engines that the content isn’t valuable or relevant, which can further lower a site’s ranking

This leads to less visibility, fewer clicks, and, ultimately, fewer sales.

Impact on Brand Image and Revenue Generation

Beyond search engine rankings, poorly written content can negatively affect a brand’s image. Content riddled with typos, grammatical errors, and unclear messaging can make a brand seem unprofessional and unreliable. This can lead to lost business opportunities.

One study found that it costs American businesses nearly $400 billion annually due to poor content. This figure considers the time wasted deciphering unclear messages, the loss of potential customers due to mistrust, and the cost of rectifying mistakes caused by miscommunication.

Impact on social media presence and reviews

A strong social media presence is crucial for any brand in the digital age. However, poorly written content can hinder a brand’s ability to create compelling social media posts that engage and attract followers. This can reduce customer acquisition and retention, impacting the bottom line.

Furthermore, compelling written content has the potential to generate favorable reviews. Online reviews strongly sway a consumer’s buying journey, and a negative online reputation can impede revenue.

Overcoming the effects of poorly written content starts with recognizing its importance. Brands should invest in AI-driven professional writers, editors, or content marketing agencies to ensure high-quality, error-free content.

Reducing your content debt

Imagine a content strategy as the anatomy of a human, with a head, heart, and hands. The head represents thought leadership, the heart embodies use cases and testimonials, and the hands encompass the practical “how-to” aspect. 

From that point forward, you can construct the foundational structure of your thought leadership and other related categories.

Brands should prioritize continuous learning and training for their content creators. Tools like AIBrandPad or AIContentPad can also be beneficial in reaching your target audience.

In conclusion, while investing in high-quality content may require time and resources, the financial impact of poorly written content makes it a worthwhile investment. Content quality can make or break a brand’s success in the digital marketplace.

Harness the Power of Always-On Synthesized Content

Modern Smart Synthesized AI-Generated Content (SAIGC) technology is the secret weapon in our fight against content debt. Armed with intelligent algorithms that can analyze, update, and generate content, SSAIGC technology is the superhero we didn’t know we needed.

Think of it like a super-efficient cleaning crew tidying up your content house while out. It can sift through your existing content, identify what’s outdated, and spruce it up.

Here are the numbers:

A graphic artist typically costs $100 an hour and will take days to weeks to complete a design. With generative AI, you can do it 36,000 times faster, better, and cheaper than the human alternative. Starting to see my point? 

But wait, there’s more! This technological whiz kid can also create fresh content, following your content strategy guidelines and serving it up exactly when and where it’s needed. It’s like having a gourmet chef in your kitchen, whipping up delicious content dishes that your audience can’t resist.

By leveraging the power of AI, we can automate much of the heavy lifting associated with content creation and maintenance, helping to keep our content debt under control.

So, in the battle against content debt, remember to call on your trusty sidekick, SAIGC technology. Because when it comes to keeping your content fresh and relevant, a little AI magic goes a long way!

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General FAQs

Why is it important for small and midsized businesses (SMBs) to have a better communication strategy?

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Having a better communication strategy can help SMBs improve collaboration, productivity, and efficiency in their operations and build stronger customer relationships and loyalty. Synthetic content blended with a human touch can drive traffic to your website an increase sales.

What are the top 3 challenges for traditional content managers when it comes to content creation?

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The top 3 challenges for traditional content managers when it comes to content creation are staying up to date on industry trends, managing multiple content projects simultaneously, and ensuring content meets quality standards.

What strategies can traditional content managers use to overcome these challenges?

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Traditional content managers can use strategies such as delegating tasks, utilizing automation tools, and setting clear guidelines for content creation to overcome these challenges.

What are the top 3 challenges of traditional content managers with content workflows?

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The three main challenges of traditional content managers with content workflows are: inefficient task management, lack of collaboration between teams, and difficulty tracking progress.

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