Teams that “muff the punt” on NFL draft day will lack the talent they need to compete for years. The same can be said for companies that are “drafting” their content strategies. Pushing the wrong content can be as devastating for a company as drafting Ryan Leaf over Peyton Manning, so always work to stay focused on your “receivers” – the audience.

Don’t Draft JaMarcus Russell – “Freak Athlete” Content Isn’t Everything

JaMarcus Russell was a 6’6”, 265 lb. quarterback that could throw the ball 70 yards while on his knees. But while he had the tools to succeed, he didn’t have the mind to use them properly. He also had some “colorful” off-the-field party habits.

“Freakish” content libraries won’t take your marketing to the endzone if you don’t have the right content and a smart delivery plan. Also, being able to pass content quickly won’t matter if it’s “aired out” to the wrong audience.

Don’t Draft Courtney Brown – Address Your Content Strategy Defects

Courtney Brown recorded 33 quarterback sacks at Penn State and ran a 4.52 40-yard dash at 271 lbs. But after only five games of his second season, down went Brown. Injury problems plagued the former number-one pick for the rest of his career.

Review your content for potential defects before and during distribution. Content maintenance matters, so tackle typos, revise old content, and keep an eye on how your audiences are evolving

Don’t Draft Johnny Manziel – Having the Right Voice Matters

Better known as Johnny Football, the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy had to go to rehab to work on his off-the-field lifestyle habits of fighting and boozing. Time will tell if he can rebound, but he looks like a bust.

Your content needs to have the right voice. Just as Manziel’s teammates would have issues trusting a “party boy” in the huddle, your readers may not trust your company if your content isn’t professional in both style and substance.

Don’t Draft David Klingler – Gimmicks Can’t Beat Substance

Playing in the gimmicky run-and-shoot offense, which featured on-the-fly wide receiver route adjustments that kept defenses off balance, David Klingler threw 54 touchdowns in 1990 in college ball. Over the course of 33 NFL games, he threw only 16 in a pro-style offense.

Gimmicky content can’t defeat real value, and cheap tricks, like intentional fact gaffes, will only cheapen your brand. Instead, your readers should take away something significant from each content piece. If your content can’t make your readers laugh or learn, then it can’t hack it in the pro league.

Don’t Draft Ryan Leaf – Your Readers Have to Care

Leaf entered the NFL as an arrogant, yet talented quarterback with a high ceiling. He had the potential to make the Indianapolis Colts second-guess drafting Peyton Manning, but he didn’t care about football.

Before writing a content piece, ask yourself if readers will actually care about what you have to say. If the answers to the “So what? Who cares?” questions are “I don’t know and nobody,” start over.

Throw a Nice Spiral to Your Readers

Like a quarterback that needs to deliver a football to his receivers, make sure your readers can catch your content piece and take something substantive to the house. Choose the right audience, refresh old content, and keep your content as relevant as possible. Don’t draft a content bust. Make sure your content has the right voice and appeal – presentation matters on the Content Gridiron.