Lost in Translation: Quality Content Matters and Other Lessons Learned

by | Oct 31, 2016 | Content strategy, Writing

I was recently browsing cheap Bluetooth speakers and discovered that while sales for these things are huge, quality content is not high on the agenda for these companies.

To wit, here’s the speakerphone and suction cup description for the LESHP Pocket Mini:

With the strong grade sucker, so speaker can play freely occasions adsorption. Built in high sensitive microphone, a key realization of all calls, neglect neither driving nor calling.

There’s so much to work with in that passage. Bad grammar. Lack of detail. General senselessness.

And there’s more, further down the page:

Good sound began moving 360 to your extraordinary experience from here.

Excellent Bluetooth module, powerful function and perfect sound quality, enjoy wireless music.

We’re probably dealing with a translation from Chinese, but that doesn’t excuse the complete lack of comprehension. However, it offers a case study for content. Let’s look more closely at the lessons the page offers.

  1. As a result of the poor content, I immediately doubted the quality of the product and the seller. Lesson: Quality content matters in a very tangible way. Poor content reflects poorly on you.
  2. Several details about the product are sprinkled throughout the text, but you have to hunt for them. That may be why there’s more than 70 reviews and 11 customer questions needed to round out the content. Lesson: Think about your audiences’ tasks and make sure it’s easy for them to accomplish them.
  3. The user-generated content saves the page. The reviews round out the product information. While I suspect that the reviewers may have gotten discounts or free products in exchange for their post, if you read enough you’ll get a general idea of the pros and cons of the speaker. Lesson: Tap into the expertise and enthusiasm of your audience.
  4. The Amazon.com page serves as the main web presence for this item. There’s no company page, and a search turns up three Amazon pages plus a few other sellers and linkbait sites. Lesson: Not everything needs a website. Sometimes a Facebook page or Amazon.com pages is enough. Be where your audience is.
  5. This product costs less than $10. Lesson: If you price something low enough, the rest may not matter. Sad but true.

And no, I didn’t buy this one. The editor in me wouldn’t allow it.