Generating content and “content marketing” have become a mantra for many, but for small businesses, attorneys and others there are some traps out there when attempting to develop authority for your brand.
The reality is that while website content can be a great marketing tool, it can also be a trap for the unwary who miss some key opportunities to really develop their marketing efforts online successfully.
You can read a great guide to creating great content marketing by content marketing guru Neil Patel right here.
And there is another great guide from MOZ on content marketing and its various components which you can read at this link.
Forbes recently carried an article from Jason DeMers, an SEO and online marketing experts who explained that bad content can do more damage to your brand and marketing efforts than doing nothing at all.
And another Forbes article earlier this year provided some evidence of just what mistakes many content marketers make in the belief that they’re doing the right thing.
3 Content Benefits & 3 Content Traps
Jason DeMers outlined three basic benefits from using great content on your website, including –
SEO benefits – ” Adding new content gives search engine crawlers more material to index, and can make your website more relevant for specific search queries.”
Building Your Reputation – “High-quality content will make people appreciate, respect, or trust your brand, and the best content has the potential to go viral, attracting even more traffic to your site and earning links that boost your domain authority.”
Converting Visitors – “Content is also an opportunity to convert your audience, or get them to take a desired action.”
So the benefits are entirely worthwhile, valuable and – if done correctly – will propel your online authority and reputation.
So what are the pitfalls in using content on your site?
How can any content – unless its spammy rubbish – actually do any real damage?
Well, several ways and DeMers looks at three in particular –
1. Quality over Quantity – This is content that fails to produce any real value to readers. It may be too brief, too light in nature and just fail to deliver the ‘goods’ in the sense required by readers who are seeking content they can use.
The key is to ensure that your content is providing the value required – rather than simply spinning out content for the sake of it. Google and the major search engines want relevance and quality for their readers, so go for quality.
2. Means to an end – DeMers points out that some marketers and content producers see content as a means to an end in itself, rather than working out what quality material their audience requires.
They treat it like an advertising opportunity, rather than an opportunity to provide value or benefit to their audience. Doing so may betray your audience’s trust.
3. Strategic mimicry – this is content that essentially mimics another site’s successful content. It generally fails to capture the essence of what made the content successful in the first place and can be seriously misplaced as a strategy to ensure you capture your market.
The result of such mistakes can be a poor quality mashup of content that fails to deliver.
The key to this is delivering quality at all times – ensuring that you’re not there just to capture eyeballs, but to deliver value. You’re a quality content provider, not a spammer.
It’s also important for those seeking to attract quality audiences that they do not produce content that is attracting the wrong audience. Once again, it’s not just the numbers that count, its the quality.
Bad content marketing is a major mistake in a content-driven online world. It can sometimes take more effort to hone content for quality, rather than producing it merely for “eyeballs”.