Business is all about reputation. Any content marketing campaign has to have half an eye on reputation if it is to succeed in terms of engagement and promotion. Everything we do as a business has to look good, paint us in a positive light and enhance that reputation.
In our many years of copywriting in Cornwall and across the world, we have assisted with many content marketing campaigns and have devised more than a few ourselves. We have also had to repair damage done by mistakes. We worked on a terrible one last week, which prompted this post.
If you’re considering content marketing for your own business, don’t repeat these five marketing mistakes.
1.? Using duplicate content
This is the single most destructive thing you can do, both in terms of SEO and brand awareness. Duplicate content can be either writing an original piece and publishing it in multiple places or worse still, taking someone else’s work and republishing it as your own. Either can seriously impact your SEO efforts and your reputation.
Google is exceptionally good at rooting out duplicate content. If it spots a trend of duplicates it will either not index them at all or actively penalise the site that features the duplicate. Neither of which you want.
Worse still, your readers will soon pick up on what you’re doing and they are much less forgiving!
2.? Keyword stuffing
When SEO was all about keywords, the internet as a whole suffered. Pointless websites stuffed full of keywords that made little or no sense ruled the results pages. We had to contend with poorly written content that often had no real meaning except for the website owner.
Ever since Google began understanding context, the days of keyword stuffing were thankfully over. Unfortunately, businesses have been very slow to pick up on this and still insist on using old school and outdated methods. Some still ask for keyword density or provide single word keywords. Those things have gone the way of the Dodo!
3.? Headlines that don’t deliver
The one thing you must never do in business is disappoint the customer. It’s the same for content marketing. If you write a headline, make sure the content meets the expectation it creates. There’s nothing worse than reading a compelling headline only to find some boring content underneath or finding it doesn’t relate to the story at all.
News portals are notorious for this and receive negative feedback as a result. The term “clickbait” was coined especially for this and is viewed almost universally negatively. If you write content, the last thing your brand needs is to be seen as a brand that makes false promises.
4.? Faking testimonials
We spoke about fake testimonials in “How case studies can generate new business.” They are a real problem. No matter how good you think your fake testimonials are, your audience WILL find out and they WILL punish you for it. They aren’t daft, don’t treat them as if they are.
If you don’t have real testimonials, don’t use any. Build the relationships necessary and get some testimonials as you go. Offer a discount or special offer to any client willing to provide a testimonial. They aren’t had to get.
5.? Not delivering quality
Quality should be at the centre of everything we do as businesses. That’s especially true in any “first contact” materials. Your blog, brochure, site content, emails and everything you put out into the world should be of the highest quality it can be. Anything else sells your business and yourself short.
Don’t buy cheap web content or blog posts from Asia. Don’t publish a website or brochure without having it professionally edited or proofread and don’t put anything into the public domain without at least a second set of eyes to check it over. It doesn’t cost much in terms of cash but can cost a huge amount in terms of reputation.