No one needs a lecture on the importance of content. There is a much more important discussion we need to have on the current decay of content marketing.
Writing Derivate Content: Where is Modern Content Marketing Going Wrong?
Even a cursory knowledge of online marketing would have made you aware of the importance of content.
Every blog you read, every YouTube video you watch, every tweet you read, and all other forms of online consumption boils down to one word: content.
It is difficult to imagine the internet without great videos and awesome. After all, who can live without platforms like Facebook and Instagram anymore?
The innate ubiquity of content takes up much of the oxygen in digital marketing. Businesses spend a lot of money acquiring and publishing unique content.
So what is going wrong?
The epidemic of similar content
Let’s paint a scenario. Search for digital marketing on Google. You will probably find these websites in the top ten rankings.
Skim through the top ten ranking pages.
You will notice that a lot of content you read is pretty similar. There is no big factor differentiating the top ranked pages.
This is an example of similar content. The internet is full of websites that simply take complete inspiration from existing droves of content.
Why are more and more websites going down this route?
You don’t need to look any further than the example above.
All the websites largely discuss the same type of topics. A website trying to rank for this keyword has no incentive to bring something new to the table because Google is rewarding websites producing similar content.
This is a serious problem. Companies providing content marketing services have to balance search visibility expectations and the need to produce unique content.
The problem with similar content
So there is an epidemic of similar content. Talk to a content writer and you will get the same answer.
One argument would be dismissing similar content as problematic.
After all, smart algorithms like Google are able to parse through endless streams of similar content to rank the best pages.
This is a reductive way to look at the problem.
People depend on search engines to recommend content because of the belief that they will get unique and engaging suggestions. If there is no longer an incentive to write quality and unique content, one can expect a definite decline in content quality.
We are seeing this play out on platforms like YouTube as well. A lot of channels are posting too much content that is essentially talking about the same thing.
There is a desperate urge to game the algorithm rather than actually creating something unique.
Gaming online algorithms carries a bigger reward than creating content that is actually engaging.
This is not a good position for the internet in general.
We discussed the problem.
Now let’s discuss a plan to counter it.
Writing unique content: A step-by-step guide
Unique content still has value if you are prepared to discover new topics and present different perspectives. The following steps highlight the steps you can take to create your own special content portfolio.
#1: Find a balance between visibility needs and content quality
Online marketing does not have a lot of room for idealism.
You need to follow prescribed SEO guidelines to make sure you extract maximum visibility from search engines.
This means using popular SEO tools to identify certain target keywords and setting up essential money pages on your website (or other forms of landing pages based on your goal).
Another part of the job is making sure your website meets key technical SEO guidelines.
Once you take care of the basics, you can spend the rest of your resources on producing quality content.
This takes us to the next step.
#2: Forget about frequency. Quality comes first
Google doesn’t really care if you post seven long-form derivative blog posts on your website. It will have a minuscule effect on your website SEO and overall search visibility.
Instead, focusing on creating one piece of quality content over the course of a week is much more beneficial.
Let’s take the digital marketing example. Assume you want to rank one on ‘digital marketing.
You have two options:
- Create a generic long blog post like all other websites ranking in the top ten search results,
- Create a unique blog post where you use practical case studies and data points to add weight to every point you make.
The second option is more difficult because it takes a greater amount of time and skill.
Nevertheless, you have a better chance of ranking well now even if your website authority and rating is lower than the ones already in the top ten.
You are bringing something new to the table that other websites are not covering.
In short, focus more on quality and less on frequency. There is already enough content out there. You should only publish content on your website when you have something unique and interesting to present.
#3: Hire a digital marketing agency with expertise in content
For a small business, it is not feasible to hire the best copywriters on a full-time basis. The idea to then hire a digital marketing agency naturally comes into the picture.
Not all digital marketing agencies are the same. Some have an expertise in SEO, some excel at branded video content, and so on.
If your goal is to create trend-setting unique content, you need to hire an agency specializing in content marketing services.
Identifying the speciality of an agency takes a lot of research. You should carefully analyze the portfolio of any agency you plan on hiring. This will give you a clear idea of whether an agency fits your exact needs.
Of course, no marketing agency would claim it specializes in one area and lags in another. You must parse through the noise and select an online marketing company that fits your needs.
From the outside, digital marketing seems easy and straightforward. You can find an endless stream of generic quotes on the importance of content.
A closer look shows the tough challenges that lie in the field of content marketing. The best way to combat any challenge in content marketing is by focusing on quality. This idea may sound plain and simple, but it will help you make key marketing decisions from time to time.