Content marketing is all about creating quality content that builds authority and provides value to potential and existing customers. Content must be on-brand and should of course represent your business well. With this in mind then, I find it utterly baffling that even now, business owners continue to outsource content creation to the lowest bidder, ending up with low quality content that reflect poorly on them.
Would you let a toddler design your business cards or your shop sign? Of course not, so why show a compelte lack of disregard when it comes to your website copy and blog articles?
What Happens When You Scrimp On Content?
In my opinion bad content is even worse than no content. If you don't have something interesting or valuable to say, don't bother saying it. You're not just wasting your time, but by allowing rubbish to be published in your name, you are actively damaging your businesses reputation making it less, rather than more likely that you will attract new customers.
If you are currently outsourcing content, don't ever just leave an agency or freelancer to it. Insist on proofing every article, have an approval process, or at the very least, make sure you are regularly reading what is being published for you.
Let's look at a recent example. It's shocking because it is so recent, dated January 2015. With such high levels of general awareness regarding content marketing, and with SEO being all about quality content, there are no excuses.
The odd typo or misuse of grammar is forgivable, and I am the first to admit that i'm far from perfect, but when content is written by someone who doesn't understand English, you end up with something like the snippet below.
The heading immediately struck me as strange, as the picture used in the article depicted a couple moving, yet the language used ('transfer') was odd. It is clear that this article was not written by someone whose first language is English, but just look at the authors name "Mark Smith". It is pretty obvious that the writer is trying to make out that he is English - alarm bells ringing yet?
If you take a moment to read through any of the above, you'll see that it is factually incorrect (it's called 'moving' not 'transferring') and in many parts, it's just complete gibberish.
Quality Content Isn't Quick or Cheap To Produce
A well researched, well written 800 word blog article can take anything up to 3 or 4 hours to write. Add another hour for image sourcing, the creation of a custom graphic and editing the article. Add to that another half an hour to put the article live and then promote it across your various social networks.
A strong blog article, designed to increase your authority in the eyes of search engines and to instil trust into potential customers (if your content doesn't achieve either of those things, what's the purpose of it?), can easily take half a day to produce; and like it or not, that's time you should be prepared to pay for.
Never sacrifice the quality of your content for quantity. A single well written article published each month, will be more beneficial to you than any number of cheaply produced bad ones.
How To Avoid Low Quality Content
- Always look at past articles or website content written by the agency or freelancer you intend to use before making your decision
- Have final authorisation over new content that is published on your website, blog or on your behalf on third party websites
- Google is increasingly able to spot low quality, spammy content and your website or blog will drop down the search results if your content is consistently bad, or even dropped from search results all together
- Regularly check the content that is being produced, to ensure that quality and relevance remains high
- Outsourcing for the lowest cost possible will likely result in poor quality content that provides no benefit
- Outsourcing work to an agency in another country is fine, as long as the writer who will be creating your content is fluent, and writes well in English
- Never allow content to be published for the sake of it. Every article should serve a purpose and meet a clear objective