The whole marketing world is going crazy over content marketing.
- Businesses are jumping into content marketing because it’s a sure shot way of getting more customers on board
- Marketing agencies are promoting content marketing as if there is no other kind of marketing that works
While I do love content marketing and enjoy the benefits it gives me, there is one question that I always wanted to ask my clients before getting into it.
Does embracing content marketing make it a win-win situation for your business as well as your customers?
The Dangers of Content Marketing
However there is a hidden danger associated with achieving success with content marketing.
Let’s take the case of the health industry.
I am planning to launch a diet program along with my sister (who happens to be a Doctor of Naturopathy) soon and we were discussing about it a few days back.
One thing that she told me particularly upset me. Let me quote her.
Adarsh, I was doing some research on the internet and came across one article. The article is supposed to help people lose weight if they follow what they have mentioned on the site.
However, I was absolutely shocked after reading the whole article. The advice mentioned there is plain wrong and potentially life threatening as well.
I don’t get it. Why would people write such content on the internet? Isn’t there any regulation about what you can write about?
I had to say to here that the internet is not something bound by rules. That’s exactly the reason why internet is so popular today.
The question I want to ask is “Is utilizing the power of content marketing always a win-win situation?”
Granted the website may get a lot of visitors from search engines. They may even get someone to follow the advice. But who really wins in this case? Is it fair to the readers that the content created is “potentially life threatening?” Hell, even medical researches are fraudulent!
Another Case of Wrong Advice…
Recently I saw a post on my Facebook feed where a popular blogger liked a piece of weight loss content. The title made me curious that I decided to check it out. It so happened that the article was very confusing and the advice was simply plain wrong.
I am not a doctor or health expert. However I have enough knowledge to understand when someone gives drastically wrong health advice.
Blame my sister for asking me to proof read her health eBook. I have also read numerous other “diet and wellness” books in the market while doing market research. I did confirm with her about the article just to make sure that I was right.
The site was obviously set up to make money from advertisements or affiliate marketing. But isn’t there a hidden risk in providing wrong advice? What if someone believes it to be true and start following the wrong advice?
What’s funnier was that the article had a byline where it stated the author was a freelancer, SEO expert and something along those lines. Not even a word about what made this person eligible to provide health advice. Not even a statement that he loved writing about health & wellness!
The Content Marketing Problem is Not Limited to Health Niches
Reading the article till now, you might have assumed that the problem is present only in the health industry. No it’s not.
Sometime back I had a SEO client who came to me since he got hit by the panda update.
I took a look at his link profile and sure thing, he deserved to be torched. I asked him about his link building practices and he said that he never outsourced any SEO tasks and did all of it by himself.
He also told me that he got all the info from a link building blog. Once he started implementing some of what the blog advised to and saw it work, he simply believed everything the blogger had to say about link building.
It so happened that the blog had an article which discussed some spam techniques to get quick rankings on Google (The article was taken down when I checked). My client went ahead and applied them only to find that his site got hit by the furious panda!
This is not a single case. Take a look at most of the popular forums related to internet marketing and you’ll see how much wrong advice is spread.
Out of curiosity I chatted with a blogger who seemed to be getting most of his SEO basics wrong. The problem was not that he wanted to cheat anyone. The guy was genuine.
The root cause was that he genuinely believed the tactics he’s implementing is how it should be done. I asked him how he got the information and he pointed me to several forum threads he had opened and people were giving funny (and wrong) answers.
Take a look at most of the niches popular online and you’ll see the problems I mentioned here.
How to Make Content Marketing a Win-Win Situation?
The main idea of content marketing is to provide high value content. “Value” is a subjective term. So what appears valuable to you might not be valuable to another person.
Here are some tips you can use to ensure that your content marketing strategy is really a win-win scenario.
- Don’t blindly trust something just because you read it somewhere. Test, test and test yourself and only then use it for your main business or website
- Provide advice only if you are qualified to do so. At least make sure that your advice doesn’t cause a negative result to someone should they implement it
- What works for you might not work for others. So always make it a point to stress this fact and not make it seem that what you are preaching is the only way to do it
- Genuinely believe in what you are doing
- Be ready to make changes. Just because you said something and that was proved wrong doesn’t make you a scammer. Be ready to accept the facts and take corrective action
What’s your experience with content marketing? Do you have a story to share on your own?