January 19, 2019 | Sean Foo
Content marketing is getting really hot nowadays and most business out there are rather eager to hop on the bandwagon and look to create and put out massive amounts of content to brand their businesses.
And its no wonder why! Content marketing when done right will:
– Brand your company as a thought leader and increase its credibility
– Help and complement your SEO efforts to rank higher in search engines.
– Lead to more inbound leads and a higher quality clientele.
But only if done right!
Penny-Pinchers Beware, Content Marketing Is Not For You.
Because there is now a myriad of content agencies and freelancers swarming around with the promise of creating cheap and fast content, should you go for that?
Why should you spend $500 for a powerful piece of long-form content when you could use that same amount and churn out 10 pieces of content?
Is that supposed to better? With 10 times the amount of content, won’t I be able to 10x the speed of my business growth?
After all, I have more content to share, post on my social media and supercharge my Google SEO efforts?
Hold your horses my eager friend. That’s not how content marketing works!
If that were the case, incredible online businesses like Kissmetrics and Hubspot or big multi-nationals including Coca-Cola and Walmart will be buying tons of cheap articles from content mills (you know the $50 an article) to fuel their growth.
In fact, a marketing research done by Thunderhead found that:
8% of customers stopped giving business to a company due to a bad interaction and on average, the company lost $1,506 of annual sales per customer!
And it only gets worse…
It will take more than a year for 20% of these customers to regain trust while 19% of your disappointed customers will never return!
Your sales calls, your business meetings and your content marketing are all interactions with your customer.
An experience with poor content immediately associates and links your company’s reputation and professionalism to that piece of shoddy work.
It is actually better to have NO content marketing than poorly created content. While you won’t reap the benefits of content marketing, at the very least you won’t harm your business.
Remember The Goal Of Content Marketing:
To Help Educate Your Reader And Brand Yourself As An Expert.
There is only really two goals for content marketing to keep in mind when creating your content.
1) Does this content help educate my reader or spur them ahead to make a decision?
2) After reading the content, will the audience have a better perception of my business? Will they view my brand as a market leader that shares valuable and helpful insight?
Powerful content that connects isn’t just about SEO keyword stuffing (it is only a small piece of the pie), it is more about highly researched content that is relevant to your business and the challenge it is trying to solve for your reader.
Neville Medhora of KopywritingKourse did an incredible test of quality content vs a whole pile of cheap articles and the results are astounding!
He pitted his intensive well-researched content to the test with 38 cheap articles that probably cost him less than $300 in total to create.
His well-researched and quality written piece bought him phenomenal results that included hundreds of thousands of visitors, thousands of signups on his mailing list and thousands of search engine keywords from that one post.
Every day, just this one piece of content continues to drive results.
Bringing him new signups, higher search engine traffic and unleashes his content to new audiences otherwise unreachable.
How long did it take him to create this piece of content?
In his own words “approximately 12 hours of work over several days”. Knowing Neville’s hourly rate, that piece of content would probably cost beyond $1,500 to create.
Now let’s compare those phenomenal results to that of his 38 ‘fast-food’ articles.
With just a glance you could tell the results are horribly bad.
Almost 83% of his readers left his website after reading his cheap content
and while his quality article captivated his reader for more than 4 minutes, his cheap articles saw his audience leave after just one and a half minute.
His one quality article outperformed his other 38 cheap content and actually delivered higher quality results!
Content marketing isn’t about churning and posting 4 cheap articles a day or even 4 articles a week.
It’s about speaking to your reader, engaging them, helping them solve a problem in a way that makes you seem like an expert.
In fact, this is the foundation why you might be spending thousands of dollars on content marketing and not getting anywhere.
5 Reasons Why Cheap Content Will Haunt Your Business After Burning Away Your Money.
1) Your Sales Will Drop
If you decide to hire cheap writers to churn out articles for your content blog, expect your closing and conversion rates to plummet.
Yes, your content marketing efforts help improve sales when done right but also damages your bottom-line when poorly executed.
The content of your website is really a direct reflection of your business and the quality standard you adopt for your own company.
If you decide to go the budget route for your content creation, your customers might be thinking your product or service that you deliver might not be top quality!
2) You Will Lose Credibility & Stop Becoming A Marketing Authority
Let’s face it, one of the main ways to earn more and last longer in your business is to become a leader in your field.
The key to having more consistent clients and increasing the prices of your products or services is to be seen as a thought leader and market authority.
If you intend to churn out loads of poor articles, even if your content calendar is filled to the brim with daily new postings, your reputation will suffer when experienced buyers or influencers consume your content.
There is a big difference between say a $500 article and a $50 article.
The former will probably be well-planned, packed with relevant research the connects and tells a proper story and gives the reader real takeaway value that they can use to better their lives or solve a problem.
The cheaper article…well..leaves your reader in frustration and anger that you wasted their time.
Want to be seen as an expert and raise your prices? Invest in quality content.
3) Your SEO Will Suffer
The problem with cheap and poorly planned content is that your writer will most probably deliver:
A. Thin content that contains very little added value. (Just because a content is long-form doesn’t mean it isn’t thin content. A 2,000-word article could be full of fluff while a concise 800-word article might have tons of value)
B. Content that looks eerily similar to other articles online (recycled content).
C. Stuffed to the brim with keywords making the content an unnatural read (in a bid to trick search engines)
And frankly, who can blame the writers? With such a low amount to begin with, their main priority is to quickly finish the work and move on to the next.
If that means stuffing your article with meaningless content or worse, reusing their old articles in a copy & paste & edit manner, you can’t really blame them.
You get what you pay for.
But how does this affect SEO negatively?
The thing about search engines, especially Google, is that their algorithm is rather robust and evolves constantly. Whatever content you produce will have to be useful and valuable to last the test of time, especially when an update happens.
In fact, Google’s latest Panda update has given better rankings to websites that produce valuable and relevant content that helps their audience while penalising companies that showcase thin and fluffy content that offers little value to searchers online.
As Matt Cutts of Google explains below – thin content is damaging to your SEO and is at best an exercise in futility.
As a copywriting and content creation agency based in Singapore, we ourselves ensure our content is valuable, SEO-friendly and definitely useful to our readers both international and local.
As a result, we create highly researched and relevant articles and just blog 2-3 times a month!
It is really NOT necessary to blog every day or every week to have an impact. Quality always trumps quantity.
4) Your Articles Have No Lasting Power
When you create your own content, you will want it to last for as long as possible. Months and even years.
No one decides to begin content marketing hoping for their articles to be a flash in the pan and doesn’t last beyond a week!
The thing about content marketing from business is drastically different from articles from a magazine or tabloid.
Your piece of content has to generate ROI over time. At the end of the day, it has to be part of the equation that brings you sales.
A strong piece of content will:
– Bring you sales two months down the road. Two years down the road.
– Be as relevant and helpful to your 10,000th reader as it is to your first reader.
– Contribute long-lasting SEO benefits for years, without it suddenly adding a penalty to your website when Google decides to update their algorithm.
5) You Can’t Advertise & Market Your Articles
One of the biggest tragedy of poor content is it becomes quite useless.
The aim of content is to reach and be seen by new segments of your customers and prospects and one of the best ways to do that is through paid advertisements.
These can be through Facebook Ads, Google Adwords or through networks like Stumbleupon, a content discovery distributor.
The big problem with cheap content is that trying to advertise it really only just magnifies the problem.
You want positive word of mouth and not negative comments.
One of the most important aspects of content marketing is its share-ability.
Like in Ryan Holiday‘s latest best seller, The Perennial Seller, there will come a point in time where it doesn’t make economic sense to boost or advertise your content anymore on a platform.
By then, it will have to spread through readers who are willing to click that ‘share’ button and spread it virally through Facebook, LinkedIn or wherever they are seeing it.
If they read a thin piece of content that doesn’t help them, what are the chances of them sharing it with their friends and network?
Slim to none.
Conclusion – So What Can You Do?
Deep down inside, you probably know the answer.
Focus on creating a powerful piece of content by focusing on quality rather than quantity.
It is much more powerful to have 2 articles a month that really showcases your business’s thought leadership, educating your readers and really helping them out with a challenge they face.
Focus on quality and you will stand out amongst the mountain of thin content that most businesses decide to go for.