If you're a business looking to promote your brand in the digital space, you've likely found more information available online than you could possibly read through in a lifetime. Some of it helpful, some of it contradictory, and some of it downright confusing. There are a few basics, however, that you should always keep in mind when approaching content creation.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
This one seems simple enough on the surface, but in the push to get things live and attract followers, quality is often the first to get sacrificed or overlooked. People get hung up on appearances and more is always better, right?
Don't risk getting caught up in that thinking. It may take time to build a quality library of content, but once you have it you'll be glad you invested that time. Not only do search engines value good content over bad, but they will also actively penalize those who try to pull a fast one. Things like duplicate copy, too many ads, or poorly worded information can really hurt your traffic. In the same vein, consumers are savvy enough to know good from bad and make their decisions to stay on your page based on their experience.
Think of individual pages on your site as their own mini-advertisement. Each is an opportunity to win over a visitor who may be learning all they know from you through this single interaction. You want to make a good impression because it may be the only chance you get.
DON'T STEAL FROM OTHERS
This is another one that seems like common sense, but you'd be surprised (or possibly horrified) to see how common this practice is on the web. The idea that putting something on the internet somehow relinquishes any creative rights has become a popular line of thought. DMCA takedowns, public accusations of plagiarism, and articles highlighting the growing problem of unauthorized video uploads have done little to change the practice.
And as Facebook moves to compete with YouTube in the video dominance race, the fact that FB favors video uploads using their native player has created an explosion of stolen content. People (and even well-known companies) have adapted the practice of grabbing videos and uploading them as though they are the original owners, often without permission, in an attempt to garner views and grow their numbers.
So if it grows your numbers and it's hard to enforce, why shouldn't you simply join the crowd? Putting ethics aside, do you really want to be the company that gets caught? The one that the courts make an example of? Do you like having your entire social and content marketing strategy based on a practice of thievery? Put that way, probably not. Either way, any strategy you create should be based on what works for your brand. It's worth investing in original content to get that message across. This includes images, text and video.
REFRESH, REVISE & RETIRE
Evergreen content, the kind that is relevant all year round, is an important piece of any content strategy. And good content is what you're trying to build in your library. However, things change or go out of fashion, and it's always good to keep a watchful eye on any content you have on your site.
Make a point to periodically review what content needs some updating to remain current or accurate -- and what needs to be removed completely. Even the best content sometimes outlasts its usefulness, and the last thing you want is someone finding outdated information when they visit. Schedule regular audits of your top-performing content to make sure you're always putting your best foot forward.
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