A Troubling Content Marketing Mistake Companies Are Paying to Make
I recently noticed a troubling trend while researching chiropractors.
While shopping around from one practice to the next, I hopped into their blogs and noticed something terrifying from a marketing perspective: Many of the offices were posting the same exact blogs.
I dug deeper.
The more I looked, the worse it became. There seemed to be two or three content houses selling content in bulk to chiropractors all over Pittsburgh and beyond. Even worse: Much of the content was published at the exact same time.
Of course, I was aware that such agencies exist. Oftentimes, marketing agencies find a niche and then create content—and the promise is that the content helps to educate site visitors, pulling them into the sales funnel.
While that’s definitely true, this strategy is a net loss for everyone involved.
The worst part of this, however, is the simple fact that this problem is rampant across numerous industries. If you look hard enough, you’ll find many businesses publishing the same exact content and passing it off as their own (or, at best, they’ll leave a small note in tiny font at the bottom of the website that the content was produced by someone else).
Careless marketing tactics like these could actually hinder organic visibility, leading to less site traffic—and fewer leads.
Why This Content Strategy Is Counter-Productive
These mass-produced blogs come with multiple drawbacks that ultimately hurt the very businesses they’re supposed to support.
The SEO Ding
If everyone posts the same article, it fails to have any search value.
Here’s why: One of the advantages of blogging is getting to compete for different search phrases. But if everyone publishes the same article as their own, Google has to try to figure out who the true author is to give them the first place treatment.
The end result: no one wins. Everyone falls down in the SERP because the content looks plagiarized.
The Rise of the Educated Consumer
Today’s consumers are savvy.
If you believe your content can make the difference in a sale or in retaining a client, you’re also acknowledging that consumers shop around. They’re willing to do their research before making a decision.
That means they’ll likely look at your competitors as well.
And what if those competitors have the exact same content you publish on your site?
At best, they’ll become confused, guessing that you’re somehow connected or owned by the same company.
Soon, however, they’ll realize the disconnect. At that point, they’ll figure you either don’t know enough to create or original content or you don’t care enough to create original content.
Either way, you lose.
Eventually, they’ll figure out the marketing play behind your content and have to resort to evaluating your company against others using a different yardstick.
Put another way: The very content you paid for just became worthless.
Possible Legal Issues
In an absolute worst-case scenario, buying and publishing unoriginal content on your site could lead to costly plagiarism lawsuits.
Say you’ve purchased content from a vendor, but they’ve simply taken it from a different third-party.
If the original author can prove you generated revenue using their intellectual property, they may be willing to come after you—especially if they can show you also stole business from them.
The Solution: Original Content
The best way to overcome this problem is to create your own content in-house or through a content vendor who specializes in creating original content.
A blog may seem like an overwhelming task, but it’s manageable (check out my ebook on creating great content!) and worthwhile.
Creating original content is a win-win-win: You’ll get a big SEO boost, you’ll gain trust with potential clients, and you’ll avoid costly legal battles!