Content Marketing: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

In this guest post, Tom Haynes talks us through The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of finding and hiring the right content marketing contractor for your business.

Tom Haynes director Kudos MediaThe content marketing and digital mediascape can be compared with the wild west – full of trigger-happy cowboys in unchartered territory chasing a stash of gold buried somewhere in them hills yonder.

If you’re to beat the gold rush you’ll need some decent planning, a good steed, plenty of supplies, a level head and a steady hand that’s quick on the draw. Not too quick though, or you’ll end up missing your target. You should probably go easy on the whisky, too.

Beware the guns for hire: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

There are three types of content marketing mercenaries you might come across:

The Good

They make your life easy and get results through smarts, speed, cunning and ethics. It’s usually pretty obvious who they are and they are worth their weight in the gold you seek to earn by using their services so don’t try to squeeze them!

The Bad

A ruthless bounty hunter chasing dollars who promises the world yet will deliver the bare minimum. Expect lies, delays, shortcuts and to be played off against your competition.

The Ugly

The poor performer whose work is rubbish and they know it, and they don’t care. And why would they for what you’re paying them?

Dust storms

Like a dust storm in the desert, the digital mediascape can choke you up and leave you lost, delirious, dehydrated and at risk of making the wrong decision simply to make a decision.

Yes, it is often hard to see or be seen. There are so many platforms, so many tools, so much noise… How can you possibly stand out?

With great content, that’s how. Not just ‘Yeah, this is pretty good, it’ll do’ content, but ‘Yeah, this is freaking awesome content!’ Content that is unique, makes a statement, reaches off the screen and grabs the reader by the eyeballs.

But don’t stop there. Now you need to ensure your awesome content is placed in front of people who care. Amplify it on social media. Send media releases. Seed it in forums, groups and events. Sponsor relevant EDMs – get it out there!

TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly-PosterDanger lurks

While it’s not quite as deadly as meeting ‘Johnny Quickdraw’ for a duel at dawn, the ‘shoot first ask questions later’ landscape of social and digital media means there are plenty of traps.

Whether it’s a messaging and communications fail such as the infamous yet innocuous #susanalbumparty hashtag or a damaging social fail on a larger scale, the world can turn against you very quickly.

And things can get litigious, too. Although forums and social media can be a grey area for defamation and injurious falsehood litigation, if people are abusing other people or brands on your social media assets, you may be viewed as “The Publisher” from a legal perspective, especially if requests to remove the information are ignored.

Furthermore, if you’re running a social media page, forum, blog or competition without T&Cs (or without the appropriate planning) you’re asking for trouble. It is always amazing to see that multi- million dollar brands often haven’t invested (or don’t invest) a few bucks in basic protection.

The Sheriff is constantly changing the rules

The Sheriff (eg. Google and Facebook/Instagram) doesn’t care about you – unless you’re spending over $50,000 per month and when their town gets busy they will charge you a land tax – also known as an algorithm.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you should leave town, just don’t get too close with the Sheriff and also build your own town (content assets – eg blog/forum/edm) nearby where you can make your own rules.

You’ll need to create your own maps

It’s tough out there and easy to get lost so preparation is key. What is your route? Which valleys are renowned for ambush, where are the wells (do they contain water this time of year) and who can you form alliances with to get where you’re going?

Fail to plan and your content marketing mission will almost certainly lead to you getting lost in one of those dust storms. Get it right though and you’ll be digging up gold in no time.

Tom Haynes is the director of Sydney-based content marketing agency Kudos Media


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