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How content marketing can damage your brand

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Bad content is worse than no content.

The world is awash with information. Our inboxes are crammed. We scan the subject line and if we cannot see an immediate benefit in the information that arrives in our inbox, we chuck it out.

If you send your precious subscribers a newsletter that is irrelevant to them (because it is all about you), thinly-disgused spin, or outdated, what is the message you are sending about your brand? We are lazy. We don’t really understand you. We care more about ourselves than you. We are not up to date with our industry’s thinking.

Are those the messages you want to convey?

Destructive content

Some companies have taken a step further: they publish content that actually destroys their brand. Remember Ben Polis, the former CEO of EnergyWatch, whose racist and generally derogatory Facebook posts saw him lose his job and pushed his company to the brink? (EnergyWatch has since recovered.)

That was a couple of years ago, but it still happens. Last December, a now-former director of media relations company IAC, Justine Sacco, posted a racist “joke” on Twitter, has lost her job and was forced to apologise as a result of the scandal.

Irregular content

Starting a regular newsletter is a great idea – unless it stops being regular. As brand advocate Michel Hogan says, your brand is a promise and it is only as strong as your ability to deliver on them.

If you start a publishing schedule and you can’t stick to it, you are raising your clients’ expectations only to dash them. We all know that is destructive to a brand.

The simple solution is to start with something that is not too ambitious – such as one blog or story a month – and then add more once you become familiar and comfortable with the process of finding stories, writing, publishing and distributing them.

If you can’t keep up the schedule, set a new less ambitious schedule and let your suscribers know about it well ahead of time.

Before you start your content marketing campaign, make sure it’s not going to damage your brand. Define your goals and allocate sufficient resources to making sure you publish great content on a regular schedule.


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