Marketers are increasingly finding that traditional marketing with its heavy focus on advertising no longer delivers the desired results. Customers simply don’t want to be sold anymore; they want to be told.
The terms Content and Content Marketing are fast becoming the core of all that can be called marketing. In a business context, content is the information presented to an audience in a particular form and for a specific purpose.
Here’s the thing, though; there is such a thing as good content and bad content.
There was a time (prior to Google’s Panda update in 2011) when low quality content and spam sites used to rule the search results. But the Panda update and many other factors led to good quality content becoming more important (more on that in another post).
So what is good content and how is it different from bad content?
Simply put. Good content is content that is useful, relevant to users and solves their problem and most importantly it is content that is actually read by people.
On the other hand, bad content is quite simply bad (and in some cases evil), apart from lacking substance, being unreadable, stuffed with keywords or in some cases downright off-putting. All of us have come across it on the internet and we know bad content when we see it.
So why is it crucial to have high quality and authentic content about your business on websites, blogs, and social media? What nightmares can a business attract when it puts out low-quality or bad content? Read on to find out.
1. Poor Website Ranking
Today, it’s all about visibility and popularity of your business website on search engines. Putting out bad content can be a big roadblock to achieving this. Through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), companies try to make their websites more visible on search engines with the help of keywords. These keywords are the most common words used by people to make a search on the web. So even if your content is technically and grammatically correct, without proper keywords, it will not make it to the search results and end up unseen and unknown. On the flipside, using too many keywords (known as keyword stuffing) too must be avoided at all costs!
2. Reduced Customer Engagement
How content is consumed and circulated is changing! Effective content is no longer only just text; rather people like content that is easy to understand, crisp and is supported by helpful pictures, illustrations, diagrams, charts, videos and other audio-visuals. The more relevant and fresh your content, the more it will lead to customer engagement. If you are still putting out only text-based content, people will no longer connect to you, period.
3. Reputation Loss
An oft-repeated excuse for putting out bad content is, “Why care about what is written? Who reads it anyway?” Well to put it squarely, people do read it and sending out bad content can lead to the loss of reputation often permanently.
When a business itself is not clear on how it is going to benefit customers or is vague in its content regarding the objective or the services it is going to provide, how can it expect customers to care about?
4. Lesser Brand Loyalty
Customers don’t like to feel that they have been fooled. Poor quality content may bring you customers initially but those customers are not going to stay if they are fed with bad content again and again. When they find out that you are not worth it, they will leave. And there are plenty of competitors putting out good content, waiting to grab customers that could have been yours!
5. Financial Losses
Businesses tend to spend too much on the looks of their website, research reports, and other marketing materials, but they are generally less willing to spend on good quality content. They don’t realize that customers are more attracted to the helpful information they are looking for instead of how the website looks.
Yes, sending out poor quality content may not cost you much initially but it will cost your business in the long run in the form of dissatisfied customers and financial losses.