Jimi Hendrix once said: “I’ve been imitated so well, I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.”
That is especially true when it comes to content.
Too many people try to capture the essence of great content that resonates and goes viral in a world where you, either as a business owner or a marketer, are coerced to pay money for exposure.
With recent changes to social media algorithms, it has become even more difficult to get ahead of the crowd, which has given rise to different groups teaching how to craft great content.
Now, there isn’t anything wrong with that, and I also run my own course for building content for small businesses and startups, but you need to understand something very simple.
Copy & Pasting Doesn’t Work
As with plagiarism, where it’s enough to punch a few sentences into Google Scholar, copied content can be found very quickly as most people don’t do a good job of covering their tracks.
Some of them even copy word-for-word instead of looking for a similar source for the same story. Some do not understand the power of sharing and just place the cursor, punch ctrl+a, ctrl+c and ctrl+v and “create a new post”.
That doesn’t work on SERPs and most certainly doesn’t work on social media, so stop doing that.
It Makes You Look Unprofessional
Nothing says amateur more than copied material. It’s okay to share awesome material to start building momentum, study your audience and then create a similar vibe in your overall message.
That’s not copying, that’s understanding what the customer wants.
You can’t Fake Talent
Many guides come out every month stating that you too can create a message that resonates, have 20K followers on Instagram and what not, but all drop a single word from their marketing pitch—talent.
If you are talentless, it doesn’t matter how you manipulate the algorithm, you will never create strong enough momentum to build an empire. You must find your own inner voice.
You can research hashtags all day long, but crap content will only get you so far.
Replicating Past Successes Needs to Use Yesterday’s Data
You can’t take a six-month-old post, change the headline, use new keywords you found on the Keyword Planner and expect to see the same results over and over again.
Your followers aren’t stupid, and they can find canned content anywhere they choose to go, especially bad canned content.
The same goes for commercials you see on TV. Paraphrasing a scene from GoT or TWD to try and work on that déjà vu feeling—we’ve been over that, the market is saturated with that, just stop.
It’s okay to study past posts to understand what went well, how it went well and what we should be doing to create great content consistently, but it’s not okay to continue doing reboots of the same content over and over again.
Cross Posting is So Last Season
Unless you are taking excerpts from an article you wish to promote to others, you need to stop being generic and adopt professionalism when you post content online.
Your followers are aching for new content from you, so why do you post the same stuff on your blog, your Facebook Page, your Pinterest and your Instagram?
Some of your audience is the same people in all of these media, are you seriously considering letting them go because you are too lazy to create fresh content?
Your content can be based on the same subject, just don’t take the same stuff and put it everywhere.
Got a new listicle?
Share parts of it everywhere like puzzle pieces for others to find and connect.
Part one could be on Facebook, Part two on Instagram, Part three on Pinterest, etc.
The content won’t be super fresh, but it would at least show your followers you went the distance by making them follow whatever you post. This could also serve as a great way to learn which medium works best in delivering traffic to your blog, Facebook page, etc. Naturally, you would need to cross-reference it with other analytics tools, but it gives you a much larger picture to look at.
My personal favorites when it comes to great consistent content producers are Desislava Dobreva, Jeremy Wenger and Jeff J. Hunter.
They have awesome fresh content, they’re not afraid to speak their mind and they can seriously help you in understanding what you should and shouldn’t be doing when it comes to content.
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.