CHEAP CONTENT MARKETING IS LIKE BUYING A DRESS FROM A DOLLAR SHOP

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You get what you pay for
By Lucy Scott, contributor. 17 June, 2015
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Being invited to a business lunch isn't so much about networking as the perfect excuse to go shopping.

I tried on a bunch of beautiful dresses. Gorgeous pieces that fitted like a glove, exquisitely tailored, making me feel a million dollars. With price tags to match.

Armed with a cunning plan, I then headed to cheaper stores. Fashion-conscious places promising to deliver a similar look at a fraction of the price. For the cost of one high-end dress I could get four whole outfits. Four!

It’s a no-brainer, right?

In hindsight, this is much like the way we’ve been seeing brands approach content marketing budgets: why pay top dollar for experienced professionals if you can find a super cheap source instead? It’s just words, after all.

Later that night, my wardrobe was bursting and I had enough outfits to see me through the silly season in style.

Or so I thought. This is what I learned:

  • Polyester might look great on the hanger but you must remember to carry a generous supply of deodorant.
  • Loose threads hanging limply from an uneven hem isn't the height of sophistication.
  • The likelihood of someone else wearing the same outfit is extremely high.
  • Expensive dresses have a lining so you can stand with your back to the sun and retain your dignity. Cheap ones don’t.
  • My face can go remarkably red.

Buying cheap clothes is false economy. I was stuck with a $100 dress I’d never wear again.

Good for Vinnies: not so good for my wallet, my career or my pride.

When it comes to content marketing it’s much the same. There’s demand for mass-produced material to fill the online wardrobe. Businesses are choosing cheap filler content to maintain their presence with little regard for the short and long term implications.

Is this really what you want for your brand?

Don't do a Dressgate. Here are four reasons it’s worth paying for premium content:

  • It sets you apart from the masses: your brand will stand out. Content is targeted, tailored and bespoke. It’s what your audience wants to read. It looks good and it reads well.
  • It stands the test of time. Content marketing is ‘evergreen’: articles will continue to appear in Google searches long after the publishing date. This is why a one-wear-and-into-the-Vinnies-bin approach isn’t such a great plan.
  • It’s bespoke material that’s been crafted for your brand and tailored for your audience. You’re not going to see it on someone else’s site.
  • Your company’s dignity will remain intact: a professional content marketer will ensure all sources are legitimate and all facts correct. Time for this research is time worth paying for. It’s not worth risking the alternative. Or the red face.

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Lucy is a woman of many words. She loves writing, reading, a cup of tea and a good chat. Not necessarily in that order. To avoid this bio turning into a tome here are a few ways to describe her, as suggested by her delightful colleagues: effervescent, outlandishly British, outlandish in general, outrageous, and - bit of a plonker.