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Is your firm polluting with its content marketing?

Forget what the scientists say. The biggest threat to the public is content pollution; the mass online build up of useless blog posts, videos, soundbites and images. More worrying still, the situation is only getting worse.
Everywhere you look, at least in PR and media circles, someone in the room is discussing content marketing strategies. From news to business websites to social media, the last two years have seen a clamour for Internet attention on the part of anyone and any organisation with a web presence. The result is a browser that’s consistently clogged with redundant, irrelevant and down right worthless information, thoughts and attempts to sell.
For marketers this poses a dilemma. Regular content creation has been a cornerstone of SEO since the term first came into existence, and in a world where the most likely megaphone for digital marketing tools can be found on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks- platforms governed by a need to continuously update- the temptation is to mass produce as efficiently as possible.
The problem being readers have never been more savvy, or had a wider selection of alternative URLs to peruse, so by churning out anything and everything in the hope of sending a meme viral or gaining a reputation as a company with its finger on the professional pulse, you could be doing yourself a disservice. Take a written article, for example.
Although the marketplace is now full of prolific scribes offering cheap copy penned in record time, realistically speaking, the kind of words that attract people to a page, and hold them in place, don’t usually come quite so quickly. Paying money for an article that only serves to add to your website’s bounce rate is like investing in a speculative chocolate fireguard opportunity. The same can be said for any type of media content.
The issues doesn’t end at being ignored, either. What many companies fail to grasp is the elephant-like memory their potential customers have. Whilst all sectors are influenced by trends, fads and fickle attitudes, the average person on the street, or indeed Internet, will remember a brand- whether that’s BuzzFeed or Brylcreem- for two reasons. Either they like them, or feel constantly irritated, distracted and disrupted by their meaningless and badly conceived content. The latter of which is destined to generate long-term bad sentiment.
The last few months have seen several key business minds issue similar warnings. Andrew Bowins, Head of Global Communications at MasterCard, is a content pollution evangelist.  The much more mainstream-targeted Huffington Post was also forecasting ‘cloudy with a chance of content pollution’ by the beginning of April. And Todd Williams, Digital Marketing Executive at SAP, agrees, hence this post on Forbes Business regarding the three golden rules of creating good content- listen to what the audience wants, use the right tool for the job, and know when that audience will be receptive to your message. To say the least, it’s worth a quick read to prevent any more time and money being wasted.
Image credit – Water Pollution with Trash Disposal of Waste at the Garbage Beach, via Flickr 

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