Four Content Elements That Will Ruin Your Online Reputation!

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Don’t use the wrong content and harm your online reputation

There is a lot of information on TwoFeetMarketing and the web about what you should include in a blog post to increase your reputation. This can boil down to an optimised, SE

O’d page, images and a call to action. However, there is little information available on what you cannot include within your content.

Where there is freedom of speech and expression, the digital world has made such that our content has to conform to certain social expectations. We’ve previously discussed about how brands and others have not met those expectations and felt the wrath of the online community.

This can be good in some cases; many big brands thrive on controversy and therefore do well to tackle it head on. However, smaller brands aren’t so lucky. Often a bad review or community reaction can send their company’s reputation into free fall. So what content must you avoid?

1. Spam

This is an obvious statement, yet there are still a lot of businesses on social media and blogs that create spam for others to read. While some businesses will achieve a few sales from this strategy, the customer lifetime and value with be shorter and smaller respectively. Therefore, spam should be avoided at all times.

Instead, consumers want high quality, informative articles that provide something they can take away and use. This proves your expertise and your professionalism.

2. Swearing

Most adults swear, there are relatively few that don’t let the odd one slip every now and again. However, swearing in a blog post is almost never acceptable. For starters, there is little control on what young eyes can get access to and it is generally accepted that children shouldn’t be reading or hearing those words.

Chrysler Autos didn’t renew their contract with New Media Strategies when one of their employees used Chrysler’s account to drop the f-bomb over drivers in Detroit. Even though the employee was fired, the incident cost New Media Strategies a massive client and a PR nightmare.

At another level, swearing is not often seen as a professional quality, especially within the UK. Therefore, if you include swearing within your content, expect that people will judge you and your reputation could be affected.

3. Duplicate Content

The bane of a content marketer’s life. Duplicate content is the part or full copy of content originally posted on another site. I say that because there are still those that don’t understand this. Apart from being lazy and showing no original thought, duplicating other content is badly damaging to your reputation. It shows that you are willing to steal from others and perhaps undercut your customers. It also demonstrates a lack of moral courage – something that certainly will ruin your online reputation.

There is also a financial element. Some websites, like the BBC clearly state that any part or full duplication of their content could result in litigation. Some companies will sue for thousands.

Don’t think that changing an odd word in the copy or by switching around parts of the sentence will work either. Google has complicated algorithms that can detect this type of ‘content creation’ and can lower your page rank or delist your site altogether. If you can’t be found on Google, you won’t have a hugely successful online marketing campaign.

4. Racist / Sexist Jokes

Again, we have all our own sense of humour and we are entitled to this. But there are community expectations to consider when you are creating content. If you have racist or sexist jokes published on your blog, your reputation is at significant risk.

When asked about humour, I often say that your reputation is more important. If you can get non-offensive humour in then you should try for it – otherwise think only about delivering a strong, actionable message to your audience.

Your Reputation Is Key!

Your online reputation is vital for the continued success of your business. Don’t fall into some of the traps that others have; avoid content that will upset your audience or content that is plagiarised. This will keep your online reputation intact and help you grow your audience!

What other elements should you avoid? Do you use any of the above?

Let us know in the comments.

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