Article first published as How to Ensure Originality in Your Content Marketing on Technorati.
If your biggest content marketing challenge is creating original content, then you're not alone. Almost 70% of B2B marketers said this was their biggest challenge, according to a B2B marketing trends survey from content curation platform Curata. The next two biggest challenges for B2B marketers were having the time to do it (65%) and finding high quality content (43%) to drive a content curation strategy.
As the use and importance of content marketing continues to rise, there's added pressure on content creators to come up with new and original content regularly. Duplicate content isn't cool, but creating original content can be a challenge when you are covering some of the same topics over and over again. So, just how do you ensure originality in your content marketing without resorting to copying or running out of ideas? Here are a few ways to do that:
- Involve More People in Your Content Marketing Process - If you have only one person writing for your blog, then creating original content is going to be a huge challenge. One person can only do so much. When it comes to your business blog, allow employees from sales and customer service to contribute as well. These folks have insight into customer questions and pain point, and can offer something incredibly valuable to the blog, something that your original blogger could have missed. For other forms of content marketing, involve a team or maybe outsource a project or two to a content marketing firm. A fresh perspective could be all it takes to get the original content you've been craving.
- Don't Rely So Much on Copyscape - Too many people think Copyscape is the magic wand to finding original content and to banishing those plagiarists. However, Copyscape is not a silver bullet. First of all, simply rewriting something into your own words doesn't absolve the crime of plagiarism. Think of this as putting someone's book or academic report into your own words, and then putting your name on it without giving credit to the original author. The ideas aren't your own, and without proper citation, even the rewrite is still plagiarism despite passing Copyscape. Second, there are things that ought to be cited and be verbatim in content, such as a quote, a definition, a set of statistics, a phone number, and a book title. This is where human judgement comes in, as rewriting these things may make your content less powerful, not more. Third, Google hates duplicate content, but an article that's copied and pasted is very different from including a quote or an excerpt of someone's book or blog post. Original content is much more than having unique text. It's about having unique ideas while being able to give credit where credit is due.
- Conduct Your Own Research - A great way to be original is to conduct your own research with a survey or analysis of data, and then to report the findings. This method may take a while, but the goal is to find something new and to have a lot to write about, more than just a single blog post or white paper.
- Update/Repackage Current Content - No one says that once you publish something, that's it. Get more mileage from your content by updating the information, or repackaging the content. For example, if you've written 20 blog posts about anti-virus software, then take those 20 posts and turn it into a guide or an eBook about anti-virus software. You can make this original by adding an author page and an introduction in the beginning, a description of your company at the end, and updating any statistics you used in the posts. Okay, you've technically copied yourself, but you own that content. No one's going to ding you for that.