Here’s Why You Can’t Fake Content Marketing

Not sure how to do the job? Conventional wisdom suggests that you should pretend that you do. Not super confident at networking events? Put your shoulders back, slap a smile on, and perfect that handshake and not only will you convince others that you’ve got it together, but there’s also a good chance you’ll eventually convince yourself.

But does putting on a faux show work? According to psychological precedent, it can.

Of course, some efforts will backfire in the face of this brief charade. After all, I prefer my doctors to know what they’re doing once they proudly add that Ph.D. to their name. I’m also going to go ahead and assume demand that the pilot of my flight isn’t just putting on a show until he really finds his wings, so to speak.

And while content marketing doesn’t carry the same life-saving weight as proper medical credentials or a sky-worthy license, it does snag a spot in the list of professional endeavors that aren’t easily or shouldn’t be faked.

Faking till you make it in content marketing can set you and your business up for failure, and here’s why.

fake it till you make it shouldn't be your strategy.

The Internet Is Saturated With Content

Why won’t this proven “fake it” tactic help you master your content marketing efforts? One major reason is that there’s just sooooo much content out there. Case in point – “how do you create content” yields an overwhelming 8,080,000,000 results. That’s A LOT of content about content.

If you don’t know how to develop, author, leverage, or properly distribute content in a meaningful way, then the content you do create is going to be buried in the weeds, only to be seen by a select few – like those on your payroll.

Aside from sentencing your content to a cave-like existence down below thousands and thousands of similar pieces of content, faking it till you make it can, as I’ll cover in the next, damage your brand.

Content And Reputation Are Unequivocally Linked

You’re about to release an eBook to a bunch of potential customers, and even though you’re not working with a content agency or don’t have an in-house content marketing team, you’re confident in your subject matter and know you have valuable advice to offer.

And you’re probably right – you’re an expert in your field and you have a lot of insights to offer. The all-important question is, are you trained to write effective content for online readers?

Do you know the best strategy for working with different social media audiences? Will your content show your brand as a top educational resource or trusted advisory consumers can rely on?

If the answer to any of those questions is “no”, then even content containing the most useful information can fall flat. Content that’s not well written or executed, even if the base concepts within are valid, is not well received by audiences.

That’s partially a product of the saturation issue above – why settle for mediocre content when amazing content is just a few clicks away?

If your content is poorly written, doesn’t keep the audience’s frame of reference in mind, or simply isn’t well adapted for the medium you chose, readers and viewers will take note – almost immediately. When it comes to brand awareness, that can turn your one chance at a solid first impression into a closed door.

And, if your competitor has some better content to offer, making them a more trustworthy option, then it’s probably that door will stay closed for good.

winning content is lead content

Winning Content Is Valuable Content

Maybe you’re a solid writer and you have a good grasp of the subject matter at hand. But is what you have to say valuable to your readers?

Do you THINK it is, or do you KNOW it is? Early on in my career, I was told that one of the worst mistakes a marketer can make is to act upon their own opinions. Content marketing is no exception.

We all fall victim to the “I think” syndrome, but in content marketing, it can lead to misguided topics that don’t hold value to your readers. Or worse, it can make your brand look like it’s way out of touch with customer needs.

That’s why experienced strategists, analysts, and SEO experts are so important to content marketing strategies – they help ensure that there is an actual audience for your content and that the content you produce is aligned with their needs and expectations.

And let me tell you, faking analytics and strategy until you make it is near impossible. If you’re going to invest time and money into content marketing, your best return will be when you work with professionals who know exactly what they’re doing.

What keywords should you target and why? Is there a niche space you can take advantage of? What social media platforms or type of content resonates best with your target audience? How do you plan to test your content and what will signal success?

These answers aren’t always easy to come by, and if you’re faking it to your making it, one of two things can happen: you’ll end up spending a huge chunk of time simply spinning your wheels or you’ll build a wholly ineffective content strategy – i.e., you’ll waste a LOT of money.

So go ahead and fake your way through some of life’s more daunting social and professional situations, but before you put on a content charade, think about what’s at stake and how much value exists in a strong and well-executed content marketing strategy. Give yourself a break, and leave content tasks to the experts. Your company and its bottom line deserve it.