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Content Marketing 101:
What Makes Content Bad?

Published: January 19 2016

There are a number of ways that content marketing can fail if it is not created and shared properly. Don't make these bad content marketing mistakes! 

Content marketing is NOT the place for your sales pitch

If you post a sales pitch to your Facebook page everyday, you will likely be wasting your time. With content marketing, you have a unique opportunity to be welcomed into people’s homes and lives. The last thing they want to see is the social media equivalent of a tacky billboard in their feed.



Bad grammar and spelling are a BIG no-no

The internet is full of “trolls”, lurking under the proverbial bridge, waiting to pounce and take you to task for saying “Today I seen* a beautiful rainbow!” This can come as a blow to your confidence and may impact the perceived level of professionalism and power for your brand.

You don’t have to be a tremendous writer to use spell check or proof for grammatical errors. Google Docs offers a free, cloud-based word program with an intuitive spell check - and it auto-saves! As for grammar, proofread everything you write out loud and you will likely catch a lot of the bigger errors.

*It’s saw, not seen

Pro-tip: Proofread your posts out loud… in a fake English accent! It sounds odd, but little inaccuracies in your daily grammar are a lot harder to miss when you imagine James Bond saying them.


A lack of planning, purpose, and intent

Have you ever gone to the grocery store or mall with no idea why you are there? No plans for dinner, budget in mind, or general sense of purpose? Did you spend too much money and get home, only to find that you have four bags of 2-for-1 chips and no bread for sandwiches in the morning?

Planning is everything and it will save you a lot of time and headache when it comes to your content marketing. Start by drafting a calendar and list of ideas that take into account the yearly cycles of your business or popular holidays.



Valuing quantity over quality

When it comes to content marketing, quality always comes before quantity. If you are posting for the sake of posting, striving to meet your goal of seven posts per week, you are wasting your precious time! It’s far better to post fewer content pieces that people actually engage with. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should only post once per month either. Be disciplined and consider whether you, or anyone you know, would actually care about what you are posting before you click the button.


DiGiorno Pizza made a huge error when they jumped on the hashtage bandwagon. This particular hashtag was about domestic violence and the backlash was swift and fierce.


Foregoing basic research

If you want to have some fun and shake your head, Google “Brand Twitter Fails”. When you don’t bother to do some very basic research, you will inevitably end up with egg on your face.

Before you jump on the hashtag bandwagon, know what the hashtag is about! Research slang terms before you use them and know that the internet is a dark place full of snarky people who can’t wait to trip you and then laugh about it.

Pro-tip: UrbanDictionary.com can be a great place to find out what that popular abbreviation means… Just be prepared to learn some things you didn’t want to know about. Brain bleach hasn’t been invented yet.


More from the Content Marketing 101 Series:

Your Super Easy Crash Course 

What Makes Content Good?

Who Is Your Ideal Consumer?

The Almighty Headline

A Picture Says 1,000 Words