Why is Original Content and Photography More Effective?When it comes to developing content and imagery, I've noticed that many brands lean on copy-cat techniques and stock photography. Although I understand why they're doing this, I can't help but think why they believe this is going to enhance their conversion rates. Let's view this from the perspective of a consumer and see where it goes..
If you’ve been following me over the past year, you’ve probably noticed my passion for presentation. No matter what your content resource is, it’s imperative that you don’t distance yourself from this strategy – rather work smarter. In the past, I’ve been affiliated with a number of businesses that leverage articles, inspirational posts, leading professional’s ideas, and even competition for content. The problem is, they’re not necessarily leveraging them – they’re stealing from them.
No one should know your offering better than you – so why not showcase this at a maximum level to ensure you’re resonating? Duplicating someone else’s writing, imagery, or strategy is a bad idea all around. If you have long term aspirations for your brand, then you should be considering every endeavor you’re involved with. Here’s some reasoning behind my belief.
1. The Potential for Consequences.
The cost of duplicate content is a lot worse than most of you realize. Some businesses actually continue paying SEO contractors blindly. They’re unaware of the consequence while searching for a way to reach #1. (This is nearly impossible anyways.) Without a large amount of capital to invest in optimization you’re setting yourself up for failure – especially if you’re ranking ability is jeopardized. Using photos or copy that don’t belong to you can result in getting sued. Even more, ranking in the near future becomes a pipe dream once search engines drop your quality score and penalize you. Is that worth pulling an image from Google search results or changing some verbiage in an already published article?
If you have the money to throw at SEO, consider addressing your branded content to save yourself the stress. Relaying knowledge, success, and expertise will build the perception of your image more than duplication ever will. Copying can eventually handicap your ability to persuade someone you’re different or worth their dollar. Stay focused on handling business on a personal level and showcase the stories on other channels (such as social media). Not only will original content help you avoid consequential penalties, but it’ll help overcome an inability to be organically found.
2. Competition is a Real Life Thing.
When you set out to conquer the world with your product or service, did you think you were the only one? I hope not.. In my opinion, losing the competition battle is one of the main reasons businesses fail. I’ve literally seen companies try to do the same thing as their direct competitor and wonder what’s broken. For years I’ve seen bloggers with no knowledge in the industry curate content for businesses. This is where brand recognition comes into play. If you don’t create your own voice, vision, and solution (at least with a twist) – then what are you doing?
Sure, people can make a decent living mowing the same style lawns with the similar equipment, etc.. and that’s perfectly fine – but if you want to eventually scale and build something then you must acknowledge the need to stand out. There’s always going to be someone looking to trump one of your promotions and steal your customers. That’s why developing a seamless message and original content that doesn’t waiver from your value is important.
Once consumers see you as a viable brand, prideful in originality – it’s simply up to your retention and service. If you refuse to separate yourself then you’re risking a few bad reviews ruining your reputation for good. The more people that relate to your message and voice, the more likely they’re going to support you – no matter the circumstance. But, if you don’t take pride in highlighting what you do well then you’re limiting your potential – while giving competitors an advantage.
3. Trust is in the Eye of the Beholder.
I get a lot of slack for this belief, but I’ve seen enough to know what inevitably keeps customers engaged. Every business is different and no brand is the same. I get that. I also understand how 30 year old companies lean on grassroots – or how a monopolized need leaves consumers with no choice.. But failing to consider what a potential customer sees (especially if you want more revenue) blows my mind. I know that I’m more picky than most when it comes to where I spend my dollar – but I’m also not ignorant to the fact that a new generation is becoming adults.
Referrals aren’t going to last forever. The old days of “Mike said Jerry was good at this and he has a guy” – are coming to an end. The ability to be found and the ability to relay trust is becoming a necessity. Today, pretty much everything can be found online. If you’re out of touch with this reality then you’re missing out on opportunity. Even if you take a small portion of your time (or budget) to invest in quality trustworthy promotions you’ll see a difference. It can be as simple as an appealing customer testimonial or a detailed about me page.
Let’s Put Believability in Perspective..
When I was finally able to convince a past client to promote head shots of their physicians, there was an immediate surge in patient registration. Why did it work? People want to know the clinician that’s managing their health. How did I know? Because I asked patients what their determining factors are. Hell, I even realized I want to be able to see who I’m meeting with. If I can’t find anything online, I don’t necessarily think somethings wrong – but it doesn’t seem right..
How Does Originality Promote Trust?
If you’re afraid of being vulnerable in order to prove you’re trustworthy, then your grassroots campaign can slowly turn into a game of telephone. Give the people want they want so they can be comfortable investing their time and money for your product or service. They want to trust you, and (in most cases) you just have to show them they can.
Posting random quotes, relevant phrases, or general imagery isn’t going to be enough to keep you on the playing field. Technology is advancing and most development surrounds efficiency and convenience. People want to know as much as they can before forking over cash. Promoting one of your actual plumbers helping a local homeowner tells a potential customer your capable. The simple fact they know it’s a real story versus a relevant photo should open your eyes.
Think about it as you shop or browse. What brand seems phony to you? Consider how much easier it’ll be to scale when people already believe in the message you’re relaying. It’s hard to do that when you’re using general imagery and content that people can’t sense and feel.
Trust me.. 😉