Are You A Content Marketing Phony? A Helpful Quiz!

A few months ago, the SEO industry performed a David Blaine-grade magic trick. Penguin rolled out, the industry soiled it’s collective britches – and then POOF! – overnight, businesses that had once excelled in “SEO” now excelled in “Content Marketing”.

It’s everywhere. EVERYWHERE. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find an SEO agency (whether proudly wearing the label or hiding in the closet with it) who HASN’T blogged about the importance of content marketing and how it’s now the bees knees and the future of the entire internet. There’s just one problem: Phonies walk among us. You might even know a few. You might even be one without knowing it.

1. Did your company website have a section on content marketing prior to April, 2012?

2. If no, does it now?

3. Please check all of the following that apply to you: “When I began to offer content marketing to clients, my…”

  • Team composition significantly changed
  • Team structure significantly changed
  • Internal processes significantly changed
  • Approach to pitching clients significantly changed
  • Pricing structure significantly changed
  • I added a “content marketing” tab to my services section and went to town!

4. Yes or No: “My firm’s primary method of content marketing is mass guest post publishing”?

5. Yes or No: “I source the majority of the content for my clients from oDesk”

6. Yes or No: “We created our editorial calendar by going to Google Adwords, picking commonly searched keyword phrases and then coming up with blog topics about them (usually with a lot of top X lists because we heard people can digest those easily)”

7. Yes or No: “Before launching into the creation phase, we sit down and delve into a strategy that defines the voice, tone, key messages, themes

8. Yes or No: “The main reason we offer content marketing is because we have no idea how to get linked to now and byline links on blogs nobody reads are still scalable if you put them on blogs nobody cares about.”

9. Yes or No: “We could still do content marketing if every single blog fell off the face of the planet tomorrow afternoon” 11. Yes or No: “I can actually recite my client’s mission and vision statements.”

10. Are you a great big phony? (Ha, ha – just kidding. I wouldn’t expect anyone to be that transparent!)


Let’s tally up the score:

If you’re selling content marketing now and didn’t before April of 2012 BUT your team’s composition/structure/processes/pricing structure didn’t change, your primary means of “content marketing” is pushing out mass guest blogs that you sourced from oDesk/Elancer/Mechanical Turk/Belarus, you build content calendars by shotgunning titles you think are clever into an excel spreadsheet based on search volume and don’t know what your client’s mission and vision statements are, give yourself negative infinity points.

Congrats, you’re a part of the problem!

But don’t worry. Secretly, most overnight content marketers are just like you.

A few years from now when we’ve run the phrase “content marketing” into the ground, we can all get together over drinks at a conference and talk about the next wave and wash our hands clean of the whole thing. Heck, we did it with SEO.

One Response to “Are You A Content Marketing Phony? A Helpful Quiz!”

  1. [...] Matt Cutts sparked a frenzy in SEO spheres last week when he announced they were close to rolling out the sequel to last year’s infamous update that crushed dreams and gave spam it’s first real kick in the prunes. It made a devil out of anchor text and turned the SEO faithful from the darkness into the light of “content marketing” (read: guest post links) [...]

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