Last week I met a number of business leaders who are aspiring to be considered though leaders in their industry. One was an organisation which has a truly global footprint and a distributed marketing team operating in over 60 countries.
The other was a small regionally based recruitment firm who has aspirations to expand their footprint.
However there were many similarities amongst them when it came to their online presence and reputation.
One of the areas they are both considering is that of brand journalism and content marketing. And no matter the scale of the operation for either of these organisations, time is a scarce resource. Yes they could (and probably will) create pillar content, for example research, that would position them as thought leaders and develop a content marketing plan to distribute that valuable material.
But today, there is such an appetite for the latest news being delivered through social media channels, that it is usually appropriate to share other content relevant to your target market from relevant and trusted sources.
If you want to be considered as a thought leader in your industry, it is critical you are diligent about checking the source and accuracy of the information you share.
Creating information graphics citing research and data from credible sources other than your own organisation is one way that you might re-purpose content into an asset that others will be interested in sharing. There are a number of sites online who do that every day and have become a source for news on industry specific topics.
However, it is essential that if you choose to create graphics in this way, that you cite the original sources if you want to be seen as credible.
Today I came across an article dated 20 June 2016 that stated “Social media offers unique benefits for B2B marketers” which of course caught my attention. The article was on a respected marketing site, The Drum, in the UK.
I clicked through the link to the source article for the information graphic and noticed two things. Firstly, the source was not as quoted in the article.
Perhaps the author of the article in The Drum had picked up the idea for a post from a blog feed? They referenced a post as the source for the organisation who had created the infographic to be Digital Information World – but you will see on the page for DIW that their article on on 9 May 2016 merely posted the infographic and gave the source as another site.
Incorrectly citing a source is poor brand journalism and negatively impacts your reputation. It only took me seconds to identify the source so why had the author of the article in The Drum not done this? And why had their editor not picked it up. This lack of attention to detail can affect your reputation as a publisher.
I know I will think twice now before re-posting their content and will pay closer attention to their sources. In the battle for digital eyeballs, paying attention to the accuracy in your data and citations in content marketing still matters. Don’t fall into the trap of link bait content if your goal is to be considered a thought leader.
It is worth as a point of learning, to explore the story a little further.
The organisation who had compiled the infographic is one called Real Business Rescue. Good on them to take the time to create an infographic as part of their marketing that would then be shared – in this case by an influential marketing site! And it was great that they referenced their organisation at the end of the infographic.
The second key issue of why this is poorly executed content marketing is about the design of the graphic. As you will see at the end of the information graphic in the image posted below they missed two key things. The organisation who created the infographic failed to add their URL to the graphic and to cite specific sources for the data they included in their infographic.
Developing visual content in the form of an infographic is not an inexpensive investment for content marketing. Even if you develop it in-house or with infographic tools, it still takes time. Why would you now want to add your web domain so people can always come back to you as the originator of the content? And by leaving off the specific sources, it means that the content has less chance of being curated by others. That is the reason that I will not repost the infogrpahic here or to my social networks.
If you are planning to invest in visual marketing through infographics or video content to support your thought leadership objectives, pay attention to these elements of detail to enhance your reputation and even increase your leads.
And if you need assistance in developing your visual content marketing plan, or even want someone to critique your infographic, you can schedule a confidential conversation with me here.
Your visual content marketing should enhance your reputation as a thought leader – not detract from it – or even negatively impact your reputation.