The Five Laws of Content Part Three: The Law of Reputation

When it comes to managing a successful content marketing program, finding ways to meet demand for fresh content and overcoming the challenges of managing complex content streams are just the tip of the iceberg. You also have to build a reputation for your organization and the content you share. That’s why the third law of content is all about reputation.

The Law of Reputation can be summarized as follows: As the number of content sources increases, the importance of source reputation increases.

We see examples of the power of reputation with publications like The Drudge Report, Fox News and The New York Times. All three are considered reputable sources for news content despite their political, historical and stylistic dissimilarities. The reason for this is they all have reputations that have been carefully cultivated.

Everyone has heard the expression, “Opinions are like (fill in the body part), everyone’s got one.” And so it is with viewpoints on everything from where whole industries are heading to why product “A” is better than product “B.” The Internet has been a great equalizer, enabling almost any person or organization to publish this type of content. But that doesn’t mean all content is equally good. In fact, the vast majority of it is far less than that.

I recall a video from a few years back in which one of the characters deadpans the line, “So basically I thought the best approach would be to repeat exactly what you told me on the first call and shuffle the words around a bit.” This statement summarizes much of the content on the Internet — unoriginal and devoid of critical thought. Bad content can even be insidious. Lots of online material is now produced at “content farms,” companies that employ large numbers of writers to generate content designed specifically to be ranked highly by search engines. While this content might pass muster with indexing technologies and algorithms, the discerning reader can usually spot it a mile away.

What this means is that content consumers will increasingly use the sponsor of content as shorthand for its perceived quality. The implication for content producers? Sharing useful information will continue to be a great way to build credibility and trust, but a strong brand is the best way of ensuring that their content will not only be consumed, but valued by the consumer.

Tell us: What are you doing to build your reputation through content?

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