Thoughts on marketing, social media, and web strategy

Mike Templeton is an experienced marketer with a history in building community on the web.

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If Content is King, What is Purchased Content?

Working in social media for the last few years, I can hardly imagine a scenario where content was discussed without hearing the lauded, “Content is king,” adage. Content is still talked about in that context because it is true, especially in social media. If you don’t have the content, there is little basis for interaction, sharing, or conversation.

What do you do if you don’t have content? You create it. However, one company I came across recently has a different way of going about creating content. They’ll let you pay them to create it for you.

Content is content, right?

Reading through Paid Content earlier this week I was presented with a banner ad for AcquireContent, a content solution from Gale. AcquireContent has two main solutions for businesses that need content: custom creation of content and licensed or shared content.

In most situations, exchanging a fee for services rendered by a provider is nothing out of the ordinary. People and businesses do this every day. Where things start to get questionable is when you look at this situation in various contexts. For example, if you are a business looking for custom content to keep your site fresh and visible in search engines, you might rely on¬†AcquireContent to create that. In fact, they are happy to create “effective, original material, delivered¬†on time and to your specifications” that you can use. If you are using the generated article as something for a topical newsletter, it may be fine. But what if you were using it as a blog post? Is that still ok?

Your content defines you – make it your own

Though there are many ways to create content, think long and hard before you outsource the work – especially when it will be used in social media. When you are building relationships based on the content and information you are sharing, it is important that it truly reflects you or your business. And if you are having someone else develop it, at least make it part of your disclosure (like guest blog posts).

Is it ok to pay someone else to create content for you? Would you feel misled if you discovered a business was leveraging the talents of someone else and sharing it as their own?

One Response to “If Content is King, What is Purchased Content?”

  1. Jameson says:

    One of the people I work with likes to say that content is not actually King, but it is Queen – in reference to a game of Chess, a Queen is generally considered the more powerful unit because of the mobility of it. An interesting notion to think about how content should be very flexible to be used in a variety of digital locations. Sure made me think of it in a different light.

    It may be a within a new context, but there will always be service providers. Creating content on behalf of others will absolutely be a service offering many will and should choose to engage in. People will become experts in this field and have a lot of insights a traditionalist just might not have. From a creation standpoint, you may not get the face value of the recognition, but you always have the experience to market yourself.

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