A few years ago, I came across one of my articles online. Only, I no longer wanted to claim it as my own. Some mass article website had taken one of my articles – something I put a lot of time into researching, writing and proofing – put it into a blender, spit it out with tons of typos and re-published it. As a copywriter, I was mortified at the questionable sentences and worried that a potential client might see it and wonder who the heck had given me a degree in English.

This is one of the biggest fears that B2B companies have when they think about publishing content – that some competitor or rogue website will get hold of it and either claim it as their own or destroy it.

However, despite what happened to me, I do not regret having any of my content online (except some awful photos my friends love posting on Facebook). I’ve gained way too many benefits from content marketing to let one bad experience scare me away.

I also do not feel that B2B companies should miss out on improved SEO, increased opt-ins, greater brand awareness and all of the other content marketing benefits because they’re afraid of someone stealing their content. Here’s why:

There’s no content marketing law that states you must give away all of your secrets. Instead, focus on providing helpful advice and educating your target audience about their key concerns. Your audience will find this content valuable, and you don’t need to divulge what you’re working on for your latest product release.

While content marketing places a lot of value on giving information away for free, you don’t need to give everything away without expecting something in return. Drive people to your website using blog posts, YouTube videos and other open content, and then ask them to opt-in for your premium content such as white papers and webinars. Giving away public content will only drive more qualified leads to your website and increase your opt-ins. 

When you publish new content on your website, Google recognizes you as the original source. If someone republishes your content, your site should still rank higher for those keywords.

You don’t need to be in the dark about where your content is going. Tools such as Copyscape allow you to enter a URL and instantly see if anyone is plagiarizing your web pages. If you have a blog, you can also install plug-ins that email you every time someone mentions or republishes one of your blog posts.

Content marketing can have a strong impact on your business, so concerns about making your content available on the web shouldn’t hold you back. This is the second post in a series about B2B content marketing fears. Be sure to check out the first post on how to get content marketing buy-in, even if your company is very traditional.

What about you? Are you afraid of your content falling into the wrong hands? Feel free to share your comments below.

3 Responses

  1. Rachel, what do you tell a client who’s reluctant to offer an ebook or some other document, because they fear a competitor will steal it and use it? 

    E.g.:  “We put in a lot of work on that eBook, and now any competitor or another company in a different market can take our work and slap their logo on it.” 

    Do copyrights provide protection from this on a practical level? 

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