Brand content should be created by the marketing department in their companies’ distinguished voice. From time to time, it might be quicker for marketers to simply copy-paste content instead of writing it themselves. This might save time in the short run, but plagiarism can endanger trust and loyalty in a brand. In order to avoid that and strengthen the image of an ‘original’ brand, how can we prevent copycats from the outside and inside?
In today’s digitized world, every marketer has access to millions of websites, blog posts, reports, handbooks, how-to’s, infographics, and templates at their fingertips. Adding free translation tools on top, there’s a whole universe where people in need of quick and easy content can refer to, to produce quick results. But quick fixes might not always be favorable.
The importance of original content in marketing
Looking at definitions of what branding is, we get a deeper understanding of why it matters to express messages with your own brands’ voice and not that of others. For example:
“Definition: A brand is a name given to a product and/or service such that it takes on an identity by itself. Description: In today’s marketplace teeming with thousands of products and services, all of which are being rapidly commoditized, a brand stands out from the clutter and attracts attention.”What is Brands? Definition of Brands, Brands Meaning – The Economic Times (indiatimes.com)
Taking this into consideration, it wouldn’t be smart to advertise your own products and services in the voice of a competitor, would it?
Trust and loyalty are crucial for successful branding
For a brand, it is very crucial to be consistent in the message that is conveyed. Over time, consistent messages build trust, which then leads to brand loyalty if done right. Plagiarizing the messages of other companies will most likely have damaging effects on your own brand. Generally, it is possible to avoid plagiarism by rephrasing messages from your brand’s perspective. Nevertheless, the time spent on creating original content is a good investment mid and long-term: original content is not only rewarded by search engines like Google, but also your customers will reward you with more attention if you stick out of the crowd of noisy and all-alike messages.
The dangers of plagiarism in marketing aside from branding catastrophes
In marketing, content is king; and in today’s interconnected, digitized world, new content pieces must be constantly drip-fed into the preferred communication channels of customers, potentials, and influencers. Creating these assets takes time and money.
When feeling pressured to deliver high-quality, creative, and entertaining content, marketers might be tempted to ‘borrow’ ideas, phrases, or paragraphs from online sources. For marketers, this might be a quick fix which they might forget about quickly. For the company, stealing content might result in hefty penalties when the creator and owner of the original content discovers the content theft.
Not only will legal action result in high costs for the company, but also the companies’ (and brands’!) reputation will be severely damaged. Examples for these are manifold:
- In 2014 CNN fired one of its news editors because of plagiarizing over 50 times
- Jill Abramson admitted to have plagiarized parts of her book ‘The Merchants of Truth’ in 2019
- Even today, Amazon hosts and sells plagiarized self-published books
3 measures for companies to avoid intentional and unintentional plagiarism by its employees
Preventing employees 100% from copy/pasting content can probably not be achieved overnight. Often, a good mix of measures is helpful. Here are some ideas:
- Raising awareness of the importance of original content for the success of a business through integrity workshops and pledges. Introducing a marketing ‘code of conduct’ and implementing plagiarism prevention clauses into the work contracts of marketers might also help. (Ideas based on this article)
- Highlighting the legal and reputational threats to the business through intentional and unintentional plagiarism. Often enough employees are not aware that they are commiting a crime, and intellecutal property and copyright protection workshops can help.
- Implementing continuous controls and checks of content before it is published. Professional and reliable text analysis and similarity detection tools like Ouriginal help to ensure that plagiarism gets uncovered before it can cause any harm.
Ouriginal helps you ensure original content in marketing
Use Ouriginal to prevent plagiarism effectively by simply uploading every content piece to the software prior to publication. Our solution will analyze the text and is able to detect text similarities in your soon-to-be-published marketing content by checking it against our extensive database.
As the internet does not only include English sources, and nowadays workforces often have multicultural backgrounds, the solution can also check for similarities across different languages. The easy-to-understand analysis report will then help you to evaluate if your content is original or not.
Do not endanger your companies’ reputation – act today. We’re happy to demo our solution to you and discuss how we can address your individual challenges together with you.
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