Content marketing is a great way to achieve a multitude of important business goals, such as building trust, developing a strong brand and forming meaningful relationships with your target audience. In this respect, it’s very different to outbound marketing, which doesn’t need to rely on offering real value to capture people’s attention. Unfortunately, however, many marketers don’t seem to understand the difference, instead using content purely to push sales.


#1. Autoplay Video

Videos that automatically play when someone visits a website are among the most obnoxious and aggressive forms of marketing of all. In fact, they’re significantly worse than even popups, particularly for those on metred connections where such content consumes valuable megabytes in just seconds. It can also be quite embarrassing, particularly for those browsing in public or at work. Unless your goal is to simply troll your would-be customers, you should never, under any circumstances, bombard them with autoplay video.


#2. Gateway Pages

Gateway pages, as well as their partners in crime popups, are extremely annoying to most readers who just want to get to the content that they were promised when they clicked on the search result. To an extent, it can work, as it does with Forbes, but not without raising more than its fair share of controversy. The gateway page is yet another method to try to get people to pay attention to advertising without making any effort to draw attention to carefully crafted, value-adding content. What’s more is that studies have shown that fewer and fewer people are paying attention anyway.


#3. Hyperbolic Headlines

Internet users are becoming remarkably good at distinguishing between sponsored content and real content just from the headline alone. Most people immediately associate hyperbolic headlines with clickbait, which has undoubtedly become one of the biggest scourges of the Internet. If your headlines promise to ‘blow peoples’ minds,’ ‘change people’s lives’ or achieve something else unspeakably amazing, then you’ll likely succeed only in tarnishing your brand’s image and losing your credibility. By contrast, good headlines accurately represent the content they lead to.


#4. Automation

People are surrounded by intrusive advertising, sponsored content and pure spam almost everywhere they look, so it takes some consistent effort to build trust these days. However, you cannot expect to build trust if you’re not present, and that means putting your content marketing on autopilot or outsourcing everything on the cheap is out of the question. It is crucial you keep the human element strong with all your content, and this means being present to answer people’s questions and thank them for their support. No one wants to read content created by yet another faceless brand.


#5. Bad Spelling

It should be obvious that good spelling and grammar are important in marketing, but there’s no shortage of online content that looks like it is, and probably was, written by people who don’t even have a solid command of the English language. Such content, which is often a result of outsourcing to the cheapest writers you can find, will harm your brand’s reputation, and it sports all the hallmarks of pure spam. While not many people are likely to be too bothered by the occasional typo, content that is littered with errors will do nothing other than turn your brand into a laughing stock.


It’s not easy to build up a sustainable content marketing strategy that really speaks to its target audience and represents the core values of a brand. As such, many marketers try to take shortcuts, whether that involves using objectionable marketing tactics or paying next to nothing to people who don’t have a clue to create content for you. What brands need to remember is that content that offers real value leaves people satisfied, thus it’s only advantageous in the longer term.