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Marketing For Health & Wellness

Are you Content Spamming?

content spammer

Seth Godin, the OG digital marketer, defines spam as anything that is not Anticipated, Relevant, and Personal.

In digital, this really started with emails – remember the long forward chains, the “send this to 10 friends or you’ll have bad luck” threads? 

Then, as the internet matured, spam found its way to social media, and has now expanded to the worst offender – blogs. What should be informational or interesting written articles have turned into mere levers to feed the SEO algorithms. I’ll admit, we’ve fallen for this trap as well. We have a couple of blog posts we put out in order to capitalize on a keyword, without having a clear POV or purpose behind it.

A former client, a startup that eventually sold for $225 million, promised to help small businesses and solopreneurs ‘do more marketing’ by sending emails, publishing blogs, and creating social media posts for them. At a mass scale, for thousands of clients.

What this meant in practice is that they were producing content that had to be so generic as to make sense for hundreds of thousands of different people, in different states, with different customers.

Think about it: hundreds of thousands of people, all getting the exact same content from their local insurance broker or realtor. Generic, nonpersonalized, noise pumping out en masse day after day after day.

A real scenario for them: they were due to send the monthly email newsletter for all the HVAC companies you serve. 

But you have HVAC companies signed up for your ”content marketing service“ from all over the United States. 

You’re sending it to people who live in Arizona and in Maine. Some live in a hundred-year-old home, some in a new build. Some bought their home last year, some have been there for a decade.

What kind of content could you possibly generate that is engaging to everyone in that audience?

The answer is, you can’t.

These emails, blogs, or social posts gave no value to the reader. They were not anticipated, relevant, or personal.

It was noise just for noise sake. This was content spamming in its purest form.

The customers, the business owners, didn’t know any better – they, like all business owners, heard that they need to ”do marketing“, which to them meant social media, emails, and blogs. They didn’t know that building a true, useful, insightful relationship with one customer is infinitesimally more valuable than barely scraping the attention of a hundred of them.

And now, with AI, it’s gotten even worse. The tools to spam people have never been more accessible and democratic. Instead of paying teams of people to generate crappy content that has no purpose, a computer can do it in the blink of an eye.

What is the future of AI in social media? What does spam blogging look like now that it’s cheaper and more accessible than ever?

About a year ago, I was locked in a two-week argument with the CEO of one of our clients. He wanted us to use chatGPT (then the bleeding edge in tech) to generate ”two hundred articles a week.“ 

I asked him – but what do you want those articles to say? What do you want the reader to feel? What value are you adding their lives in this content? What is our unique POV that will change the way they think?

He had no answer. He just wanted the high number to happen.

There’s nothing wrong with producing a great volume of content. But it’s not about the quantity. It’s about the quality.

In this screen recording, you’ll see how I take a piece of content generated by ChatGPT and refine it, enhancing its relevance, personalization, and anticipation for the reader. 

This demonstrates that while AI can provide a base, the human element is what truly elevates content from good to great.

An all-in-one business platform offers an “AI social media post generator” as part of their feature set. They claim to have used thousands of posts to build a library of social media posts that we, the customer, could simply drag and drop into the social media post scheduler.

Of course, these posts were about as generic as you can get. Pure spam. Noise for the sake of noise. 

And the real kicker – they weren’t even ”AI generated social media“ – they were stolen, er, “scraped”, from their customers’ social media pages.

You see, as I was setting up their account, an interesting thing happened when I went to connect their Facebook Page with their platform. It required permissions for every single Page I manage. Which as a digital marketing agency owner, you can imagine, is quite a lot.

Are You Content Spamming?

The unstated reason is so that they could scrape every Page and add those posts to their social media content library, then call it “AI generated” in order to make it sound cooler. Shady shit.

(And no, I did not connect my account, and instead had the client do it on a new Facebook account with nothing else connected).

With new AI tools to wield, and companies capitalizing on those tools, it can be tempting to feel as if you must double or triple your content output.

But my sincere belief is this: good quality content that is entertaining, informative, or emotionally stirring will be magnitudes more effective than producing a bunch of generic schlock.

So as you look at your blank social media calendar or your empty Mailchimp template, consider the reader on the other end. Don’t spam them. Give them something of value.

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