Creating content is something all digital media marketers and online business owners are often tasked with doing in order to create a successful business with followers that convert to clients. In creating that content, you have a choice. You can vet the sources, give credit where it’s due and make sure that your audience has the context they need to succeed OR you can just create content for monetary gain without thinking about any of these pieces. You get to choose, but choose carefully… for in this choice is either incredible success or an incredible struggle. Which will you choose?
Content Creator. Journalist. Writer. Producer. Content Marketer. Blogger.
No matter how you identify, you are writing words with a goal in mind for a large audience.
That’s what connects us.
What separates us? Well, that’s ethics. And that’s where my mission to civilize the content marketing industry comes in.
If you’ve ever watched The Newsroom, you know the term “mission to civilize.” If you haven’t watched it, here’s a quick rundown — the anchor decides that he and his EP are going to give the audience the content, context and counterarguments they need to make their own decisions.
And it’s the same here.
Hear me out — an informed public IS an important piece of being a journalist and that’s what The Company (CVM Group (CreatiVix Media)) is built on. Storytelling that Sells, created with Ethical Content Creation.
How Does That Fit into Marketing?
Marketing is even more dependent on Ethical Content Creation than the Media. Why? Because, in marketing AND the media, we sell our names, our brands, our credibility.
And in marketing, we often align that with products.
So if you’re selling a product or, in the case of most thought leaders, your expertise as the product, and it doesn’t live up to the promise you made? That means that you’ve let down your audience.
Sometimes, this isn’t intentional — products break, users don’t understand the premise, you get the idea but when it comes to sharing content and curating content, connecting influencers with your audience or, if you’re an influencer, connecting your audience to a product? THAT comes with great responsibility.
Ok, Ok, I Get it… Now What?
Journalists — yes, everyone in The Media — are taught the Code of Ethics. The Society of Professional Journalists provides this Code of Ethics to help journalists understand the requirements of their position and their power.
I believe that these four tenets can be used in creating ALL forms of content, for all verticals and purposes.
The Content Creator’s Code of Ethics
Here are the top three things content creators (looking at you, too, marketers!) need to consider when creating content.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due, Always
If you source User Generated Content, give them the tag. If you pull content from Facebook to Twitter, give them the tag — if you pull a blog from someone else, give them the link. Basically, if you pull ANY piece of content — and you do that 95% of the time!! — from someone else, give them the credit. If you ask someone to contribute content to a Summit (like I’ll be doing in The Content this February!) or to your Podcast, give them credit! Linkbacks, tags and promotion are all possible on the Web — don’t ever leave it out.
Find the Source, Protect the Source and Vet the Source
Don’t know the source personally? Find it. Find it, give them credit (which protects them!) and vet them (this protects you). How do you vet them? Journalists would do an interview but that’s not always applicable — the best way to vet a UGC submission OR just regular content that you want to vet is to see what else they’ve shared and check their social feeds. Make sure you’d be proud to be among them in any space.
Content + Context = Quality
When you’re marketing yourself, your services or your skills (that’s what you DO as a careerpreneur; more on that soon!), it is not always important to provide another side in order to give the audience the information they need to make a decision on THEIR terms. However, giving them context IS important because it allows them to take the information you’re presenting and do their OWN research. Context can be as simple as providing some examples of your past work, past client testimonials or even just an email that you’ve put in your “yay me file” (the email folder where you save alllll of your digital pats on the back) or it can be more complex, depending on what you’re marketing.
If you think about these three things as you build out your content, you’re always going to be on the “right” side of things, no matter which code of ethics you follow AND your success will follow along too — highlighting your audience IS the key to great User Generated Content.
And great User Generated Content? It’s what generates more leads, more sales and more space to serve.