Content marketing services are very much in demand right now. With Google placing ever more emphasis on high quality content that engages and informs, companies are coming to understand that they need professionals. They realize they need content marketers who know what they are doing.

That’s all well and good except for the fact that there is no shortage of companies offering content marketing services without really having a handle on content or marketing. They rely on the fact that their clients don’t understand content marketing either. They churn out content, get paid, and move on to the next client.

How can you know if your content marketing firm is doing right by you? Look at what it produces. According to Webtek Digital Marketing out of Salt Lake City, there are four types of content you can look for specifically. They don’t work well for marketing.

1. Spun Content

Spun content is content that is reworded, reordered, or otherwise modified before being passed off as original. When I first got started in this business, there were companies hiring people like me to take original documents and spin them to create five or six new pieces. Today, firms don’t hire writers. They use content spinning software.

Spun content is easy enough to spot if you know what you’re looking for. The quality is poor, and it lacks any kind of original thought. A person who suspected he might be reading spun content could simply copy and paste it into an online plagiarism checker and find out pretty quickly.

2. Thin Content

Thin content is content that offers a lot of words but very little value. You might have a 600-word piece with a compelling title that makes you think it says something important. But when you actually read it, you discover there’s nothing there.

This type of content not only fails to help marketing, but it also actually harms your marketing efforts. Thin content doesn’t rank well in organic searches. When people do manage to find it, they come away feeling like they have wasted their time. They aren’t going to trust an organization that puts out thin, meaningless content that amounts to little more than internet drivel. 

3. AI-Generated Content

Despite all the hype around ChatGPT and other generative AI tools, AI-generated content is not good marketing content. Why? Because it’s just one step above spun content. Generative AI tools aren’t capable of original thought. They are little more than algorithms programmed to scour the internet, collect information, and present that information to the reader.

AI-generated content is easy to spot, if you know what you’re looking for of course. It contains nothing unique or original. It’s simply other information regurgitated for you. It might help drive traffic, but it’s not going to help make sales.

4. Machine-Translated Content

Last but not least is translated content. Creating content for one language and then translating it into another isn’t a big deal if you’re using human translators that are fluent in both languages. But translating using something like Google Translate is a bad idea. Online and other machine translating tools do a very poor job with syntax and grammar. That’s because machines can’t truly mimic the nuances of language.

Content marketing services are intended to produce traffic that ultimately turns into conversions. If traffic isn’t converting, your marketing efforts aren’t accomplishing anything. That could be due to weak content that doesn’t impress visitors. If you’re paying for content marketing services but getting lousy content in exchange, maybe it’s time to look for a new vendor.