We all know that content is king in the online marketing world, as great content helps to boost sales and improve brand awareness. Content marketing is all about being valuable, unique and authoritative, so you don’t want any competitors beating you to the punch before you have a chance to share your content and drive traffic back to your site. Some might even copy your content to compromise your authority.
As such, it is crucial to keep your marketing content safe and secure. Here are ways to approach keeping this information safe, so you can rest assured that your unique content does not fall into the wrong hands.
Keep Your Accounts Secure
The most convenient way for marketing teams to communicate and share content is through online systems such as Trello and Basecamp. Marketers store plenty of valuable content on these platforms, and it is important to protect this information from being accessed by unauthorised parties. If you’re planning a big content marketing campaign with a comprehensive content schedule and plenty of unique content, you don’t want this data falling into the hands of your competitors.
To prevent anyone from accessing content that your team members share amongst themselves, ensure that it is impossible for any third parties to log in to your site’s backend, file storage accounts and project management tools. You can do this by employing several different security methods:
- Ensure that you have longer passwords that include a variety of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols and numbers. It is also crucial that you avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
- There are several password managers such as True Key and LastPass that generate various secure passwords for different. When using these apps, you are only responsible for one master password and the app takes care of the rest.
- To add an extra layer of security for your content, consider using two-step verification. This type of login system requires you to prove your identity on a second device or account in addition to logging in with your password.
Review Your Email Marketing’s Security
Email is one of the effective content marketing platforms, as most brands use email newsletters to stay in touch with clients. Since your customers have trusted you with their personal information, it is your responsibility to protect their privacy. Data breaches can ruin a company’s reputation, and they are likely to occur when a brand hasn’t taken adequate steps to safeguard its email marketing communications.
First, make sure that you carry out all of your email marketing through secure email software. Mailchimp, Campaigner and Get Response are very popular among content marketers, as they offer up multiple levels of security for all email communications.
It is also important to remember that most data breaches are caused by human error. As such, your team members should take part in online security training as part of their induction. This type of training should teach them how to filter their outbound mail, keep their data secure and make the most of encryption. You should also run refresher training courses regularly so your content marketers are always aware of the best practices for data security.
Protect Your Content from Plagiarism
Another concern for content marketers is plagiarism. If your team creates great content that attracts traffic to your site, the last thing you want is for another brand to capitalise on it by using it as their own. There are several ways to combat plagiarism in the online marketing world, so you can rest assured that there aren’t any issues with intellectual property theft.
First, make sure that you include the copyright symbol on every page of your website to deter anyone from copying it. E-books, infographics and PDF downloads should also feature copyright symbols and even watermarks to prevent others from passing your content off as their own.
You can also protect written content by making it impossible for site visitors to copy and paste your text. Using a bit of code, you can disable right-click functions on your site to prevent people from saving your images to their computers or copy and pasting your original text. When you use this code, a dialogue box will appear that informs visitors that the content is copyrighted.
Secure Your Online Communications
Whenever you upload, email or share content, be aware that it can be intercepted at any point along the way. To prevent this from happening, Virtual Private Networks can be used to protect data (Secure Thoughts has a full review to navigate the market). VPNs work by allowing the user to establish a secure connection with a remote network computer. When data is sent over this type of connection, it is encrypted to prevent any third parties from accessing it. These services are especially useful to safeguard your information on risky public networks.
There are also plenty of great secure messaging apps that you can use if your team tends to rely on mobile technology to discuss your content marketing plans. WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram are just a few of the messengers that offer up encryption for secure online communications. When chatting about campaigns and content, you can rest assured that only your team members are in the know.
What to Do If You Discover That Your Content Has Been Stolen
Should you happen to come across a site that has stolen your content, either by copying your text or intercepting your communications, there are some simple steps that you can take to rectify the issue and have the content taken down. The first step is to contact the thief. Email them to let them know that you know they have done wrong and demand that they remove the content. This allows you to open a dialogue and create a paper trail if the issue escalates.
Should your first contact fail to resolve the issue, the next step is to send a cease and desist order. It is recommended that you wait no longer than 48 hours after sending the first email. If they continue to ignore you, you can contact advertisers to let them know about the site’s transgressions. It is possible that they will pull their ads and stop funding the site, serving as a wake-up call to the owner. Another option is to request a ban from search engines, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Case Study: The Dangers of Leaving Your Content Unprotected
Several companies have had their content stolen due to failing to employ adequate security measures. Not only does this put your rankings at risk of falling due to duplicate content; there is also the chance that the site that steals your content will outperform your own.
Search Engine Watch offers up an example that perfectly illustrates the dangers of leaving your content unprotected. Journeys by Design offers African safari holidays, and it features plenty of useful content that provides site visitors with information about various accommodation options and tourist activities.
Eventually, this content was copied verbatim by other companies that offer the same service. Over the course of 8 months, the original site ranked consistently for the term “mountain gorilla’s nest”, while several of the impersonators were able to rank for the same term using stolen content. In fact, there were some periods in which the other sites were able to outrank the original.
This situation perfectly illustrates the importance of keeping your content secure online. Ensure that you use plenty of safeguards to protect the content that your team has worked hard to create in order to offer more valuable content to visitors than your competitors. In doing so, you can rest assured that your site will maintain its rankings and continue to be an authoritative source of information.