If you ever find your content has been ripped off by somebody else, take it as a compliment. It means you’re doing content marketing right.

It probably happens more often than you think. I was speaking with somebody the other day who was telling me about a piece of software that allows him to take great content from elsewhere and re-post it, accredited, on his Instagram accounts. At the same time, he’s building his followers up for each of his accounts with another piece of software which involves following and unfollowing users.

His end game is to have a number of sector-specific Instagram accounts, each comprising tens of thousands of followers, which will give him leverage to take payment for ‘influencer posts’. You might call it shrewd, you might call it opportunist. It’s not something we’d advocate, but if brands end up paying him thousands of pounds to promote their products to his followers, then fair play, I guess. I do question his validity as an ‘influencer’, mind.

There’s big money to be made in the social media influencer game, that’s for sure. We were recently quoted £3k to have an influencer with fewer than 70,000 followers post a video on one of our clients’ behalf. Not bad work if you can get it.

Thinking

Anyway, I’ve digressed slightly.

In an ideal world, you want to be creating great content that someone else can’t take on as their own. Not being able to copy or steal your content will leave your competitors, or whoever it is that’s relying on your content for ideas, in a spin.

So, here are three ways to make your content impossible to copy:

1. Go long form

If somebody is copying your content it’s highly likely that they don’t have a great deal of resources to spend on content marketing. If they did, they wouldn’t have to find ways to take shortcuts.

They’re probably dedicating the minimum amount of resources to content. If you go long form with your content, then, covering everything there is to cover on the subject at hand, they probably haven’t got the time or the budget to match it. Nor will they be able to spin your content into something with more value. It goes without saying that your followers will notice the increase in quality, too.

Nice

2. Collaborate on content

It surprises me that more collaboration doesn’t go on in the content marketing world. Maybe it’s just because it can be time consuming and difficult to co-ordinate, but when you get it right, collaborating makes for some fantastic content. You’re pulling together the ideas of two experts in the field, be it in an interview, a guest post or a joint study.

For those reasons, it’s also really difficult to replicate collaborated content. They might try quoting from your interview or your research, but they won’t be able to do so without attributing the content to your brand. You don’t mind them copying your content if they are giving you some free publicity.

3. Go visual

Written content is easy to copy, you just need to re-write the copy or adapt it for a different format. Visual content is impossible to do a smash-and-grab job on.

Theft

It all comes back to your stalker being bereft of resources – in the case of visuals, they probably haven’t got somebody on board to even make the content.

Filling your blog and social media feeds with videos, infographics, infogifs etc. will not only protect your content from copycats, but make it a whole lot more engaging and fit for the times, too. Any brand worth their salt is creating visual content these days.

If you ever needed some inspiration for upping your content marketing game, knowing that it will make your competitors’ lives harder is surely all you need.