Jeff Keleher

Say goodbye to your bermuda shorts, throw on your finest flannel and polish those pumpkins, because fall is finally here. And you know what that means: Football’s back, baby! Will the Eagles repeat? Can the NFC North’s quarterbacks survive an entire season with Khalil Mack? Will the Browns actually win a game?

Tough to answer definitively, but if I had to put money on it as a totally unbiased observer with no rooting interest one way or the other, I’d say the Chicago Bears go 15-1 en route to a Super Bowl victory. Book it.

But that’s not all! You’ve also got your first (OK, second) Content Marketing Weekly of the season. So grab a mug of warm apple cider and dig in:

Influencer Marketing Fraud: The Shady Side of Social Media

Whatever your feelings are on influencer marketing, you can’t deny that it’s a major component to today’s social media strategies, especially for consumer brands.

Anyone who dabbles in influencer marketing understands that there’s a certain degree of risk involved. After all, you’re essentially entrusting your brand to an outside source who has their own self interests to think of along with repping your company.

But, as Jodi Harris points out over at the Content Marketing Institute, there are other potential concerns with influencer marketing that brands may not even be aware of. For example, that massive following an influencer claims to have could be baloney. It’s pretty common for social media personalities to actually purchase followers, sometimes adding tens of thousands at a time, to boost their reputation. Harris cites a study revealing that as many as 20 percent of mid-level influencer followers are fraudulent.

For content marketers, this presents quite the conundrum: How can you trust that your influencer has the social media juice they claim? Moreover, are influencers using their artificially inflated follower numbers to demand higher rates? It just goes to show that like everything else on the internet, you need to have a good deal of skepticism with influencer marketing.

Read the whole story here.

3 Reasons Why AI Writers Can’t Yet Replace Humans

AI and automation: two technologies that seem to elicit excitement and fear in equal measure. We’re constantly hearing about new applications for “thinking” software and automated platforms that will revolutionize seemingly every aspect of life.

For content marketers, one of the most common refrains we hear is how AI-based platforms will replace real-life, human copywriters. The question is how much of this is based in reality and how much is just baseless fear-mongering?

Well, if you ask Search Engine Journal contributor Julia McCoy, it’s more of a case of the latter.

Companies and media outlets have used AI to generate copy for a while now, usually to churn out quick-hit market reports, sports updates and other stat-heavy content. AI’s actually pretty great at that, and frankly, I’m sure reporters everywhere are pleased they don’t have to waste time with such mindless pieces.

However, McCoy points out that AI has yet to really crack that tough nut we like to call “human expression.” Al algorithms may be inching closer to approximating content that seems like it was written by an actual person, but it all still feels a little phony. Ever see those “Smart Response” buttons in Gmail? Who talks like that? And would an AI platform know the perfect place to drop a Bill Swerski’s Superfans gif in a content marketing blog for maximum impact? I submit that it would not.

So, rest easy content marketing writers. Your job is safe … for now.

Check out McCoy’s full story.

Why Isn’t My Fabulous Content Attracting Quality Links?

Link building. There’s always that one guy in the office who just won’t shut up about it.

But, and this is tough to say out loud, they may have a point. Link building is crucial for developing solid Page and Domain Authority, not to mention creating a reputation for yourself as a trusted and respected expert in your industry.

It sure ain’t easy, though. If you’ve run into your fair share of speed bumps crafting a winning link building strategy, Julie Joyce over at Search Engine Land feels your pain.

What’s the most likely culprit holding back your link building? Content. Or a lack of good, relevant content, to be exact. That may not be Earth-shattering news, but it’s further proof that there’s no substitute for on-point content that your target audience actually cares about.

Joyce has plenty of other tips, though, including how to manage your prospecting and outreach efforts to nab the most valuable linking partner around.

Head on over there and check it out.

Whelp, that’ll do it for another edition of the Content Marketing Weekly. But, we’ll be back before you know it with more of the latest news and trends shaping the content marketing landscape.