If you're a marketer, copywriter, or business owner, then you might be sick and tired of hearing the words "content marketing" by now. Without a doubt, this term has been one of the most frequently used buzzwords of 2014 and it doesn't look like there's any end in sight. And, it's not only the undeniable overuse of the words "content marketing" that has grown tired to some people; certain aspects of the practice are starting to wear. We often see the same old blog posts, clickbait headlines, and unintelligible Vine videos popping up in our feeds and it can make us wonder if this is what the future of advertising looks like.

Despite the growing exhaustion with the buzz word, there are still creative, entertaining, and ultimately profitable ways to go about using content for the sake of advertising or marketing. However, in order to do so, you have to make sure that you're avoiding these four things:

Quantity Over Quality

A simple Google search for "content marketing" will yield a large amount of results, full of advice columns and how-to blog posts. Most of these posts will emphasize the importance of quality content and really "engaging" your audience. I've done my fair share of them, concentrating on some of the more popular musical acts out there and how well they are doing this form of marketing.

An ironic aspect of all this is that the worth of some of this advice has become watered down, partly because many articles are saying the same thing. In the past year, content marketing has become a race to post more content, often in order to up the chances that customers find a certain brand first. To some extent it's the marketing equivalent of fighting fire with fire, and this focus on "more" has led to more watered-down content being posted more often. At the end of the day, your potential customers aren't likely to read all of the content you're publishing, so instead of posting eight hollow posts a day, consider creating a smaller amount of really great ones that are more interesting and valuable to your audience.

Lack of Anything New or Interesting

Because content marketing trends have shifted overwhelmingly towards quantity over quality, many marketers and publishers are finding themselves without anything new or interesting to talk about. The perceived need for new content simply happens at a faster rate than the world turns, and as a result, marketers are rehashing the same story over and over again in different words. When it comes to creating outstanding content, keep your Grandma's advice in the back of your head--if you don't have anything nice (read: relevant) to say, then don't say anything at all.

Being a One Trick Pony

Nowadays, you can't be a one trick pony in any business, but that's especially true for marketing professionals. Of course, there are trends and industry best practices to consider, but if you're consistently posting the same, tired type of content, then eventually your audience is going to get bored. For example, listicles tend to drive a lot of engagement, but if that's the only content format that you're producing, eventually your audience may grow tired of it and your efforts might fall on deaf ears. As a marketer you should constantly be trying new things and doing whatever it takes to keep your campaigns fresh. Utilize all of the different content formats that are at your disposal and you'll likely find yourself enjoying much more success.

Doing It For the Links

This is kind of a double-edged sword. On one hand, a great backlink profile is a way to increase your search engine rankings and improve your organic traffic. On the other hand, creating content for the sake of links usually doesn't provide as much value to your audience, which means that eventually, your followers are going to look elsewhere for more valuable information. Marketing is about fostering meaningful relationships with your customers, and if your content is created for search engines rather than human beings, you shouldn't be surprised if eventually your followers stop following. Instead of constantly focusing on ways to generate links, focus on writing content that will provide a great experience for your audience instead.

There's a lot of advice floating around the Internet about how to get the most out of your content marketing, and how to connect and engage with potential customers. However, the speed at which the Internet operates has created a hyper-speed environment where the focus is on creating more content, faster. As a result, most online content turns into nothing more than hollow, worthless clickbait that provides no value to customers and eventually drives them away. If you want to revitalize your content marketing, these are the four things you must avoid at all costs.

Published on: Oct 17, 2014
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.