The whole point of content marketing, or inbound marketing, is to produce content that the audience for your product or service finds relevant and useful.
The right content will most effectively attract your ideal visitors, convert them into qualified leads, and close them into customers.
It is a fairly simple concept and one that most people understand, in theory at least. In practice, however, I find it surprising how many people have difficulty sharing their content.
In my experience there are two reasons for this, both of which are detrimental to your digital marketing.
Either 1) the content is too valuable to be ‘given’ away or 2) the content isn’t ‘ready’ for public consumption.
1. “I can’t give my stuff away. That’s what my customers pay me for!”
On the surface, this appears to be a valid point, and sound marketing strategy.
How are you supposed to make money if you are giving your content away?
In reality, however, you don’t get paid for ‘How’ you do what you do, but rather you get paid for ‘What’ you do. (Tweet This!)
The reason your customers buy your product or service is, in part, because what you are offering is valuable. If you want to attract more customers, you need to make them aware that you have something of value to offer.
Just because you make them aware of this by putting it in their hands doesn’t mean they can or will do anything with it. If it’s a product you sell, you obviously can’t give it away, but you can give away a sample. If it’s a service you sell, by its very nature, because it’s a service, the value comes in your ‘service.’
By making available the content related to the service, you aren’t performing the service itself - for this they need to actually work with you. But, you are building trust online and providing proof that in fact your service is real and adds value.
2. “The content isn’t ready yet.”
This roadblock has to do with establishing a comfort level with releasing content to the general public.
If your organization is not used to releasing content, there is going to be a certain level of self-consciousness – “what will people think?” And the tendency is to perfect, perfect, and perfect, which means things take a lot longer to produce and risk never being produced at all.
The reality is, form means less to consumers than function. (Tweet This!)
A simple tip sheet with 5 insightful bullet points that make someone’s job easier can be just as if not more valuable than a 20 page white paper. I find that some people get so wrapped up in the concept of producing content - that it has to be grandiose in order to represent the brand – and overlook the fact that some of their most valuable insights are simple, concise, and to the point.
As the saying goes, “Ideas are a dime a dozen.” There is very little risk in putting your content out there. It’s what people do with the content that counts.
Today, empowered consumers drive marketing. They are seeking and finding answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Your customers are the ones that want to work with you to execute your ideas. Everyone else is never going to be your customer in the first place!
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