Old-style marketing no longer works for today's savvy, cynical, connected buyers. People can research online in minutes. Your products and services need to be found quickly and stand up to scrutiny. That is where marketing with valuable content matters, according to Sonja Jefferson and Sharon Tanton in this book.
Valuable content is content which: educates, informs or entertains; is relevant to its target audience; tells a story that people understand; is well-produced; and is written by people who care. Valuable content can help you deliver five things that businesses need to stand out from the crowd on the Internet:
* Getting discovered by prospective customers
* Differentiating yourself from your competitors
* Becoming the subject of people's conversations and referrals
* Being remembered when the time comes to buy; and
* Enabling people to learn to like and trust you
So how do you go about generating and then using valuable content? The authors recommend blogging as an easy way to publish your content, supported by social media ( in particular Twitter, Linked-In and Facebook), email newsletters, search-engine optimisation, a content-rich website, e-books, video and audio. As experienced writers, the authors give plenty of useful advice on such topics as how to stop procrastinating, how to be engaging, and how to fit writing into a busy work schedule.
In my view the authors have made a compelling case for the potential marketing advantages of valuable content. The major drawback is that it takes an enormous amount of effort to create a consistent flow of valuable content. On the other hand, this is also an advantage because it creates a barrier to entry for your competitors, providing you with a valuable opportunity to differentiate your business if you are prepared to invest significant time and energy.