Sunday, February 5, 2012

If Your Marketing Content Was for Sale, Would Anybody Buy?

Would prospects pay to get access to your marketing content? That may sound like a strange question since, of course, we don't charge prospects for our marketing content. Or do we?

The truth is, we regularly ask potential buyers to pay for the privilege of reading, or watching, or listening to our content. The payment may not be in "coin of the realm," but it's something that is just as valuable - the time and attention of our prospects.

We ask our prospects to pay by:
  • Responding to our offers
  • Downloading and reading our white papers
  • Attending our webinars
  • Reading our blog posts
  • Viewing our online demos and/or other videos
  • Reading our case studies
  • Viewing the pages on our website
There are many other examples, but you get the idea.

So, why will (or should) our prospects invest their time and attention to consume our marketing content? For content to be "worth the price of admission," it must deliver value to potential buyers. Content can create value for prospects in a variety of ways. For example, it can:
  • Describe the nature and causes of an important problem or challenge
  • Describe the likely impacts of the problem or challenge on the prospect's business
  • Lay out the alternatives for dealing with the problem or challenge and explain the pros and cons of each approach
  • Demonstrate how companies similar to the prospect have successfully addressed the problem or challenge and describe the results they obtained
From these examples, it should be clear that marketing content creates value primarily by helping potential buyers identify ways to improve their business. Most of this content says little about the specific products or services offered by the company that publishes the content.

Does this mean there's no place for promotional content? Not at all. When prospects reach the right stage of their buying process, they will want and need to learn about the features and benefits of your particular product or service. At that point, they'll be willing to "pay" for your promotional content. Just don't try to sell the dessert before your prospect has enjoyed the main course.

What about your marketing content? Does it attract enough "buyers" to help you grow your business?

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