Content Marketing?

I might as well admit it: I’m so out of touch with the world that I didn’t know Content Marketing meant giving away something worth paying for, in order to acquire new customers. I learnt that yesterday in a high-powered webinar held by Copyblogger and Rainmaker.

The Content one gives away is, nowadays, usually an e-book or an online training course – things visitors to your site would expect to have to pay for. In return, you get hold of their email address, which you can use judiciously in future to tempt them with other things they are happy to pay for.

Other bits of wisdom I gleaned:

  • Perception is all-important: How does the visitor to your website perceive it and the things you are flaunting? Is it attractive, exciting?
  • Access, not subscription: You want them to be eager to visit your site, not just read your occasional emails
  • Registration, not opt-in. This stumped me at first, but it seems it is now the accepted norm that someone should register on a site before benefitting from its wares, rather than simply leaving a cryptic email address. Registration also increases your cred.
  • As a result of registering, the user gains a “logged-in experience”, i.e. he/she feels part of the show and you are able to tailor the content you present according to their interests. See Facebook et al
  • Responsive Design. This should surely be a no-brainer these days, but many sites haven’t learnt it yet. The advantage to the user is not only that he is able to read and navigate your site on his smartphone, but that it gives him the feeling an onboard App without him first having had to install something.

In conclusion, a quote which, if you act on it, almost makes you seem generous:

“If it’s not good for them, it’s not good for you!”

P.S. This post has precious little to do with the book I’m writing, but since I’m trying to learn how to take advantage of modern electronic media, I thought other authors might also be interested.


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  1. An interesting read to add to this topic:
    Why Offering a Free eBook Can Destroy Your Email List

    I also like the way Freshbooks gives away their ebook:
    Free and you can optionally give your email address after downloading.
    Less subscriptions but much higher quality of the subscriptions, IMO also just nicer… 🙂

    I think there is not a good or bad way. It’s more how you want your site visitors to feel. You can be very successful with each way.

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