How Can Freely Sharing Articles You Author Help You Build Business?

An image of two kids sharing an ice cream cone can teach us a lesson about sharing expertise on our website to grow business.

Summary: Customers ignore advertisements because advertisements saturate our lives and we’ve learned most of them can’t be trusted. So how can you reach ad-weary customers? By freely educating them. If a customer can learn something valuable from you, they are more likely to respect you, trust you, remember you, and recommend you. This technique is often called “Content Marketing.” To help you better understand what Content Marketing is and how it can help your company, I thought it would be helpful to share an excellent definition I found on Wikipedia today.

Which is a customer more likely to ignore, a helpful article or a traditional advertisement? Which is a customer more likely to show to colleagues, an educational video or a video advertisement?

Freely sharing helpful articles, videos, etc. to grow your business is an effective method called “Content Marketing.” Below is a definition of Content Marketing from Wikipedia.org:

“Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. In contrast to traditional marketing methods that aim to increase sales or awareness through interruption techniques, content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action.

The idea of sharing content as a means of persuading decision-making has driven content marketers to make their once-proprietary informational assets available to selected audiences. Alternatively, many content marketers choose to create new information and share it via any and all media. Content marketing products frequently take the form of custom magazines, print or online newsletters, digital content, websites or microsites, white papers, webcasts/webinars, podcasts, video portals or series, in-person roadshows, roundtables, interactive online, email, events. The purpose of this information is not to spout the virtues of the marketer’s own products or services, but to inform target customers and prospects about key industry issues, sometimes involving the marketer’s products. The motivation behind content marketing is the belief that educating the customer results in the brand’s recognition as a thought leader and industry expert.

Marketers may use content marketing as a means of achieving a variety of business goals, such as thought leadership, lead generation, increasing direct sales, improving retention and more.

Content marketing is the underlying philosophy driving techniques such as custom media, custom publishing, database marketing, brand marketing, branded entertainment and branded content.” (Wikipedia, 2008.)

Put simply, Content Marketing allows you to build a closer relationship with the customer than mere advertising can provide by freely giving him with educational articles, audio, video, that address his problems and also demonstrate your company’s value and expertise.

So do not delay. Start sharing your expertise with your existing and potential customers by writing articles with solutions to their problems and placing them prominently on your website, sending them out in email, and using any other reasonable method. If you share your expertise freely, you will generate goodwill and will gain the potential customer’s attention, respect, and business. However, if you do not share your expertise freely, customers will incorrectly assume that you don’t share information because you don’t have their interests in mind, or worse you don’t have the expertise you claim to have. As a result, they will take their business to a more convincing competitor. So apply this saying to your expertise, “Practice giving and people will give to you.”

References

Wikepedia : “Content marketing.

This definition of Content Marketing was shared under the terms of the Wikipedia Licensing agreement.

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