Last week, I saw a video interview on Valeria Maltoni’s blog of Wil Reynolds, CEO of SEER Interactive, talking about writing content that helps people make decisions. Now I know that we all know we should be writing content in this way, but I’m not necessarily convinced that we are or even that we are willing to do so.
Case in point. My Dad was recently talking to an SEO company that promised to get him inbound traffic from search (both paid and organic). The cost? About $500 per month. Now for a small business owner, $6K per year is no joke. Even billed monthly, $500 is a lot for a ‘promised’ return. And even if they got him traffic that was promised. Would it convert? Are the people clicking his audience?
So I brought up an idea that we should start writing content and producing some videos. I told him this could be done very cheaply. I just needed him to put pen to paper and start capturing and sharing all the great knowledge he had in that noggin’ of his.
Now his site is full of great content, but it’s really just informational like most sites that exist today. That is great. But what’s not great is that it’s not the type of content that makes someone say ‘hey, so and so would get some use out of this, why don’t I forward it along?’.
You need to be producing content that someone would want to share.
Now how do you do that?
You think beyond your product. You think beyond your company. You think of how you would answer the questions that are being asking by your market in a vendor agnostic fashion.
The fact is your content should help. It should not sell. It should sell by educating people and ‘o by the way, we have this cool product that solves this very problem if you are interested’ kind of way.
Why write content if nobody shares it? Is your entire objective just to be a massive sales machine and churn out customer after customer? I’m not convinced that will get the job done.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Don’t ‘lock’ your content. Instead of putting a form on every single piece of content on your site, leave some free for all. You are more likely to have your content viewed and shared if it’s not being a gated form.
- Share your content. Take the first step and share your content. Start a discussion on LinkedIn about it. Tweet it to your followers and cc some industry folks who may have a vested interest. Email your audience – include it in your monthly newsletter.
- Create the content that nobody else is creating. Tons – and I mean TONS – of companies are fearful of talking about pricing and generally about the competition. Here is your in! Talk about the competition. Write content about what it means to work with your company vs. everyone else. Explain why there are difference pricing metrics and why you are higher/lower. Spill your guts!
- Don’t’ just write – sing, laugh, dance. When we think of content, we automatically are inclined to think of the written word but it goes well beyond that. Make a video. Create an infographic. Make a song and amend the lyrics. Draw a cartoon.
Consider what you would share and what your reader would be inclined to share, then create that. If your content is just content being published, then you really are missing the point.