I plan to attend a free Webinar with Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday, February 11). If you aren’t familiar with Pulizzi and Barrett, they wrote Get Content. Get Customers, a book I highly recommend it. Here’s a nice overview passage from the book blog:
In the last few years, buyer behavior has changed dramatically. Your buyers are now increasingly knowledgeable about what they want to buy. They aren’t surfing aimlessly, hoping to be influenced by marketing messages that arrive out of the blue. They want to make up their own minds based on their own information-gathering. Therefore, buyers need content that makes them smarter and more knowledgeable. Vendors who provide that content will win. Simply put, all the rules have changed. You need to approach the marketing game with a brand new marketing mindset. Those that can adapt will flourish. Those that don’t…well… think of dinosaurs.
It’s important to realize that “provide that content” means, in most instances, provide it for free. Offer something of substantial value before a sale ever happens. And for that matter, continue offering valuable content on a regular basis to existing and prospective customers or members. It is one of the surest ways to build deep, long-term relationships on the new Web
I’ve seen this dynamic very clearly in my own efforts. Writing blogs and publishing a free eBook on Learning 2.0 (now downloaded more than 15,000 times) have probably done more than anything else to help me with launching a consulting business and building a brand. I’ve reaped rewards that a direct monetary investment in advertising or other traditional “interruptive” marketing means would never have produced.
This approach lies behind my suggestion to Curate Your Catalog with a Blog and is also key to my perspective on how open education might work for associations. If you haven’t tuned into content marketing yet – or are simply looking for more insights on it – I recommend visiting the Get Content. Get Customers. blog and downloading the free excerpt there. Also, visit the Content Marketing Today blog. Finally, recommend keeping up with what people like Wired editor Chris Anderson and entrepreneur Yaro Stark are saying about the economics of giving it away and the “free line.”
That’s just my two cents – free of charge.
Hedgehog & Fox
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