Content marketing: giving away secrets to get clients

by Stratton Craig

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Content marketing is now seen as one of the best ways to increase a brand’s visibility. A recent study shows that 72 percent of UK B2B marketers are increasing their content marketing budgets for 2013. But businesses that escalate the quantity of the content on their websites, and update it more frequently, sometimes still fail to engage with potential clients.

The wealth of information available online means that you need to snare browsers quickly, and content that does not help or entertain readers rarely accomplishes this. To keep potential clients reading you need content that is relevant and engaging, and one of the best ways to achieve this is to give away industry secrets that your readers can make use of.

Some companies are reluctant to reveal techniques that they feel set them apart from their competitors. Posting advice about a service or product online is assumed to reduce the company’s usefulness – an SEO agency listing its top ten SEO tips in a blog post might be seen to invite potential clients to ‘do it themselves’, rather than hiring the agency. Worse, publishing useful content online is often seen to help a company’s competitors.

But giving away useful content does not limit your company’s services in the client’s eye – on the contrary, it enhances them. By presenting helpful trade secrets you provide potential clients with a taste of your company’s expertise, reaffirming your knowledge of the industry to them. You also assist them, and in doing so invite them to trust your company, to revisit your website, and even to pay for your services in the future. Generally speaking if a company is going to fulfil a service in-house (i.e. copywriting or SEO) they will do so whether you give away your secrets or not, so by offering such help you’re giving those who don’t have the time, resource, skills or inclination to do it themselves, a reason to choose you over the competition.

Publishing content that is useful to your target audience does not need to help your competitors, either. Your company will have a wealth of industry knowledge that is already known by its competitors, but that could come in handy when someone from outside the industry is browsing. Your ‘copywriting tips’ might seem common knowledge to a rival company, but plenty of individuals from other industries will find them helpful, and this will increase the likelihood of them choosing your company over your competitors in the future.

There are a variety of different ways in which you can add new content to your website, but whether you choose a blog post, a news article, or the updating of existing copy, the most important thing is to make sure that your content creation appeals to potential clients. Your clients are interested in content that is useful to them, and that they have little knowledge of, so do not be afraid to offer some of your secrets – it could increase the visibility of your brand, and improve your reputation.  

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