Quality content is critical because prospects are paying with their most precious commodity – time. If you’re not giving them valuable information, they’ll click on to your competitors. In the age of content marketing, you’re a publisher and you need to attract eyeballs to survive – in other words, to sell.
Quality content is information about the reader, not about you. It is advice, tips, observations and insights that help the reader do their jobs better.
Assume you’re a consultant developing network systems and protocol, as well as distributed object-oriented systems. Pretty specific customer base, eh? Let’s say you knew that C++ sockets programming errors was a big concern for that audience. To promote itself, Riverace Corporation wrote a high quality white paper on just that subject back in December 2007, and two and a half years later it still comes up first in the Google search results for that topic. Notice, no need for PPC placement – the quality and relevance delivers the results. The first page you see from Google includes a summary of the white paper and an actual code snippet – proof that the author wants to prove the value he can provide to the reader, not hit them over the head with marketing. This is called “leading with value” – proving your skills by providing something worthwhile to the prospect at no charge before you try to sell them.
Another great example comes from supply chain management vendor Kinaxis, whose blog doesn’t tout its products but has its own experts tackle weighty subjects, as well as summarizing and commenting on reports from influential analysts. It also supplements the commentary blog with a “sidebar” of the latest manufacturing news. Clearly, a lot of though and work went into the site – but when you’re dealing with software that can make or break a company’s profit, and you’re talking to people whose jobs rely on its working well, that effort shows you’re serious about the subject.