Payment can be made in many ways. Sometimes you pay with your time. Other times you pay with your talent. Most of the time you pay with your treasure. But when exchanging online, you pay with content!
That’s right, content is the currency online. –Tweet This!
When produced correctly, content embodies your time, talent and treasure as it will require all three to break through the noise and connect on an emotional level with your target audience. Content marketing is about meeting individual members of your audience right where they are and providing extraordinary value before ever asking for anything in return. In many ways, content marketing is relationship building.
Recently, I had the pleasure of getting to know business strategist, Scott Aughtmon, after commenting on his post published on the Content Marketing Institute blog. This interaction is one of the best testimonies I can give to explain the power of content marketing.
Here’s how I became a raving fan of Scott Aughtmon and his informative marketing products.
Step 1: Give Value
I first became aware of Scott when I read his wildly popular infographic, 21 Types of Content We All Crave, published on Content Marketing Institute. Afterwards I added both Scott’s authorship feed and the CMI feed to feed.ly.
Recently, Scott published another informative post to CMI that had an attention grabbing headline. Intrigued, I clicked, read the post, and was inspired! Scott closed his post with a story that talked about the wisdom of bloggers. He explained:
For every tree that loggers cut down these days, they plant four seedlings. Because of this practice, there are more trees now than there were in 1920. If you think about it, this is a very smart practice, because without new trees, loggers have no future. …If you want to have a future in your industry, you must continuously bring in new prospects.
That speaks to the very core of servant leadership: using your influence to better the lives of those who follow you. In this case, thinking of the next generation of loggers. I decided to take the time to comment on the post and thank Scott for sharing this gem. So I left a comment and much to my delight, Scott immediately replied. Both on the CMI post but also in a private email directly to me!
Step 2: Give time
In the email Scott explained that he checked out my website and “really liked what [I’m] doing.” He went on to share some common interests we hold and concluded with a simple blessing.
No sales pitch.
No marketing message.
No nudging toward a primary call to action.
Just plain networking. How refreshing! As if he didn’t already make a big enough impact on me, now this!?
So I wrote back contributing to the conversation he had started and thanked him for the positive impact he has had on my life and many others. He responded quickly continuing the conversation and this time worked in his upcoming marketing course. He didn’t try to sell me on it, he simple mentioned it.
Then, since I mentioned I enjoyed his previous infographic, he gave me free access to the webinar, which he normally sells, on the topic of content we all crave!
Step 3: Give talent
Scott has now freely given his time and talent away without ever asking for anything in return. At this point, I feel more like a friend then a potential customer and we are much more likely to buy from a friend than we are an ambiguous business. Scott has earned a raving fan! Can you guess what happens next?
Step 4: Give treasure
That’s right – I committed to staying updated on the progress of his new content marketing course and will happily give my treasure in return.
But the cycle doesn’t stop there.
Now I am writing this rave review of not only Scott’s personal brand but of his products as well. The webinar was fantastic. As a content marketing professional, I was able to pull pertinent information from the webinar and implement those types of desirable content into my clients’ editorial calendars.
Added bonus: Scott gains new inbound links that are organic search engine optimizers. Granted my readership is nothing to boast about and I don’t hold the authority of a .edu or .gov or news site but its still authentic link juice!
*This is probably a good time to mention that I was NOT paid and am NOT an affiliate of Scott’s or CMI’s. This is real love people!
This is what a real content marketing strategy looks like:
1. Give value
2. Give time
3. Give talent
4. Give treasure
Have you ever had a similar experience happen to you? When has the power of reciprocation effected your bottom-line? If you feel inspired to do so, leave your comments below.
Image Credit: Tom Green