Content is the new promotion strategy, part 3: Why content for promotion?

This is the third installment of the content as the promotional strategy series. Here are the first and second parts if you haven't seen them already. In this post I'm going to answer the question:

"Why choose content as a promotional strategy?"

So, why look at content as the new promotion strategy? It's simple actually. Content as a promotion strategy forces a marketer to think about the consumer. When a marketer thinks about the consumer, she thinks about what will be valuable to that consumer rather than what's valuable to her (or her company or her client.) This shift may seem subtle but it's huge.

There are somewhere between 3000 and 5000 marketing messages aimed at Americans every day and each of them is standing there saying “hey, look at me!” or “check this out” or “you need this really bad.” What none of these promotional messages says is, “here's something for you” without a hook. They may give something away but they're going to ask for something in return like buy one and then get one free. What's understood but not spoken is that if you buy now, then you'll get one free now. You may get the consumers attention with the deal but you also lose it as soon as the transaction is complete.

A content promotion strategy changes the model because you're A) giving away something of value to the consumer without an immediate hook and B) extending the length of their attention for you. A content promotion strategy takes the long view of a consumer's time and attention (two very valuable commodities) knowing that the valuable content you're providing now earns their attention this time and likely their time and attention a next time with even more valuable content. The strategy is to give now so that you can get later.

Advertising is about the advertiser. Content is about the consumer. Promoting with content forces you to put yourself in the consumer's shoes and therefore deliver something to them they will value. It's not about you. It's about them. They already know that. When you know that and when they know you know that, then you're just beginning to connect with your best customers.


Christopher said...

Good series Bill. For many corporations webinars, whitepapers,etc are some of the most effective ways to generate leads for business. Becoming an industry thought leader has a better return on investment than a discount promotion (esp in the business service space)

Bill Seaver said...

Thanks Christopher. I appreciate the feedback.