Giving away valuable information online

I’ve just been listening to Brian Clark’s talk on affiliate marketing and loved the elevator pitch he mentioned for @copyblogger.

“Build an audience and sell them stuff”.

Succinct and definitive.

This seems to be the root of all we do as content marketers. Yet as we see content marketing trending as a topic in Google trends and affiliate marketing declining, I can’t help but worry that the focus will shift from evergreen, useful content, to another keyword crammed selling fest.

Don’t get me wrong, our prime focus as marketers is driving sales. Yet old habits raise the thought – could we just regurgitate the news with a link to products? Traditionally we would tell them how to deal with this month’s flittering focus on #horsemeat (UK in joke as we worry about our processed burger supply chain).

Could we do this without thinking what has sustainable, long-term, bottom line impact for their organisation?

A colleague shared a great quote today which focused this ‘In content marketing, give and you will receive’ ~ @mbakkes.

I would adjust it ever so slightly:

“Give away Valuable content and you receive value”

3 thoughts on “Giving away valuable information online

  1. Nick,
    I prefer your mantra to Brian Clark’s. Taken literally – or to any level of success – “Build an audience and sell them stuff” is no different than the model of paid advertising, which in the TV age was originally build on the owned content of wholly-sponsore programs.

    I got to hear Jay Baer speak last week on his concept (and forthcoming book) of Youtility, which, to grossly oversimplify, looks to take the concept of valuable – and more specifically, helpful – content to a constructive extreme, where your purpose in content provision and in commerce become one in the same… to do well by being helpful. I believe Mitch Joel has been jumping on the “help” bandwagon of late, too.. and its a wagon I would much rather hitch my fortunes to than an old model of “sell them stuff” disguised as a new approach to marketing.

    1. I agree Chuck I keep seeing my favourite networks pumping more advertising into their streams without realising that there’s so many more innovative ways to “monetize”. The big data stream shouldn’t just be used to target advertising.

      What about true analysis and insights for brands? Tailoring their products to the audiences, seeing demand for new features or fix/dropping existing features.

      Even old school media could benefit.

      One “network” I am really interested in is – They will shoot me for this but I would define them as Foursquare for TV.
      They have some amazing data flow, FAR more than Nielsen.

      Last July at LeWeb London the founder said he was getting around 10 million check-ins a months.

      They get as many check ins to a single episode of Glee as Nielsen’s gets on their entire network of TV sets at the same time. The act of checking in to Glee and then commenting means their data is hyper-focused and there are no false positives or data errors.

      You can check in to a show you’re watching and see a stream of comments from other users. It also has an explore window and recommends shows based on your check-ins (implied) and shows / genres you have liked (explicit). Brands are using it to share behind the scenes videos and pics.

      There is also a slight gamification layer as you can collect stickers for check-ins. I’m not sure if there’s an equivalent of a mayor or if brands can award or give incentives key influencers within the app, but it is providing some interesting insights into shows.

      Still back to the big data point:

      If I was a writer for any big show in the US, or a TV exec looking for a killer show to bring to the UK/Europe/Asia Pacific I would be all over this!
      And Getglue needs to sponsor or occupy the Emmys.

I would love to hear your views!

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