Don’t be a Scrooge with Your Content

This is an entry in our daily Internet Marketing Advent Calendar series. Each day your favorite marketing elves will focus on a new topic to get your internet marketing in order before the start of the new year.

Image source: alancleaver_2000

‘Tis the season for giving, as Kyle told us yesterday, we give gifts, money and our time to make this season extra special. What I wanted to talk about today was one of the things we seem scared to share – content on our website.

Content is what makes the internet go ’round. Search engines, at this time, primarily read text. The more quality content you have on your site, the better idea search engines have on what services you provide and how and when they should list you in their results.

Content not only makes search engines happy, but it makes people happy too. When users are researching products, services and businesses online, content helps them differentiate from those they would like to do business with and those that may not be the right fit for their company.

So here are three things to consider when creating content for your website:

  1. Don’t let fear keep you from sharing some of your favorite work – Fear is still the biggest concern we hear when talking to customers on adding content to their website. The fear that your competitors will take your content and, in some way, make it their own or the fear that potential customers will take your free content and use it in their purchasing decision, but not choose you. I understand both of those points and both of those scenarios have happened to me here at Hall. What has happened more than that though, is the number of customers that we have got from our webinars, blog, social media profiles, newsletters and public speaking opportunities. We have gracefully added people to our sales funnel and seen them gradually move from interested consumer of our content to fans of our business, customers or referrers of our services. Seeing those results means way more to me then the trolls who steal our content.
  2. Don’t hide all your content behind lengthy forms – Creating content takes time, effort, skill and knowledge. With all that commitment we want to justify our time by seeing immediate return on our efforts. An easy way to justify that is to keep your content behind a form or sign up page. Again, it is easy to understand but taking that action may be hurting your content from spreading to the right people. Also, the longer the form, the less likely people are to fill it out. If someone does fill out your form, reads your content and loves it they will be less likely to share it on a social network or with a person in their network because they know that hoop of filling out the form is possibly a deterrent. Lastly, content behind a form cannot be read by a search engine so that content will not show up in it search results. Your content may be stellar but if a search engine can’t see it, then they can’t share it to interested parties who are looking for it.
  3. Share and share a like – People are looking for answers to their pain points all over the internet. They may not end up on your website first, but they may find you in another fashion. Obviously social media sites have really changed the game here. Current and potential customers are finding content and companies on sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Take some of your best content and share it on other sites. If you are good at blogging, think about guest blogging for your industry. If you have a very visual product or service, think about sites that can represent you like Flickr or YouTube. Wherever you are creating content make sure there is an easy lob over to your site for more information. Let people find you at point A and bring them over to point B.

Those are just a few ideas, but think critically about what content you can (and should) share. Of course there are some things that you should have people contact you for or that you should keep close to the vest, but there is more opportunity if you share more content then most of us are currently doing.

So for 2011 lets not be Scrooge’s with our content and see how much we can expand our network by sharing great tips, tricks and information with those who need it most – our current and potential customers.

Read the rest of the Internet Marketing Advent Calendar

See how Hall can help increase your demand.