The general consensus amongst businesses that offer expert services is that customers are less likely to knock on your door for professional advice – if you dish it out complementary.
A significant number of the latest marketing studies worldwide not only slash this myth, but also prove the contrary. In fact, if leveraged intelligently, content sharing holds the potential to become one of your most powerful marketing tools – that can yield tangible business results.
Content can be shared by talking at industry events, presenting seminars or webinars, offering guides or booklets that can be downloaded online, or giving out tips and information through blogs, video clips or newsletters. Here are some of the top advantages your business could gain from an astute content sharing strategy:
1. Thought leadership
In an increasingly competitive market landscape, one of the greatest challenges that any business is faced with, is to be differentiated from the masses. Consistently sharing knowledge and tips that are of practical value to your target audiences will let you stand out from your competitors, help position you as a specialist and let you become the go-to person in your area of expertise – over time.
This is not just a theory, but it is a fact that is backed by solid statistics from various sources. An online survey by Infographics that was recently published on Social Times for example; indicates that more than 80% of people today will conduct research before procuring a product or service and close to 85% will go check out the website of the business they intend on engaging first. How well you are presented on online and social media platforms can therefore be a deal maker, or a deal breaker.
2. Brand awareness
Persistently sharing content on strategically identified platforms in the digital space is an enabler to explode your brand on the market at a fraction of conventional advertising or marketing costs.
Again, research shows that people are also highly likely to share content with their own network of contacts, provided that it is useful or interesting. This has the additional spin-off that your reach could be extended exponentially, at no extra cost, or with no further effort from your side.
3. Lead generation
If you offer advice via any medium online, you could drive readers to your website for more information and prompt them to sign up for your newsletter, register an account or submit their details to gain access to the content in question. This way you can build up a database of leads to communicate with in future. People who engaged with you this extensively; voluntarily offered their details and processed your information; will be more inclined to deal with you and your success ratio for closing deals will therefore be much higher.
4. Customer loyalty
Sharing valuable content is a great way to directly engage your clients, get their feedback on your products and services, retain their loyalty and create opportunities for them to do word of mouth referrals.
Essentially, the question is no longer whether you can afford to share your know-how for free. It is rather: ‘can you afford not to?’