Content is a currency to buy attention

Some of my clients absolutely refuse to blog. Others swear at me if I tell them to send out newsletters to their clients. Yet others want to hide under the table if I ask them to do a keynote at a conference. Yes, all these things are pieces of marketing content. It is the price you have to pay if you want your prospects’ attention and later sale.

Experts Dish Out Content

Why do you have to wax lyrical in blog posts on Linkedin? How do you fill pages and pages with relevant stories that people actually read? What can you possibly have to say to hundreds of people at a conference without putting them to sleep? Well, it all starts with what specific topic you’re an expert in. Without expertise, you’re a generalist. And prospects don’t really go to hear generalists speak about EVERYTHING. They follow experts to learn the key points about one specific thing, hoping that the ‘expert’ will know more about that thing than they do. Without content, you can’t position yourself as an expert and you can’t buy your prospect’s attention.

Too Much Content

One of the key reasons why clients refuse to do content marketing is because they feel they’d be adding to the noise and pollution of the marketplace. Instead, they need to be thinking about WHAT type of content actually breaks through that clutter. Well, here’s what LinkedIn members said: almost 90% of businesses are looking for industry trends, news or best practices. So if you’ve got a target industry that your research tells you is dying for your help, how could they refuse to read your solutions? Other things that help content stand out are relevant stories and a personal viewpoint. People are voyeuristic. They’re not interested in data but in how YOU view that data. Even better if you are willing to take a stand on the industry and the stories that you’re telling.

Buying Attention with Content

Attention has become a really rare and precious commodity. Every marketing agency in the world is trying to figure out how to get more eyeballs to look at their client’s messages. Your first job to do that is to really narrow your pond by picking a tight target market and niche to specialize in. For example when a language company went from having no specific target and niche to becoming the cultural language training school for North American mining executives who were angering South American mining teams with insensitive emails, their marketing became easier. The language school started doing lunch and learns telling stories of success around this costly topic. They bought the attention through this positioning because NOBODY in their industry was competing in this space with this pain point.

So the next time you are reluctant to put a content strategy in place, remember that in effect, you are turning your back on being able to buy your prospect’s attention by staying silent. And if you’re not willing to put out solutions to your target’s problem, somebody else will. Then they’ll get the sale.

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