Give-away marketing is better known as content marketing.
Basically, you share content that delivers valuable information with potential buyers – for free.
The above link to Jennifer Mattern’s Writing for Bloggers lists some of the different formats for content marketing.
- Articles or written content
- Video content
- Audio content
Or all of the above.
But, here’s the catch that has traditional marketers twitching.
Non-buyers have access, too.
Why, they ask, would you want to give away your intellectual capital?
Supporters of content marketing believe you doom your business if you don’t share – and share some more.
Old Habits Die Hard
Trade secrets are taken so seriously that here in the U.S. we have the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA).
UTSA has three critical elements for a claim of trade secrets violation.
- It must qualify as a trade secret and not be generally known
- The trade secret holder must have provided precautions against theft
- The holder must prove the trade secret was wrongfully acquired
Somewhere along the way, businesses expanded on the idea of proprietary information. At least in their minds.
We’re not talking the formula for Coca-Cola or Kentucky Fried Chicken’s (now KFC) 11 secret herbs and spices.
Business owners fear competitors stealing ~
- Management strategy
- Sales tactics
- Their ideas
As a business writer (and fellow business owner) whose content has been scraped more than once, I feel their pain.
I laughed out loud at Todd Wheatland’s description of the same feeling.
A conference attendee told Todd she copied and pasted his SlideShare presentation into her her own version for her boss.
“While I waited for that little involuntary twitch beneath my eye to settle down, I got over myself and realized that this was probably exactly what I had hoped people would do with my content.”
The Marketer’s Guide to SlideShare: How to Build Your Brand, Generate Leads & Create Opportunities
I guess traditionalists are not the only ones twitching.
When Sharing Works
In his SlideShare guide, Todd notes that content marketing is profoundly measurable.
That is something you cannot always say about traditional marketing.
What will content marketing measure that traditional marketing may miss?
- How many times your “brochure” is opened
- Who is viewing your marketing
- How often it is shared
Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner made a whole new career off the idea of content marketing.
In his book, Launch, Mike suggests you can hold back on sharing everything you know. But, he also notes that even if you don’t hold back, most people will not be able to do it the way you do.
Somewhere there is balance.
- Making it easier for prospects to discover your brilliance
- Developing trust and long-term relationships
- Not worrying over competitors who probably already have your information
Sharing that leads to well, leads – and sales.
What are your thoughts on content marketing? Do you share as much as you should?
Note: I have no affiliation with Todd Wheatland, Mike Stelzner or the books discussed in this post.
Helping you Keep it simple, clear & uniquely yours – contact me for help with your business writing needs.