It seems counter-intuitive to give away your your knowledge in order to get more market share. In fact, some would say it’s downright irresponsible. How can you protect the expertise that ensures your livelihood when you willingly give it away for free?
The truth is that the more you give away, the more the market understands that YOU are the expert they’ve been looking for. Solve people’s knowledge problem, and they’re more apt to give you the opportunity to solve the real underlying problem – and pay you a premium to do so.
One of the goals of a content strategy is to prove expertise and share valuable knowledge with those in your market (potential and current customers). To some extent, consumers on a knowledge quest have a low expectation of the quality of the content out there that might address their immediate need. Finding the good stuff can take a while, too.
Think about it: how much time would you expect to spend trying to find out the difference between sea salt and kosher salt? Like most, you would start that query at the Google search box. A quick look at the results for the phrase “difference between sea salt and kosher salt” tells me that not many fine salt purveyors have tried very hard to answer this most basic of food questions. Way at the bottom of page one, I found a salt brand (Morton’s) and a salt seller (Salt Works). The first results were forums, recipe sites, and a TV network site.
The return on an investment spent answering this question better than the others would pay off handsomely, I would think. The principle at work here is that by giving more and better content than your market expects, you can become a resource in their minds. And the distance between the act of coming to you for knowledge about salt types and the act of coming to you to buy salt is not a big one. Any marketer worth his salt could easily bridge that gap. Sorry. I had to do it.