Eight Quick Tips to create thoughtful Web content to reach buyers directly

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Viral Marketing  |  white papers  |  New Rules of Marketing and PR  |  ebooks  |  Public Relations  |  Marketing  |  Advertising  |  Business to Business

As many smart marketers know, a well crafted white paper, e-book, or Webinar contributes to an organization's positive reputation by setting it apart in the marketplace of ideas. This form of thought leadership based Web content brands a company, a consultant, or a nonprofit as an expert and as a trusted resource.

While each media for getting your thought leadership content into the marketplace of ideas is different, they share some common considerations:

Quick Tip #1: Most importantly—Do not write about your company and your products. Thought leadership content is designed to solve buyer problems or answer questions and to show that you and your organization are smart and worth doing business with. This type of marketing and PR technique is not a brochure or sales pitch. Thought leadership is not advertising.

Quick Tip #2: Define your organizational goals first. Do you want to drive revenue? Get people to donate money to your organization? Encourage people to buy something?

Quick Tip # 3: Based on your goals, decide if you want to provide the content for free and without any registration (you will get many more people to use the content, but you won’t know who they are) or if you want to include some kind of registration mechanism (much lower response rates, but you build a contact list).

Quick Tip #4: Think like a publisher by understanding your audience. Consider what market problems your buyer personas are faced with and develop topics that appeal to them.

Quick Tip #5: Write for your audience. Use examples and stories. Make it interesting.

Quick Tip #6: Choose a great title that grabs attention. Use subtitles to describe what the content will deliver.

Quick Tip #7: Promote the effort like crazy. Offer the content on your site with easy-to-find links. Add a link to employees’ e-mail signatures, and get partners to offer links as well.

Quick Tip #8: To drive the viral marketing effects, alert appropriate reporters, bloggers, and analysts that the content is available and send them a download link.