Content Marketing with Permission
In this lesson you will learn how content marketing is permission marketing. This lesson has many ideas that can help you to think of items that you can produce that will represent helpful content. To produce these items will also help you to gain permission to further engage your target audience.
You gain permission when you offer something of value – from the perspective of the reader – but you provide it when the reader has provided you with their name and e-mail address. The concept is to show them the quality of your ideas and your content marketing materials so that they willingly give you their permission to engage them with additional items. You are moving along the know, like, and trust path by doing this. You are building a relationship with your audience by asking their permission to make them aware of additional helpful materials.
I want to inject an important reminder at this point. Once you have gained someone’s trust (gained their e-mail for example) be sure to never SPAM anyone. Follow the rules if you use e-mail to send more content marketing pieces to your readers. Once you gain permission be sure to nurture and care for everyone in your e-mail list by protecting their contact information and by sending them only high-quality content that will interest and delight them.
Build Your Relationship with Your E-mail List
in a Careful Nurturing Manner.
Below are 10 content marketing ideas that you can use to create to help you gain permission from your readers so that they add themselves to your e-mail list.
1. Create a Buyer’s Guide – Use it to frame purchasing questions for your solutions. Let buyers know what to look for and what to watch out for. Tell them what questions they should be asking. They receive this guide from your website by filling out a form. By filling out the form, your readers are granting permission for you to send them more things similar to the buyer’s guide.
2. Be a Problem Solver – A content marketing piece can explain how you’ve overcome a difficult problem related to your audience. Don’t try to be an infallible guru. Instead, be a smart, real person who has solved problems that your readers will find relevant. An example of content is solves problems is the “Sales Caffeine” eZine published each week by Jeffrey Gitomer. You can get this valuable problem solving tool by subscribing. If you subscribe then you are granting Jeffrey permission to send you his problem-solving eZine every week. This is very powerful content marketing.
3. Create Educational Pieces – Offer a free teleclass or webinar to build interest in your business. You can do all the talking yourself, or work with a partner in an interview format. Remember to record the class—the recording will also be valuable content that you can use in future content marketing efforts. For people to attend the class they have to register. Registration is a form of permission or you can ask for permission to engage them later as part of the registration process.
4. Write an Educational Blog Series – Design these blog posts to attract traffic for a competitive keyword phrase. For example, my blog is very focused on SEO as a topic. I have even called my blog the SEO Notebook to further emphasize the SEO Educational theme. Have something more to offer a blog posts reader that they can download. Provide the download link after they have provided you their name and e-mail address.
5. Offer Special Reports – Write a special report or white paper that addresses a tricky problem in an interesting way. Make this report available only after they fill out your “download report” form.
6. Establish an eNewsletter – Create a eNewsletter that is focused on exactly your expertise and your solutions to the problems of your target market. In this eNewsletter plan to interview thought leaders on the main focus of your eNewsletter. This will build your credibility and your expertise even further. Also, anyone that you interview is likely to pass a link to the eNewsletter on to others (remember they are influencers) and this will help to grow your traffic. Publishing and distrubuting and eNewsletter also helps to build loyalty.
Your readers will have to subscribe in order to receive the eNewsletter. This is permission.
7. Publish Interviews – Pick a hot topic related to your business. Define an expert on the topic. Ask for an interview. You’ll be surprised at how many high-profile folks will agree to a recorded Skype/phone interview for an industry report. This also helps their credibility and helps you to build a relationship with them. Create a complimentary piece that extends the value of the interview. When you publish the interview make your readers aware that there is a complimentary piece and if they want to receive it then they need to request it via a request form. When they fill out the form ask permission to learn if they would like to automatically receive notifications of new interviews or similar items that could be of value to them.
8. Be Creative with Your Blog – You don’t have to call your blog “blog” just because it is a blog. Maybe it’s an Online Coffee Shop, a Web-Based Self-Coaching Site, a Virtual Concierge, a Tutorial, an E-School, a Directory or a Dictionary. Use a label that resonates with your readers. Once you have created value with the content of your blog then build into your blog a section that provides access to your free downloads. Free downloads are very useful content marketing pieces. Let the reader select the items that they want access to and make it a requirement that they have to provide their name and e-mail address to download anything. If they like your blog and you couple it to some free downloads then you will have a nice built in mechanism to collect names, e-mails and permission from your readers.
9. Create a Membership Section of Your Website – You can provide a significant amount of content for free but let people know that there is even more value inside your membership area. Create tools that people can use if they become members. Create a video series with worksheets that only members have access to. People realize that education is a critical success factor and to gain access to in-depth educational content by providing a name and e-mail address is a small price to pay.
10. Create a Podcast Library – This is a great way to attract readers and to help them. Select topics that your readers are interested in learning more about. If you are a real estate agent then think of the community leaders that you can interview. If you own a hardware shop then you could interview local builders and trades people. If you run the local chamber of commerce then any member becomes an expert that would probably love the exposure. These could be set up on your website and to gain access you collect their name and e-mail address..
These content marketing ideas really just scratch the surface. You know your business, your industry, your marketplace and know the issues that will command attention. The items above will help you to gain permission but you need to know what you will do with this permission.
Summary – Content Marketing with Permission
To gain permission offer something of value that is valuable in terms that relate to your audience. There is a grim reality. Whether implied, given, added, printed, or spoken, the key word that makes “value” both misused and misunderstood is PERCEIVED. If the customer or prospect does not perceive value, no matter what you say, there is none. If the perceived value for any of the idea above is low then you will not gain permission. Your audiences’ perception of value you create is your reality and the audiences perception is all that matters. Permission marketing mandates high quality and high perceived value.
Any of the above items can help to build a relationship with your ideal audience. How can you help your audience? How do you use the permission you have gained to provide even more value to your audience? What more do you have to offer after you have gained permission? This “what more” question has to be a significant component of your content marketing plan.