I was going to talk about how to write a winning newsletter this week, but first I thought it best to give some concrete examples of Value Added Content – and how to create them.
Value Added Content is your secret weapon in two respects:
- It helps you to showcase your expertise and build the KNOW-LIKE-TRUST factor
- It gives you a larger stock of fit-for-sale products. These can either be given away as ‘lead magnets’ to entice customers, or sold as items in their own right.
Yet whatever you path you choose, the quality of your content should be top-notch. Even if you’re giving freebies away, poor quality affects the reputation of your brand as a whole. As far as the customer is concerned, a sample is a taste of things to come!
Let’s face it, everyone likes a good crack at film making – no matter how introverted we think we are. And besides, who says you have to be the star of the show? With a good ‘how-to’ demonstration about something you’re an expert with, you’ll be answering customer needs before they have to ask. And think of it this way: would you rather read an instruction manual, or have someone show you – with the added bonus of being able to pause at will? Your customers want that too, so give it to them! You don’t need a Steven Spielberg production, but if you want a professional job there’s directors, actors and the rest at sites such as Fiverr.
If most people are anything like me, they like to have things explained in step-by- step ways. An instruction manual for a product/service you specialise in is a handy document that can be kept for years – and doesn’t need a computer, electricity or batteries!
Often, a picture paints a thousand words – and this is especially useful to those in a rush (ie most of us). Infographics cut to the nitty-gritty of facts, and a more for those seeking specific information rather than just ‘knowhow’. In other words, you can give fast answers – and with authority, because your data will come from trusted industry sources. To help with design, there are plenty of sites to choose from – such as infogr.am.
Although these couldn’t usually be classed as lead magnets, white papers appeal to the same need as infographics. They are in-depth reports which argue the worth of a service or product, using data from official, respected sources. Customers who are seriously considering particular products would benefit most from this information.
What appeals most to human beings? The ego! Ok, so perhaps it’s not the most appealing thing, but turning the focus from you to them is certainly a good idea. “Get your FREE report” is the next logical step from the white paper or infographic, because consumers with an interest in a particular product or service can then discover which type or model is most suited to their needs. As it happens, you can provide that type or model, so this content (usually free) will often lead on to sales.
These demonstrations need not be restricted to videos, so why not set up a class? A couple of hours a week or month will work wonders for your social standing, and give clients and customers a chance to learn ‘from the horse’s mouth’, so to speak. Unlike videos, you’ll be able to answer questions as and when they arise.
My word, the future is bright! If you fancy hosting a class without all the overheads of using a physical costs, PLUS the travel expenses etc incurred by your attendees, why not just do it all online? With just internet access, headsets and the resources needed to conduct your lesson, you can host a webinar at the best possible time for yourself and your customers. Let the mountain come to Mohammad, as they say.
‘Staying on the radar’ is the most important thing in marketing. In fact, it’s what marketing actually is (prove me wrong, anyone?). The point of newsletters is not merely promoting products and services, but rather to be a regular part of your customers’ lives. Therefore, talk about anything! Seriously, mention anything you like about ‘what’s going on’ with you and your business, as long as it’s interesting, inoffensive and reveals the ‘real you’. It’s all about positioning your brand in the public mind, for when they need you.
If you think you have to be William Shakespeare to write a blog, take a look at me. What’s most important is having something to say, rather than how you say it. On the other hand, however, you need to have a decent grasp of English – and a lot of time – to express yourself properly. Luckily, copywriters like me can help with that (get in touch, HINT HINT). The main purpose is to let the world know you’re an expert – before they find someone else who is.
And if you want to go the whole hog, why not create a masterpiece your customers (not to mention yourself) can rely on for years to come? If you wish, you can collate all your blogs, relevant info and more besides into one resource – and make a tidy source of regular income in the process. Again, it’s all about building your KNOW-LIKE-TRUST factor and reputation as an expert in your field, so you’ll want to get it right. I’m not hinting again, but you know where I am!
So they they are, my ten examples of Value Added Content. Choose your weapon, and good luck! Or May the force be with you, if that’s your kind of thing…
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