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  1. I grapple with the free info aspect all the time. I understand it, that doesn’t mean I have to like it 🙂 When competitors are constantly taking our ideas I guess it makes me a little apprehensive, although my marketing brain tells me to tweak it a little, keep putting it out there and the fruition will come to us first (hopefully).

    Sounds like it was a great event!

    • I think we can differentiate marketing products versus other products. You can still keep your IP safe and produce great, free marketing content for your customers. I think that would definitely help you position yourself as the one everyone copies.

      They might still copy your marketing ideas but then it’s about making sure they are better And you live your brand values at every stage of customer interaction. In the long term, it will win out.

      Have you considering much marketing that could platform off your blogs?

      • Agreed re the long term benefits 🙂 We are leveraging marketing off our blogs at the moment, especially with the volume of people we have reading our blog now that we are actively blogging.

          • Yep we are, TBH we have so much work on at the moment we cant really complain but in planning for the future we will be doing more and more, especially now I have employed an internal sales specialist so I can focus on the marketing side more.

  2. Great advice! I look forward to more info about how to match content to different market segments and timing etc

  3. Giving stuff away for free without even taking an email address… I have done this in the past and was then advised that I should be “building my list as it is worth $$$” so started asking for email addresses. I have never done anything with this list. So yes, I agree that giving stuff away absolutely free isn’t necessarily a bad thing – although I note you ask for an email address and name before giving away your copywriting tips. 😉

    • Good spot Bridie! Although reading the blog and my social media tips are completely free 🙂

      This is one I grappled, and grapple with, as I’m in the list building stage. That said, there was some really interested points about curating content. There is plenty of scope to compile content created by other people (giving them credit of course), add your own take on the topic and to publish that for free (no emails needed).

      I think that’s something I’ll be looking into but the challenge posed was to create your BEST stuff and give that away for free. Definitely a challenge, but a positive one.

      • Giving content away no-strings-attached isn’t about ignoring your list, it’s about encouraging consumption. People are on so many freaking lists nowadays, how many emails a day you do you delete without reading it?

        Create kick ass content, let it fly, then watch the loyal followers signup and share your content.

        Don’t forget your CTAs at the end of your kick ass content. Once they’ve received the value you invite them to signup to stay in touch and up to date.

        I’m MUCH more engaged and attentive to lists I willingly subscribe to because I loved what I saw/read/got – versus lists that forced me to signup to even glimpse the value… A lot of people have lost the opp of having me on their list because I didn’t want the bother of unsubscribing later on.

          • Oh lists can be worth a lot of money! It falls into that “a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing” though

            Most businesses don’t have their marketing worked out, so list building is useless to them unless they have a plan to monetise it.

          • It can sometimes get very circular, I’m on email lists and occasionally something grabs my interest from, say Company X and so I go to look at their offer. And need to give them my email address to download the ebook or worksheet or whatever – even though I got there in the first place from an email they sent out! There seems a flaw in logic to entice people on your list to a landing page that is soliciting their email…

          • That’s a great point Cathy! I guess that’s where you can use some pretty nifty tools to track the logic so if someone clicks from an email they go to one page, but if they come in cold, they go to another.

            That’s a step above me but I bet you could do it.

            Anything that stops people from going, “ergh, really?”

  4. Hi Belinda,
    It was such a pleasure to meet you last week — and what a great wrap up! Thanks for packaging all of these insights into one place. I love the conversation you are generating on gated vs free content as well. As a tangent to this, one of the best channels I have found for distributing your free content is Slideshare (another theme I heard multiple times at CMW). You can even set it up to be lead-generating. You can offer someone the option of signing up for your email. Alternatively, we have also published our 100 content marketing examples eBook on Slideshare and gave away the first 10 or so examples. Then, if someone wants the rest, we ask them to register. It’s been a great strategy for us.

    Hope to see you next year in Sydney — and I’ll be following you in the meantime.

    Michele

    • Thanks for leaving your thoughts Michele. It was really nice to meet you and the CMI team. In fact, you guys have inspired next week’s blog post. I’ll send through a link (once it’s published).

      I think Slideshare is one of the most untapped resources and I loved Todd’s presentations at the conference. Once I read his book, I will be encouraging my readers to get on it. For me, I think the lightbulb went on when I realised that Slideshare content doesn’t have to be slides from presentations I’ve given. It’s just a new platform to share information on.

      And ungated content. It’s something I am going to be investing in more of because I understand the value equation. I just need to silence the lizard brain saying, “noooo, not for freeee” 😉

      Thanks again for a great conference and for taking the time to leave your thoughts on my blog Michele.

  5. Hi Belinda,

    Yes, yes, yes! The whole thing about competing with friends and families was a big “Whoa!” moment for me too. How on earth are we going to do it? For me, the big take-away from #CMWorld was marketers have to really drop the schmaltz and get serious about providing value. That means working harder on our content and quite possibly doing less of it in the process.

    To comment on another thread of this discussion, I give all my stuff away and always have. I find the rewards come thick and fast when people realise you’re consistently going to be publishing. It’s not the content that generates the revenue – it’s the word of mouth referrals.

    Thanks for linking out to my post. I loved getting to meet you in person and creating our own little talky tribe. It’s nice to know the people I like best on social media are the best people in real life, too.

    • Thanks for commenting Sarah!

      It sounds quite simple doesn’t? Don’t make more, make better. In reality I think it’s quite a shift in mindset. For me, without a regular routine I would struggle to make time to write blogs etc (which is why my videos and slideshares are random) but I do love the focus on creating a benchmark of extremely quite quality.

      More effort? Yes. Better results? Definitely.

      Thanks again for your generosity during the conference. I agree that it’s such a lovely moment when you take online acquaintances and turn them into friendships 🙂

  6. Ooo, lots of JUICY info! And of course we compete with baby pics, etc…why hadn’t I realised that before?!

    Not sure what I think about the free thing. I agree in principle – and I more readily download stuff if I don’t have to give an email address – but if it’s free, does it have value? It’s counter-intuitive, right?

    Great review, merci!

    • You raise an interesting point Mel, about price and value. I think that’s what has always stopped me as I haven’t wanted to devalue the content.

      That said, when I published my Top Tips copywriting cheat sheet I was advised NOT to call it an ebook so that when I started selling ebooks people weren’t putting them in the same boat. A great tip!

      That might be something to do. Call the high value free stuff different names so they don’t get compared with your high value sellable/email requesting stuff.

      Or, do as Michelle from CMI mentioned above, look at giving parts of your high value content away asking for an email address to continue. You’d have to share enough content to still be valuable but you get the really engaged people signing up for more.

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