Insight marketing: The next big thing

The Internet is awash with entrepreneurs, bloggers, small and large businesses, affiliate marketers, services, marketers and all sorts of other enterprising people looking for the best way to attract traffic and drive revenue. Social networks have helped facilitate online marketing on a grand scale, but the problem of what content to create still exists.

Most people who have set up a blog or written articles in the hope of increasing traffic to their site, either through organic search or social media will understand how difficult it can be to persistently and consistently create engaging, useful and conversation worthy, SEO enhanced content.

I’m one of those people. I have written many books, published all over the world and translated into virtually every major language. I’ve created several online businesses and had to learn how to market and advertise those successfully online. During this time I have learned a few things about what is important when it comes to creating the right type of content for a business.

Define where the marketing value of content lies
The right type of content in this instance, is content that appeals to a defined target audience, in such a way as to encourage them to convert in some way or another on your website. A conversion occurs when a visitor performs some predefined action that meets a business objective of yours… like signing up for a newsletter, or purchasing a product.

It doesn’t matter whether your content is video, audio, or the written word. The value of great content lies in its ability to spread itself effectively (i.e. act virally) amongst your target audience, and not in the academic merits of the points you are making. In other words, a clip of a man getting hit in the crotch is a better marketing tool if it drives 50 000 people to your site and 2% of them convert, than a high quality, well-researched white paper that drives 500 people of which 5% convert.

Assuming a conversion is worth $10, the difference between these two content pieces in dollar terms is huge:

  • Man getting hit in crotch = 50 000 x 0.02 x 10 = $10 000
  • White paper = 500 x 0.05 x 10 = $250

If you take into account the cost of producing the content (in terms of time, effort and financial expense), the equation is even further skewed in favour of the less academic “Man getting hit in the crotch” content, because a well-researched white paper requires a lot of skilled time, effort and research. A clip of man being hit in the crotch requires a brave man and a video recorder.

Don’t follow the content crowd
Ok, so I’m not advocating that every entrepreneur and businessman out there heads to his nearest baseball pitch with a video recorder, but you get the point about high impact content, right? Any content that does the job is “great” content. Don’t get hung up on trying one type of content, when there are a wide range of options.

One of the best ways to create great content is to be insightful. The vast majority of online content deals with stuff most people already know and have written about. There is so much duplication of information that Google regularly returns tens of millions of results for searches on really simple, common knowledge things.

The first mistake bloggers, marketers, entrepreneurs, and everyone else makes is join the melee and simply add their own duplicate content in the hopes that their unique take on something that has been said 10 million times will somehow bubble to the top. Yes, it is important to create relevant and engaging content for SEO purposes, but is it really exciting and insightful to do so?

Create exciting and insightful content
One to be sure that your content is always unique is to take what you know and make an educated prediction about what the future of your niche holds. It can be anything. For example, here’s a prediction about how the LinkedIn IPO would exceed all expectations – this prediction was made before the IPO.

Now, let’s imagine you are an investment broker and you regularly add your predictions to, and use that prediction and insight based social platform to tweet, digg, stumble and FB your predictions to the global markets. If you are a good broker and your predictions are more often than not correct, backed up by solid reasoning and evidence of research and knowledge, you can be sure that people would flock to your service for investment advice.

In the same way, making predictions and sharing them socially can help establish anyone as a leader and visionary in their own market – provided you do make educated guesses and don’t simply suck thumb.

Predictions and insight into the future is exciting stuff. It moves your content out of the sea of boring duplication and into its own realm of useful, relevant and conversation-worthy goodness. In the process, you build authority and establish yourself as an expert with a proven track record on that no-one can dispute since your predictions with assumptions, explanation, references and community votes are there for the world to see.

I predict that predictions and insight based content marketing that leverages social media will become the next big thing in the marketing world.

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