Push Online Content, Not the Sale

March 31, 2011

By Cathy
Two co-workers recently debated how much a goldfish could see outside of its fish bowl. Can Dot see me? How much of me? She won't stop staring at me. You know, groundbreaking questions. They didn't resort to sticking their heads into the fishbowl to settle the matter; they headed online.
Amazed by the number of sites and forums devoted to this very topic, we started talking about enthusiasts and the importance of content. We often get asked why content is so important, and we found an easy way to answer this question as a result of wondering how much Dot the Goldfish can see outside of her tank. The best sites didn't just answer the question, but also provided links, historical information and -- most importantly -- human participation.
People on fish forums love all things fish, so it made our search for answers all the more fruitful and enjoyable. The search was even better when we took out the science and details of it – goldfish eyesight (60,000 results) – and asked a more personal question: can my fish see me outside the tank? (265,000 results)
Creating and contributing online marketing content from a human perspective lets you solve a problem for your users. We also remembered this after reading a great post from Copyblogger about being a hero. Our fellow fish lovers were our heroes when they debated emphatically about how great goldfish eyesight is and that yes, it really does depend on the size and thickness of the tank and each fish. And finally, we learned that we're not really that crazy for searching for this term, because look at all the other likeminded and curious individuals out there on the Web.
While you may feel that you have the best software or offering on the market, you have to prove it. One way you can support these efforts is to create content that helps YOU relate better to your audience. By actively discussing and writing about what you do, offer and love most, you create a level of conversation that no static press release or product data sheet can provide.
Your content may strike such a chord that readers share and post it on other blog sites. People may come back to you to learn more and download your free offering or e-book. Folks may then subscribe or purchase your service. Then they might talk about your service to a friend. Perhaps, yes, they will subscribe to your newsletter or attend your webinar.
If you love what you make and love helping others succeed, then you should commit to writing and blogging about it. Pressed for time? Tweet about it. Create a video. Participate in a forum. Answer a question. Act like a real person and not some marketing or entrepreneurial superBOT. Do it right, and visitors will swim to you.

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