Content marketing is a cost-effective method of generating interest in your business, driving ideas and ultimately helping to sell more.

Good content marketing generates conversations and builds relationships. Conveniently and rather successfully demonstrating this point, I’m always inundated with questions from clients and event attendees whenever I’m out on the road speaking about content marketing,

Here are some of the more frequently asked content marketing questions I’m presented with.

Q: How do you balance thought leadership with giving too much information away for free?

Share as much information as possible. You might be worried about potential clients taking this information and doing the job themselves – but in reality they are much more likely to hire a company that demonstrates their position as undisputed leaders in their field of expertise. Your clients are busy, they will want to focus on their main business activities and leave any other services to the experts.

You may also be worried about competitors taking your insight and running with it. If you are first to market with an idea and publish original, engaging thought leadership you will be seen as the go-to expert, while your competitors are seen to hand on to your coattails. Who would you rather do business with?

More detailed content-led initiatives such as a white paper or ebook should never be free. The price of detailed thought leadership should be the provision of actionable lead information (an email address, telephone number, company name, etc.)

Q: How do you persuade, cajole or bribe colleagues into providing the content you need? 

Ultimately, as a marketer, you are responsible for creating content.

Yes, ideas can and should come from your colleagues but don’t rely on them to provide carefully crafted blog posts ready for publication – it’ll never happen. Think like a journalist, learn to ask the right questions and capture ideas at source (or risk losing them) and then write them up yourself.

TIP: Co-Marketing platforms like BoostSuite can help you partner with like-minded content marketers and share content. I exclusively manage all the guest blogging opportunities on my own Becoming THE Expert site using this service.

Q: What, and how, do you measure the success of content marketing?

This depends on your objectives. Content marketing can be used to build brand awareness, generate traffic, leads or sales. When you are planning your strategy you should always plan for the conversion, whether this is a request for a call back, an email subscription, a social media follow or a sale.

You content marketing will always have a cost associated with it (even if it is just your time – and time is money). If you know how much you are spending on generating content, you should be able measure it in the same way you do with all your other marketing techniques.

How are you using content marketing to develop your reputation and grow your business? Share your comments in the box below: