What Types of Assets Should You Offer Website Visitors?

Having attended all kinds of webinars, workshops, seminars and whatever else on social media over the past six months, I’m optimistic about the future of my profession.

There’s no doubt that the nature of a copywriter’s work is changing rapidly. And with that change comes uncertainty (as I noted here last October). But the one message that keeps coming through is that content is as important as ever. Which brings me to the meat of today’s blog post.

We’ve posted two interviews (see Part 1 here and Part 2 here) with Lew Sabbag. He’s the founder of Publish Today Media, a Boston-based firm that provides search engine optimization and other Internet marketing services.

Lew SabbagIn Part 3 of the Sabbag Files, we’re covering content — in particular, what types of content, or assets, you should offer prospects and customers visiting your website.

Many B2B websites are giving away assets like white papers and industry surveys. What are your thoughts on that?

It all depends on the context. I think the white paper has gotten worn out, just because how many of us have the time to read these things? However, for the right B2B business, a white paper might be OK from a “nurturing” standpoint. If the user gets the white paper and then opts in to receive emails from you, perhaps you can start building a long-term relationship.

But really, you have to think about your conversion process and goals for your site. In terms of an instant conversion, just serving up a white paper and letting the prospect go think about it isn’t going to help. So if your goal is to get visitors to call, buy, donate, etc., right away, the white paper will probably fall short.

Then what types of assets make sense?

In my book, Guide to Marketing Your Business Online in Boston, I mention that free reports can be a really useful marketing tool:

Everyone loves getting something for nothing. If you offer free reports on an area of interest to your potential customers, you will establish yourself as an expert in that field and you will easily be able to get them to give their email or other contact information in exchange for a report that actually provides useful information.

But you have to be strategic about the types of free reports you create. For instance, you’re a copywriter. So you could write a report with the top 10 tips for hiring a copywriter. Nice and simple, quickly gets your point across. Maybe get users to opt in — you could send them an email once a week with a new writing tip.

If you can provide value to users, they will respond accordingly and be more willing to engage with you. And you can take advantage of that by driving them to your blog and maybe getting a long-term dialogue going.

Any suggestions for how to come up with interesting topics?

Look to your keywords. What are the words and phrases people use to find you online? Those keywords often represent the problems people are trying to solve. So be sure to incorporate keywords rather than just writing about topics no one cares about.

Do you have any other recommendations on good assets to serve up on your website? Let us know.

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