One of the favored methods for online marketing is called ‘content marketing.’ While a relatively new term, the idea of using information to market is not new. The goal of most information or content is to establish rapport – to connect with people based on value and not by trying to pitch them a product or service. An additional benefit to the marketer is that he or she becomes an expert and sought-after source of trusted information.
A lot of high impact terms in those last sentences – connect, expert, trusted. This is taking the selling process to a different level – there is little need to pitch or force the buyer’s attention. You build a relationship, so that you are the logical source to go to when the client needs what you have.
This is a proven process, but not necessarily a fast one. After all, prospects are not always ready to buy, just researching.
Now, another dimension has appeared – and it has to do with inflation.
Inflation, you say? What does inflation have to do with marketing?
Here’s how – with a bit of background first.
The term ‘inflation’ is frequently thrown around in financial circles. Of course, this is in relation to monetary inflation. At the risk of getting into the tall grass, monetary inflation is the devaluation of a currency. For example, if one day $100 will buy a coat. Then, several months later you find that the price of the same coat is $120. That’s inflation.
In reality, the value of the coat did not change, but the buying power of the dollar dropped. Its value has decreased.
Here’s the real insight. The rise in price does not mean that the coat is worth more. Rather it means that the value of a dollar has been reduced. In other words, there are more dollars chasing the same thing, so the value of each dollar is less. This stage is set by the Federal Reserve creating money without the creation of corresponding value. Over time, inflation severely undermines the value of your financial wealth.
This is important – not only for your financial future, but for your understanding of information/content marketing.
Today, the internet is a swirling pool of electrons that, when properly organized constitute information. Want to know something? Google it. Want the latest NFL scores? Go online – you may even watch the game from your phone. All of the millions of web sites are available for scrutiny and that’s what a web browser will do – seek relevant information sources.
But with so much information created on a daily basis and a lot of it given away – it creates what may be called ‘information inflation.’ In other words, there is so much information available, that the value of each piece of information is reduced. This is accelerated by all the ‘free’ content that is delivered.
With the internet awash with information of diminishing value, it is more difficult for the average user to figure out what has value and what doesn’t. This is why many ‘experts’ do well – for they become the face (or brand) of a product or service. They have created a trusting relationship. They have influence.