The Featured Download – A Bridge to Client Development
One of the cardinal rules of generating interesting content for clients is to cater to the reader–not the writer. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader and use the WIFM (What’s in it for me?) test. Does the content cater to the audience or is it information that is self-serving to the marketer? The ironic outflow of catering to the client through content is that it positions you (the marketer) as having the depth, background, and experience to help them succeed. In the end, the client is truly helped and the opportunity to serve may indeed follow.
There are many ways to use content to facilitate this process. Some examples that marketers use include newsletters (either electronic or printed), blogs, seminars, or webinars. These are typically fairly widespread in nature and distribution, sent to large lists of clients and prospects and/or open to any user with a Web browser. Content is disseminated and consumed in fairly large swaths without much in the way of a specific connection to an individual client or prospect.
There is a different approach, however, that professional marketers may wish to consider: the featured download. A featured download is a piece of content that is typically packaged in a PDF format but requires the reader to enter his or her contact information in order to gain access to it. At this point, the marketer has the opportunity to (assuming permission is granted by the prospect) harvest contact information and/or add it to broader contact or distribution lists. Featured downloads are typically called white papers, position papers, e-books, or otherwise.
The WebSolvers approach to this is a White Paper download called The Ten Most Commonly Missed Internet Marketing Opportunities. It is a free, downloadable guide developed to assist clients with their Internet marketing strategies.
Your firm may wish to use a different approach toward this concept. Ideas might include:
- the results of a survey your firm conducted
- a transcript of a talk that one of your professionals gave
- presentation slides from a conference speech
- a case study
- an audio or video clip from a presentation
- an interview with a professional peer
- a worksheet
- a tip sheet
- a methodology diagram
- an infographic
- a printable wallet card
- a template for a business function
- a handbook or guide
These are but a few simple examples of information that professional marketers can offer their clients or prospects in the form of a featured download. A marketer should be sure that the information is truly useful to the reader. If it is, the business development opportunity may likely follow.