Some of the typical questions I’m asked about Content Marketing include:
• Should I have a blog?
• How often should I produce content?
• Should I write, produce video or a podcast?
• Can I charge for my content?
The consistent answer to all of these questions is: It depends. It depends on your Content Marketing Business Model.
What Level of Content is Right for you?
Previously we wrote about the Four Levels of Content Marketing. These four levels can be split into two: the content you share freely and the content you share when you receive a fee.
Which level is best for you?
The obvious preference is that being paid to share you content is better than giving it away for free. And, even better if people will pay you to distribute your content. Whilst in theory this is the obvious preference, it’s not so clear cut in practice. It all depends on what you want to achieve and the business model you adopt to pursue these objectives.
Book Rapper Example
Book Rapper has had several different business models. Currently, subscribers pay to receive the latest content. And, syndicates can purchase a distribution licence to send branded issues to their audience. A few years back, there was a phase where the issues were given away for free. The results were very different. Almost ten times more people downloaded Book Rapper when it was free. Clearly, this meant no income was earned during this time. And, this is the big choice you have to make between paid and free content – the level of distribution you’ll receive. Plus the time and effort you put into creating your content. It’s likely a paid product will require more effort and a more targeted approach to be successful.
Your Business Model
A business model is the total system of your business. It’s not just your marketing, or your content creation or your area of expertise. It’s the overall way you design, build and sell your idea. And, it’s not enough to consider your Content Marketing in isolation. This will simply be ineffective and a waste of time, money and effort. And, what’s best for you may not be best for another business.
You need to be thinking of your Content Marketing within the context of your entire business system or business model. This way you can coordinate your efforts and have greater impact.
A couple of key questions to ask yourself about your Content Marketing and your Business Model are:
• What results do you want to achieve with your Content Marketing?
• Where is the sweet spot in your business – which product or service provides you with the greatest result from the least amount of effort?
• Is your content going to be available for free or are you going to charge for it?
• If you are going to charge for it, what content is going to be distributed free to attract your audience?
• How much effort is required to create free content versus the content you charge for?
• Will the income from the fee content justify the effort to create it?