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INTRODUCTION > The Purpose of Content - Pg. xviii

xviii Content is CurrenCy What if you're part of a large corporation, struggling with content creation and curation? You need to know how content marketing can strengthen your existing posi- tion and reduce your marketing costs. Lead acquisition and retention can be expensive. Content Is Currency shows you how to leverage the power of content to reduce costs and connect with thousands more potential customers, quickly. ThePurposeofContent It's important to understand that each type of content you produce serves a specific purpose. The goal of all your content is to connect with those who are interested in what you do (and to be ranked high in search engine results and popular on social sites). But, each individual content type serves important roles in the overall content marketing arsenal. Some companies use only two or three kinds of content and are incredibly effective. Others use many different types, but still miss the mark. Depending on your business and your goals, there are important things you need to know about content before you start creating it. Let's cover the content on your website first. The goal there is to initiate a connec- tion, to inform prospects about what you do and how you can help them. The content on your site should get visitors to take action--to sign up, enroll, or download some- thing. You want to do business with these people, and at the very least, continue the "conversation" so you can start building a relationship. Next comes your blog content. The goal of your blog is to inform or educate readers about topics that they deem to be important. If you sell hammocks, you could write a series of blog posts on the best places in the world to enjoy the comforts of and views from a hammock. Or you could write a few posts on the types of hammocks available and the differences between them. Or you could post product reviews. Whatever the nature of your business, I'll cover everything you need to know about blog content in this book. Case studies, e-books, white papers, and articles also help inform and educate your audience about things they want to know, all without selling your services. Of course, as you'll see, you can softly sell your company, but only at the very end and with a simple call to action. (You would not sell your company directly in a blog post however.) A case study is exactly what you think it is: a review of a successful client engage- ment for your business. The difference between an e-book and a white paper? An e-book is more informal, casual, conversational, and brief. A white paper is more researched, authoritative, and professional in tone. White papers are typically longer, too. Articles are simply four hundred- to eight hundred­word how-to or explanatory pieces for quick consumption and easy education. We'll get into all the details for these types of content vehicles. As I mentioned earlier, online press releases serve two purposes: getting additional first-page rankings in the search engines and communicating your company news to