The secret to keeping secrets: how much to reveal in marketing your firm
I often find firm blog posts online that strike me as a little odd. In these blog posts, the writer offers a lot of valuable information (and that’s great), however, they give me a little too much information; so much so, that all of my questions are answered and I no longer need any help.
What does that mean in the context of business blogging? That sometimes keeping your cards close to your chest is not just a good idea, but entirely necessary.
There are a myriad of benefits to business blogging, and one of the biggest pros is that quality blogs improve business credibility. Blogs with value are ones that consumers find useful, and thus that firm becomes useful in their minds. The problem arises when firms don’t just give out some info — they give out all of it.
Magicians never reveal their secrets. Your firm’s blog writers should only reveal a few.
It’s so important to tease your readers instead of info dumping on your firm’s blog. When you go overboard, it’s possible that a reader will decide that your blog IS your only value. Reveal too much and your services aren’t needed.
Imagine you run an accounting firm that offers bookkeeping services via Xero. Your firm’s blog is updated frequently with tips and tools of the trade. It’s good to mix in a few blog posts about the secrets to finding Xero success. But what happens if every blog you publish essentially tells your audience how to do the job you want them to hire you for?
So here’s our real dilemma: we all want to post relevant content in our blogs, but how do we create a balance of sharing relevant information and keeping some trade secrets under lock and key?
A case study doesn’t reveal any secrets about how you do your job. Instead, it actually does you one better: it shows your audience why your line of work is necessary at all. Revisit our bookkeeping example. Publishing a case study on the effects of using Xero for small and local businesses doesn’t give away trade secrets while still adding value to your brand.
Thought leadership content in particular has a large focus on what’s currently happening within an industry AND what the projected direction of said industry is. Returning to the bookkeeping example, news as it relates to mobile technology, accessibility, using your phone to upload receipts and Internet usage all have a place on a business blog of that type.
It’s not enough to educate someone on a topic — you also need to explain to them why this information is particularly pertinent to their business at large. This again confirms the need for your firm’s services while still offering outside value.
Value is critical in content marketing, and this is all the more true in the context of thought leadership. Still, your business blog isn’t a professional diary where you can simply lay bare the soul of your firm. It’s important to present your audience with value, but not so much information that they only visit your blog and nothing else.