Knowledge is a core value at SCG. This weekly column highlights something interesting learned recently by one of our team members. We hope you find it intriguing, relevant and informative:
This week’s post isn’t so much about something new that I learned, but rather a tried-and-true practice like content marketing being reinforced by one of my personal heroes: Stephen King, the master of horror. You might be wondering how those two seemingly disparate things could be connected. Allow me to explain.
I’m always looking for ways in which my professional world as a marketer can intersect with my personal world as an avid consumer of fiction. You can read my last blog about it here. So you can imagine my delight when – in the lead up to King’s latest offering The Outsider – he released a free short story to pair with it. The short, titled “Laurie,” was billed as “an appetizer to the main course” by the man himself:
I’m posting a brand new short story, if you want to read it–think of it as an appetizer to the main course, THE OUTSIDER, coming next week. The story is free. Read, print, share, whatever. Go to my website or click the link. Enjoy! https://t.co/tfHIWTPoNw
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 17, 2018
As marketers, we know how effective content marketing can be when trying to capture leads. It is far more compelling for a person to learn about your product or services if they get something in return. That “something” often comes in the form of whitepapers or tip sheets; you’re providing a small taste of what you offer for free while ensuring the whole meal is even better, to use the analogy above. For King and his publisher, the something in return was a free short story. No matter the form, the objective is the same: generate enough interest to convert a potential customer into an actual customer.
Stephen King didn’t need to do this for me to buy his latest work. Any time I hear his name and the phrase “new book” in the same sentence, my eyes dilate and I disregard basic traffic laws to get to the nearest book store (I’m kidding). But what I love about this form of content marketing is that it reaches two important audiences: 1) the fiction reader unplugged from the flow of Stephen King news and 2) a younger generation potentially unaware of his work. With “Laurie” acting as quasi lead fulfillment, the pool of readers grows significantly.
Whether it’s generating leads or new readers, content marketing can go a long way in convincing a consumer to spend their money with you – or, in the case of myself and Stephen King, $30 and another 560 pages.
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