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Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by C. C. Chapman, Ann Handley

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Chapter 6. Share or Solve; Don't Shill

Good content shares or solves; it doesn't shill. In other words, it doesn't hawk your wares or push sales-driven messages. Rather, it creates value by positioning you as a reliable and valuable source of vendor-agnostic information.

As we said in Chapter 2, your content shares a resource, solves a problem, helps your customers do their jobs better, improves their lives, or makes them smarter, wittier, better-looking, taller, better-networked, cooler, more enlightened, and with better backhands, tighter asses, and cuter kids. In short, it's of high value to your customers, in whatever way resonates best with them.

Consider Procter & Gamble's approach. The brand's Pampers division launched a series of web-based videos called "Welcome to Parenthood," featuring real parents talking about the stuff new parents love to obsess over (diapers, potty training, nighttime, and naptime). The 14 episodes were made available on Pampers.com and on the brand's Facebook page. The project was co-sponsored by pharmaceutical company Abbott, which makes infant products Similac and Beech-Nut. Rather than simply shilling diapers, P&G is sharing parenting advice and helping parents navigate those consuming early years of parenting. It is creating content parents care about.

Similarly, the Wisconsin Cheese Board created innovative microsites called the Grilled Cheese Academy (http://grilledcheeseacademy.com) and the Cheese and Burger Society (www.cheeseandburger.com). ...

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