Content as the new oil; how to keep the value high

December 28, 2009

In co-teaching a writing class for financial advisers recently, I expressed the idea that content is the new oil, a “precious resource” with real cost and real value as Gerry McGovern writes in “Killer Web Content: Make the Sale, Deliver the Service, Build the Brand.”

Merriman, Inc., formerly known as Merriman Capital Management, was an early leader in giving away quality content through their fund advice website, financial articles and books (often given free). In return, the company has received national attention, caché and ever-important links to its two websites.

Client profiles on website

Adding an exclusivity to some client profiles

Merriman is refining its approach to what it wants to give all visitors vs. what it wants to save for existing clients. For instance, my early profile writing was posted on the website. Now, my profiles are published twice a year in a newsletter given only to clients.

Advisers at this meeting talked about the fine line of providing real, usable information as part of their commitment to free educational resources but also the need to save their most comprehensive writing for the exclusive use of clients.

Quality content takes effort and skill. It has value so why not save the best to add value for committed clients?

Or, to continue the analogy: When oil is cheap, fewer people invest in the extra expense of a hybrid.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Amanda Castleman January 22, 2010 at 3:34 AM

At SCOOT (www.scootseattle.com) last week, one of the speakers insisted: everyone with a website – regardless of what service or products they offer – must now also think of themselves as content producers…

Professional writing is dead. Long live professional writing!

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