I read quite a few blog posts each week. I also attend webinars, download e-books, read white papers and research reports and watch videos. You might think I’m a content marketing junkie. You might be right. But really, I’m looking for the best of the best.

I suppose it will come as no surprise to you to hear how disappointing this can be. I probably get 50 emails a week inviting me to sample certain content assets that promise to help me reach my goals. Once I’m registered, the clock is ticking. If I don’t get a whiff of benefit within the first couple of moments, I’m gone.

I’ll bet you’re no different. I’ll also bet that the people you want to connect with are exactly the same. Most of us have big goals, too little time and way too much to do. But every once and a while, I’ll come across something that is so spot-on, it feels as if it was produced just for me. Wow that’s a great feeling. I want to show you how to create that feeling again and again.

Key Take-Away:

For content to generate leads, it needs to be promoted. This is where a lot of content marketing programs go astray.

The say-do ratio

I used to work with a colleague who practiced a simple formula he called the say-do ratio. If you said you were going to do something and you actually did it, you had a high say-do ratio. If you did not do what you said you would do, you had a low say-do ratio.

Guess which type of person held the respect and trust of people around them? Guess which one advanced in their career and ended up in leadership positions? It’s not hard to figure out.

The say-do ratio applies equally well to content marketing. If you say, in your promotions for a given content asset, that it will provide insights to accomplish specific goals, well then it had better deliver. Right?

 

Why have a high say-do ratio?

There are two primary benefits from having a high say-do ratio for content marketing: trust and affinity. When a person delivers a webinar, for example, that really helps their listener accomplish a goal, the presenter may become a trusted advisor.

This does not mean that a person who attends your webinar will simply call you the next day and offer you a million dollar contract. Wouldn’t that be nice? Here is what it does mean.

When the time comes that they have to accomplish the goal that you’ve addressed in your webinar, they have a few decisions to make. One of those decisions will be whether or not they try to accomplish the goal on their own, without any outside assistance. If they decide they need outside assistance, say from a professional service provider, than they have to decide who to pick.

If you have given them insights, let’s say from your webinar, you make the short list of people they’ll want to talk to. More importantly, if you’ve helped them think about things that they might not have thought about on their own, it makes them wonder what else they might be missing. Your webinar, if it contains the right insights, lays the groundwork to establish you as the trusted advisor.

It also makes you the preferred resource, the person who has shown good will. This is the affinity quotient and it is huge. If your advice and approach is the preferred advice, before an engagement even begins, you win. Competitors have to play on your field.

 

The content marketing decision process

Most marketing people know that it takes more than production to generate leads from content marketing. The content needs to be promoted. This is where, I believe, a lot of content marketing programs go astray.

To promote content, you have to make a promise. This is also what I call the content value proposition – the reason for the exchange. In content marketing terms, the exchange is typically either time or information.

For blog-sites and other forms of ungated content (no registration form), the exchange is time. If a reader sees a promotion for a blog post, they have a decision to make. Is it worth my time to read this blog-post? Will I get benefit from the 5-10 minutes I spend reading the post?

For gated content like webinars, action guides and e-books, the exchange is usually personal information and then time. A person fills out a form to access the content. This is how leads are typically generated in content marketing. For the lead to fill out the form, they have to believe it’s worth it to submit their personal information in exchange for accessing the content.

 

And now the test

When a person gives their time, personal information, or both to access a piece of content, they will be at the decision moment I described above. You have about 1-2 minutes to prove that the exchange was worth it.

The content promise was enticing enough that they took a step in your direction. But it was a baby step. For them to keep leaning in, to keep moving in your direction, your content has to pass the test. It has to deliver on the promise. It has to have a high say-do ratio.

 

How to have a high say-do ratio

If you want to have a high say-do ratio, you need to do two things very well. You need to make the right promise and you need to fulfill that promise.

No matter what type of service provider you might be, your ideal client will have goals, challenges and opportunities. Usually you will know far more than a prospective client what it takes to achieve the goal, realize the opportunity or overcome the challenge.

If you build a content strategy that gives prospective clients insights about how to achieve the goals, you will have a high say-do ratio. You will achieve trust and even affinity. How do you do this?

I’ve developed a short webinar called Make Content Marketing A Client Acquisition Machine: How To Turn Content Into A Real Revenue Producer. In just 22 minutes, this webinar shows you how to create a solid content marketing plan, including how to:

Register for this webinar now so you can build trust and affinity and become the preferred provider.