The Five New Laws of Content Series: Law Five – The Law of Exchange

We’ve finally made our way to the fifth and final law in our Five New Laws of Content Series. If you’ve been following along, we hope you’ve learned some valuable lessons that will change the way you think about content marketing. And now, onto our final law: The Law of Exchange.

The Law of Exchange can be summarized as follows:

As the value of content increases, the value of what it is exchanged for increases.

Think about it: what is the difference between a report from Frost & Sullivan, which costs $6,000, and a report on the same topic that is available in exchange for an email address? Clearly, the anticipated value of the content. People are simply willing to give more in exchange for high quality, valuable content.

This law has significant implications for the kind of content that is created by content producers. “Thought leadership” has been defined by Gartner as “the giving — for free or at a nominal charge— of information or advice that a client will value so as to create awareness of the outcome that a company’s product or service can deliver, in order to position and differentiate that offering and stimulate demand for it.” Central to this definition is the expectation of exchange — in a best-case scenario, a prospect may become a customer after being impressed with some intellectual capital; in a worst-case scenario, a prospect grants the content producer permission to contact them in the future with the implicit understanding that they may be interested in receiving additional content.

Consulting firms have been using this model for years. In fact, Gartner estimates 20% of the marketing spend of these types of firms has gone to support it. Thanks to the growth of content marketing, thought leadership (as a quasiorganized sub-discipline of the practice) is now coming to a marketing program near you.

There’s no denying that the growth of thought leadership and content marketing presents tremendous opportunity for brands and brand building. But how can you take full advantage of the opportunity and make sure you get your content marketing program right? On Friday, we’ll release our Five New Laws of Content White Paper for download, where the answer to these questions will be revealed.

Image via eBuzzing.

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