by John Eberhard

“Strategy” refers to a plan of action that one follows in business that affects nearly everything you do, and is usually followed over a long period of time. A marketing strategy is a plan of action for marketing a business that one follows over a long period of time.

A very effective marketing strategy that I have employed with numerous companies over the last 10 years has been to make that company into a trusted information source. What you do to become a trusted information source is to write lots of material that contains helpful information on the topic of your products or services. Then you give it out to people, usually for free.

The first version of this was the company newsletter, where conventional wisdom said that you were supposed to make it 2/3 helpful information and 1/3 sales oriented copy. The idea was that the helpful information drew in the reader and then he would see your ads or other sales information.

Today one writes articles with helpful information on your topic (not sales pitches) and then put those articles into newsletters, on blogs, on article directory web sites, or in free reports or “white papers.”

Why Use This Strategy?

Many companies are following this strategy today. For those who are not, the question arises as to why you would want to devote time and money to such a strategy, because it is after all a pretty major commitment to follow such a strategy over a long period of time.

The reason you would to follow this strategy is to establish trust with prospects. This is vital to do today, especially over the Internet and especially in situations where the prospect has never heard of you before. The idea is that you are presenting information which the prospect can see is valid and true, and which he finds valuable. From this he concludes that you know what you are talking about regarding the topic at hand, which is the topic of your business and your products or services, and he feels more comfortable buying your products or services.

I have observed that this strategy has emerged in a major way in business over the last 10 years or so, and many businesses are following it. I myself have been following this strategy with my own company, writing an article a week and sending it out in my own newsletter and putting it on blogs, and this has been the most successful element of my own marketing strategy. I have also followed the strategy successfully with quite a few of my clients, either with my company writing the articles or taking the articles the client has written and sending them out.

I think that the strategy works especially well with companies like mine that are in the “information business,” but it also works equally well with companies such as home improvement, health care, skin care, the arts, technology, education, law, apparel, consulting and many others.

If you are not already following the “trusted information source” strategy, I recommend that you talk to a marketing consultant and discuss the merits of this strategy. There are various degrees to which you could get into this strategy too. You don’t have to write an article a week like I and some of my other clients do. You could write an article and put out a newsletter and blog post once a month, or even once a quarter. But especially if you have a blog, after a while of doing this you will build up a substantial body of work, that will do wonders for your credibility with new prospects.