Excerpt taken from Content Rules by Ann Handley—
Content is a broad term that refers to anything created and uploaded to a website: the words, images, tools, and other things that reside there. All of the pages of your website, then, are content: the home page, the About Us page, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page, the product information pages, and so on. All of the things you create as part of those pages or as part of your marketing—your videos, blogs, photographs, webinars, white papers, e-books, podcasts, and so on—are content, too.
And finally, all of the things you publish at outposts that are off of your own site—your Facebook page, your Twitter stream, your LinkedIn group page, for example—are forms of content.
Obviously, you don’t have to publish through all of those channels to have a noticeable online presence. As you’ll see with the companies we profile, your online content can take countless forms, depending on various factors: the needs and preferences of your audience, your goals, your company’s expertise, and brand, as well as available time, talent, and budget.
You can use the concepts in this book to infuse all of your web content with energy, life, purpose, and value. But this book maintains a specific focus on how to create content for marketing: creating and sharing relevant, valuable information that attracts people to you and creates trust, credibility, and authority (among other things) for your business, and that ultimately converts visitors and browsers into buyers.
That’s precisely the point of creating killer content—to convert browsers into buyers and customers into regulars or (better yet) rabid fans, ambassadors, and advocates. You do that by deepening your relationship with them, over time; by repeatedly and consistently creating content they care about and want to share freely with their friends or colleagues; and by encouraging them to engage with you and to sign up for things you publish (for example, an e-mail newsletter or a webinar) or to download a white paper or an e-book.
“The one who has the more engaging content wins because frequent and regular contact builds a relationship,” one offers lots of opportunities for conversion, says Joe Pulizzi, author (with Newt Barrett) of Get Content, Get Customers (McGraw-Hill, 2009). “Advertising is a luxury,” Joe says, “but content is survival.”