Occasionally when we're talking to a company about inbound marketing, a concern is raised.
We've often said that the best content shares your company's expertise, and helps leads to overcome their problems and challenges.
But this worries some people, especially those with a traditional marketing background.
What if your competitors read your content, and steal your ideas and methods?
Your Competitors Will Read Your Content
To start with, it's worth highlighting that there's no doubt your competitors will read your content.
When you start blogging, creating eGuides/whitepapers, putting on webinars, etc, some of your competitors will consume it all.
In fact, it's not uncommon when you use lead tracking software like HubSpot, to identify that your competitors are some of your most active leads.
You can't stop this. Your competitors will read and absorb the content you post. Everyone can remain anonymous on the internet, and even if you were to ask people to register before reading a piece of content, there's nothing stopping a competitor giving you fake details.
But Sharing is Becoming The Norm
Given that competitors will read and learn from your content, it's easy to make a kneejerk reaction and decide not to embark on an inbound marketing strategy.
The problem with taking this approach is that sharing helpful content is fast becoming the norm, and what your buyers expect.
Buyers are doing more and more research online throughout the buying process, and delaying their engagement with sales departments:
Your inbound marketing strategy fills that "no man's land", providing your visitors with targeted information, via your website, to turn them into qualified sales leads. If your buyers aren't consuming the content on your website, they're going to go elsewhere to find it instead.
It's only a matter of time until your competitors start to develop their own inbound marketing strategies to take advantage of* this change.
If they start creating their content first, they'll become the leading content brand in your market and be recognised as the innovators in the sector. You'll then be forced into a position where your organisation has to follow this lead and play catch up to remain competitive.
Rather than being seen as an innovator, you'll be seen as a follower.
Whilst creating great content can help your competitors, the threat imposed by doing nothing and letting your competitors guide your prospects is infinitely greater.
Surely it's better to get ahead, and take the opportunity to promote your organisation's repurtation as the leading brand by creating great content now?