A note from the authors

Sonja Jefferson & Sharon Tanton
You want to get great results from your marketing efforts, but that’s not all. If you’re running your own business or marketing one you believe in then you want a way of marketing that feels right too. A way that chimes with your mission to help your customers, and fits with the pressures on your time and budget.

You might not have the financial resources that big brands can throw at marketing and advertising campaigns, but that doesn’t matter – the days of pushy, interruption-style marketing are numbered.

A simple approach that works

Content marketing is simple, and it works. Like so much of life, its success depends as much on mindset as it does on method. Think of your ‘marketing’ as ‘helping’, as ‘being of value to your customers’, and everything else falls into place.

“Think of marketing as helping, not selling and everything about it becomes more rewarding.”

Make the most of the digital opportunity and win

Over the last few years content marketing has gone mainstream, spawning an industry and pundits that not only make it seem terribly over complicated, but also lose touch with its real strength.

Content marketing’s super power is drawing the right people towards your business and turning your customers into your biggest fans. Small business owners and lone marketers are perfectly poised to take advantage of everything that it offers.

That’s why we wrote this book. To help you make sense of the digital universe. To join up all the elements – blogging, video, your website, social media, email newsletters, SEO, PR – for a powerful, united and very natural approach to marketing. To cut through all the noise and help you use valuable content to build the business you really want.

In our 15 years of marketing this way we’ve had the pleasure of sharing the content marketing journey with many fantastic people and businesses. We have learned what works and what doesn’t. We want to teach you how.

What’s new for this 2nd edition

The first edition of Valuable Content Marketing won the Community Award Small Biz Book of the Year, and has sold in 26 countries.

This updated version is full of even more road-tested knowledge to help small business owners and marketers get it right.

  • There’s a whole new section and 10 step approach to developing an effective content strategy – with a companion work book to help you put it into practice.
  • You’ll find lots more advice and tips on how to make content marketing WORK for your business – more resources and templates, ideas to help you plan and write.
  • More case studies to be inspired by – from household names like HSBC to inspirational small businesses like Sugru, Desynit and Finisterre.

Be inspired

Throughout our content marketing journey we’ve been inspired by the energy and ideas of the brilliant businesses we’ve worked with, and whose stories we share. We hope this book captures that entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and energy, and inspires you to embrace the web and put valuable content to work for you.

Help, don’t sell. Show, don’t tell. Talk don’t yell – make this your new marketing mantra.

We hope you enjoy the book. And good luck!


Sharon and Sonja


“Cut through all the noise and use valuable content to build the business you really want.

The new Valuable Content Marketing book will guide you.”

What’s inside?


Inside the new Valuable Content Marketing book

Table of contents

  • Foreword: by Doug Kessler
  • Introduction: Why you need this book and how to use it
  • How valuable is your marketing now? Quick assessment

Part 1 – Why valuable content?

Why valuable content is the focus of all successful marketing today, and how to play in the new game.

  • Chapter 1: Buying has changed. Has your marketing caught up?
  • Chapter 2: What is valuable content and why does it win you business?
  • Chapter 3: Guiding principles for your valuable content

Part 2 – What valuable content?

Your valuable content universe. 

  • Chapter 4: Blogging
  • Chapter 5: Social media
  • Chapter 6: Email newsletters
  • Chapter 7: Search engine optimisation
  • Chapter 8: Deeper written content – ebooks, white papers, SlideShares and published books
  • Chapter 9: Video, audio, infographics and more
  • Chapter 10: Widen your reach – PR, guest blogging, events and paid advertising

Part 3 – How to supercharge your business with valuable content

How to make content marketing work for you so it drives competitive advantage

  • Chapter 11: Pulling together a valuable content strategy (with companion workbook)
  • Chapter 12: Making your website valuable
  • Chapter 13: How to write valuable content
  • Chapter 14: How to sell with valuable content
  • Chapter 15: Winning the challenge of constant content generation
  • Chapter 16: Troubleshooting Q&A – answers to the big content questions
  • Conclusion and your new manifesto for marketing people love
  • Valuable resources: checklists, planning tools, writing templates, and a ‘get to know your customer questionnaire’
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