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How to use primary and secondary content to boost your marketing in 2016

By Sam Turner February 18, 2016 Case study Blog Content marketing

The situation now: we bet you’re blogging!

As you head into your marketing for 2016, we can say something with a level of certainty about your approach: we bet you’re writing blogs!

In a recent survey we conducted of North West businesses, 85% of firms indicated that they were updating their website with new blogs on at least a monthly basis. Some of those firms were updating weekly. Some even daily!

This activity is great. Blogs help your website’s SEO, they help client engagement and time on your website; they help to show your expertise, to foster connections and, generally, to communicate better.

But here’s another thing about blogs: they’re only half the job!

Primary and secondary content

Blogs are what we call secondary content. To understand what that means, let’s start with primary content.

Primary content is content clients will ‘pay’ for. That probably does not literally mean that they will exchange money for it, but they will exchange something for it. This is important.

Secondary content, like blogs, will get clients to your website. You’ll write about current topics, you’ll write ‘how to’ guides and you’ll write so that people find you on search engines. This is great, but what happens to those visitors once they’re on your site? Without primary content, they’ll read your blog and eventually click off your website. You’ll never know who they were. They’ll just be a statistic on your website analytics. One new visitor. No way to market to them further.

This is where primary content comes in.

Primary content: making your writing do more

Once you’ve got a visitor to your website with your secondary content, your primary content encourages them to do more with you.

A piece of secondary content might be a blog about part of a topic. A piece of primary content might be a whitepaper about that whole topic.

To get to the primary content, you’ll have a clear graphic on your secondary content, known as a Call To Action (CTA). Once the visitor has clicked the CTA, they’ll be able to get the primary content, but only after they’ve give you their email address, name and other contact details in return (or payment).

Instead of an anonymous visitor, you’ve now used your blog (and your primary content) to get some new contact details to market to!

Case study: Active Business get more prospects by using primary and secondary content

how to use primary and secondary content

Active Business are a communications, data, connectivity and IT firm. Here’s a piece of secondary content they produced covering a spate of recent hacks which compromised the data security of the firms in question.

Notice that, within that blog, there’s a big CTA graphic which goes to a whitepaper about how firms can improve their data security. To get the whitepaper (which, of course, if you’ve read the blog, you’re going to be very interested in), you need to give Active an email address.

Job done! A great example of primary and secondary content working together to enable a firm to better market to their web visitors!


how to use primary and secondary contentBy Sam Turner. Sam is ClientsFirst's Online Marketing Strategist and writes here on topics including; inbound and content marketing, social media, design and e-marketing. He likes all of those things as well as travel, golf and frequent cups of tea. You can find him on , Twitter & LinkedIn.


Sam Turner

Sam Turner

Sam has responsibility for ClientsFirst’s inbound and content marketing, as well as helping clients to execute their own marketing campaigns and produce engaging copy. He has a background in blogging, copywriting and social media and is always on the lookout for a story or an emerging social technology. A keen traveller, when not in front of a computer keyboard, Sam can be found planning his next trip away or, closer to home, back in front of a keyboard writing something covering film and TV.

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