Content marketing is not always about the direct sale. It’s more of a long term strategy and process for developing, creating, publishing, and promoting informative and educational content that helps you reach your goals. In short, content marketing is how you get your audience to know, like, and trust you.
This doesn’t mean you don’t give your audience opportunities to buy, or that you don’t include a call to action, but content marketing is more a seduction process than it is a direct selling process. The content that you develop and publish works its way through the buying cycle in a deliberate way and is almost never forceful, always putting your ideal customer first.
So, how do you do that?
Here are seven content marketing tips that get to the sale without directly selling…
Tip #1 – Deliver Value
Whenever you produce content, besides setting a goal for it, you should also ensure that it provides something of value for the consumer. This means that it needs to solve a problem or define a problem or do something that the user determines has value. You can only do this by fully studying your audience so that you know the pain points and the available solutions for your ideal audience.
Tip #2 – Create Personalized Content
The more the content speaks directly to the reader or viewer, the better. Try to create content that is as personalized as possible, especially in email marketing. Some people don’t like the idea of “personalizing” email because we all know that unless you’re writing individual emails, that it’s all automated. But, there is a way to write content that speaks to individual readers even when you’re creating a broadcast email. It’s too much to go into in this post, but I’ll write more about that in an upcoming post.
Tip #3 – Build Trust
The content you publish on your blog, your social media and in your emails can also work to build trust. The more consistent you are with your brand voice and the messages you deliver to your audience the more people will naturally trust you.
Tip #4 – Make it Shareworthy
One of your goals for publishing content should be to make it worthy of being shared by your audience. In terms of SEO this is important because you want the search engines to see that other people besides you think your content is valuable (see Tip #1).
Tip #5 – Ask and Answer Questions
Q and A is a huge part of any successful content marketing strategy. Whether this comes in the form of blog posts where you answer reader questions, or in the form of live Q and A sessions, the chance to talk to your audience and listen to their concerns should never be passed up.
Tip#6 – Build Your List
You knew I was going to get list-building in here somewhere, didn’t you? If the end goal of content marketing isn’t getting the sale, it is definitely getting the reader on your list. Good content marketing, especially when it comes to blog and social media posting, should provide ample opportunities for people to get on your list through things like in-content downloads, content upgrades (my all time favorite form of passive marketing), and free offers.
Tip #7 – Build Relationships with Your Audience
The more content you publish, the more opportunities you have to engage with and get to know your audience. This business really is about building relationships with the people in your audience and I can’t stress that enough.
When you take all of these tips into consideration, it’s easy to see the role that content marketing does play in making sales even while meeting the other needs your audience may have. Each piece of content you create needs a clear non-sales-oriented goal, as mentioned above, with clear steps for achieving the goal included. When you start understanding that content marketing is a long-term strategy for building your business, it’s power as a sales driver becomes obvious.
*Note: This post includes affiliate links, for which I will receive a small commission should you make a purchase.