Content marketing is not about the direct sale. While you may view a sales page as content, and it is part of it, content marketing is a long term strategy and process by which you develop, create, publish, and promote informative and educational content that helps you reach your goals.
This doesn’t mean you don’t give the 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.
Instead of focusing on sales, focus on:
- Delivering 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.
- Creating 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, using all the technology you can afford to ensure the most up-to-date and possible personalization. This is especially important in email marketing.
- Building Trust – The content you publish on your blog 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.
- Getting Back Links – One of the goals for publishing content is so that it gets shared, and the person who shared it is offering more links to your content so more people can find you. To ensure you get more shares, you’ll have to create more shareable content like infographics, for example.
- Asking and Answering Questions – This is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Ask questions of your audience so that they can give their opinion and give your opinion about your expertise freely by answering their questions.
- List Building – This is almost the most important part of content marketing. Use content marketing right by producing lots of opportunities within the content you publish to get your audience to move to your lists, such as in-content downloads, gated content, freebies, and more.
- Getting to Know Your Audience – The more content you publish, the more opportunities you have to engage with and get to know your audience. If engagement is a goal, always ensure you include the right calls to action to ensure it happens.
When you understand that content does make sales but that it is not supposed to appear like a sales letter to your audience, then it is easier to understand the way content marketing works. Each piece of content 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, you’ll realize how powerful it really is.
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