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What Does Content Marketing Have To Do With Sales?

This is week nineteen of a series where I'll be sharing a chapter from my book (Stop Selling Start Helping) each week. If you missed the previous weeks, click here to view all chapters. To learn more about Stop Selling Start Helping, click here.

CH 19 What Does Content Marketing Have To Do With Sales?

I was talking with a new friend/business connection one time. He had heard me say something about “helping versus selling,” and he was a little confused.

I’ll paraphrase:

“I see that you talk a lot about sales. What’s the connection between sales and what you do? You’re a web guy, right?”

Sometimes we get lost in our own world when it comes to the terminology we use to explain what we do, don’t we? And, this question spurred me to think about the way I explain what “content marketing” is and how it relates to an organization’s bottom line.

I’ve referenced this already a couple times, but here’s that definition again of content marketing from the Content Marketing Institute:

Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Read that last line again: “with the objective of driving profitable customer action”

Now, I had already talked with this guy about what our company did – content marketing, website design, search engine optimization, etc. – so he knew all that. But, where I had failed was making the direct connection between these activities and sales – the bottom line.

Content Marketing and Sales

At its core, the goal of content marketing (as with any form of marketing) is to DRIVE SALES.

When you produce an e-book/video/white paper/blog post/etc. that helps your prospect or customer avoid typical mistakes, for example, the goal is to give them valuable content which, in turn, builds credibility which, in turn, increases the likelihood they’ll buy from you at some point in the future.

This is a very simplified version of how this works, but hopefully you get the point: content marketing and sales should go hand in hand.

A WARNING:

Here’s the tricky part...while your content marketing is ultimately intended to drive “profitable customer action,” you must still produce content with the genuine attitude of HELPING; not solely for the purpose of selling. If not, your prospects and customers will see right through it.

In fact, this is what I love so much about what we do. I hate sales. But, what I love is helping people.

When I can help people AND drive “profitable customer action,” that’s when it all clicks.

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