How Content Marketing Is Bringing Sexy Back
This is week six 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.
A New System for Buying Means a New System for Selling
People have so many options today. As explained in the entire first section, the traditional sales process just doesn’t cut it any more.
Because of that 70 percent number referenced earlier, as salespeople, marketers and business owners, we have to reach our audience earlier than we ever have. We must engage with them when that initial 70 percent of the buying decision is being established.
“Content Marketing” is a relatively new phrase used in sales and marketing today. The authority in content marketing is the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). Yes, that’s an actual thing; and if you’re in sales or marketing, you NEED to know about CMI!
CMI defines content marketing this way:
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.
Content marketing is exactly what will help you deal with this new buyer’s system. The concept itself is not new; it started decades ago when some companies realized, even way back then, that buyers prefer to buy from people they know, like and trust. And, in order to build that feeling of “know, like and trust,” there has to be some level of HELPING involved in the conversation – not just a transaction.
CH 6 How Content Marketing Is Bringing Sexy Back
Justin Timberlake’s got nothin’ on content marketing!
As of the writing of this book, one of our business-to-business clients has seen an increase in organic search traffic by more than 1,400 percent in 18 months and has driven more than 200 new “actions” from organic search traffic alone.
Now, THAT is sexy!
What’s driving these huge improvements? Content marketing. Specifically, generating targeted, relevant, optimized blogs, combined with premium “gated” content, and focused email-marketing efforts.
Many people still have a hard time understanding what “content marketing” is. I try to explain it in a variety of different ways, but the simplest definition is this: Content marketing is about helping, rather than just selling.
And, helping has never been so sexy!
I speak on this subject across the country, and I love the reaction every time...
- “That makes sense.”
- “I never thought of it that way.”
- “This could be huge in our business.”
- “That’s different than what my competition is doing.”
- “I could see it working like...”
Effective content marketing looks something like this...
This example above is specific to online marketing, but this idea of content marketing, or helping instead of selling, can and does truly walk someone through the buying process, just without the traditional sales mentality:
- Consumers want to get educated – before making a purchase, buyers have to start somewhere; often this involves a visit to the web and/or a physical location.
- Buyers ask questions – buyers inevitably have questions as they move through the buying process; and every company – B2B or B2C – has an opportunity to answer their questions.
- They will consider their options – deeper into the buying process, it becomes a matter of comparison or detailed consideration: Why should I purchase from you versus someone else?
- Then, and only then, will they make a decision – finally, it’s decision time; and almost always a decision is made on an emotional level, so trust and credibility are vital – it’s rarely just about price.
So, where does this sexiness begin?
Around here, we call it a Content Marketing Blueprint (https://tinyurl.com/mz4mh2a) – and it is exactly what the name conveys: a blueprint for an organization’s content marketing efforts, and it often bleeds over into general online and offline marketing,
- It defines your target audience in great detail.
- It uncovers those things that trigger your prospects to want to get educated.
- It answers the questions they have.
- It establishes a foundation for your messaging.
- It connects your prospect’s online experience with your offline sales process.
- It builds a specific plan to attract, convert, close, and delight your audience.
Whether or not you think your business or product is actually sexy, content marketing can bring sexy back to your messaging and relationship with your prospects and customers!
It’s proven to work and can do the same for you.