One of the big urges with content marketing is making the sale.
It could be blog posts, video blogs, podcasts, social media posts or anything - it's always difficult for businesspeople to not try to close a deal.
But it's weird.
Put that businessperson in a real life scenario where they're talking to someone at a grocery store or at a bar and talking about life and they would probably never try to make a sale.
For example, you run an apple orchard. You see someone at the grocery store struggling to choose an apple. You walk up and offer a helpful tip. Maybe at the end they thank you and ask your name. You tell them your name and maybe at the most you tell them you own an orchard.
You probably wouldn't walk up to them and say, "If you'd like the best apples come visit my orchard."
Here are a few tips for selling in content marketing.
Tip #1. Go To Zero To Start
I feel that too many companies do too much selling with their content marketing. Too much talk about their own services. Too many mentions of their brand name. To many questions about contacting them to buy something.
People read content online to find amusement or to learn something. They're looking for information, not products or services.
If you're looking to get more from your content marketing a good first step would be to stop all selling in the content for now.
Tip #2. Education & Entertainment
Look at your favorite content marketing. Blog posts. Podcasts. Videos. Whatever. Chances are nearly 100% that the content you love either educates or entertains you. The selling is probably minimal at most.
Cut back your selling in content marketing to zero and focus on just providing the content your target audience wants. If you don't do that from the start you're never going to have a chance to win their attention in the first place.
Tip #3. 1-2 Basic Brand Mentions
Think about content marketing as awareness for you and your brand. For something like a blog post you probably don't even need to mention yourself. The person can look at the top left and see your company logo.
The same for a podcast. Often the best hosts will simply state something like, "brought to you by..." and that's it. One mention of the brand behind the content.
Technology allows people to skim over ads. People don't want them. If they want to know where this great content is coming from they'll look. Mention it once or twice. Make it easy for them to find out and you'll see awareness increase.
Content marketing doesn't become more effective by selling more. It becomes more effective by creating better content and more of it.
The default for creating content should be to leave selling out of it. People aren't in buying mode the majority of their time. They're in content consumption mode. They're looking for entertainment and education. Give that to them. The awareness will come. If you're selling too much you won't attract readers in the first place.