Content Marketing — Creating Sales in the Information Age

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Image by Austin Chan on Unsplash

I hate being actively sold to. I prefer to do my own research and make an informed purchasing decision based on the information provided to me by expert vendors. Typically, the more a vendor tells me, the more likely I am to buy their product or service.

This is especially true when I’m buying a product or service which requires the vendor to install a large degree of trust in their operation before I commit.

A considered purchase like a car, a holiday or a financial product may take days or even weeks of research before I’m comfortable to buy. During this time, salespeople are advised to stay well clear of me until I’m ready to ask specific questions. Pile too much pressure on me and I’ll just walk away.

The Wrong Content

Put the wrong content in front of a client and you are likely to confuse them and may ultimately lose the sale. When a potential client is confused they will often turn to the wider social web to seek advice. Sadly, the information shared via forums and on social networks by (often) well-meaning individuals isn’t always accurate. Sometimes, it’s downright misleading.

I believe, as a marketer, you have a duty of care to ensure that the community you serve always has the right information to hand — so any decisions they make regarding future purchases are based on fact.

Note: This honest approach will help you in the long-term as you reduce customer support requests and help protect your reputation.

Complex Products Require Simple Explanations

It’s perhaps a little counterintuitive but the more complex your product or service, the simpler your marketing content needs to be.

Note: Consider how many corporate websites confuse their audience by burying their offers in buzzwords and impenetrable jargon.

A Human Approach

Because people buy from people they like and trust and are inspired to buy by people they identify with, the marketing of complex products needs to take on a very human approach.

Case studies and detailed testimonials need to be at the center of your strategy and delivered alongside simple, easy to follow product details highlighting any benefits.

And don’t think complex products need longwinded explanations.

It’s amazing what you can do with a series of bullet points and some well-chosen images/graphics.

A Happy Accident

When you provide your potential clients with useful, engaging information the days of the hard sell are over. In fact, sales can almost become something of a by-product spun out of careful content production, delivering the right information to the right person at the right time.

How do you use content to soft sell complex products? Share your comments below:

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

Written by

Marketing Strategist, Author of #BecomingTHEExpert, Content Marketing Trainer, and Cyclist. Check out my author profile:

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