“Create a Need or Want.” This was one of the suggestions I gave at a recent conference. When you are trying to convince people to invest in a product or service you need to “create a need or want” in your content marketing.
Think about it, why would you invest in something you don’t think you need or want? Why would your audience?
Selling without Selling
People don’t like to be sold to when they are doing research. They like to be given the information they are looking for to help them make a good decision about buying or investing.
Image via Flickr.
You should educate while also providing data and information (without selling). You should provide information people need to think about before deciding to invest. If you are the one giving solid information then you begin the trust process, and trust influences sales.
It is always good to create educational content on these 3 things (about a either a product or service):
- What benefits a service or product offers. (this can be done review style)
- Which things to avoid or lookout for when hiring someone to provide a service. With products, what product issues do people need to avoid and why is your product a more solid choice? (You can also do a comparison “X vs. Y”; people compare products all the time which is why reviews are so popular today)
- What need or want can a service or product meet for the reader?
You can discuss all these things and not even mention your company until the end. Or if you are service provider you can throw in things like, “At our company we always make sure A, B and C are done before we start X,Y and Z.”
With something like this the reader automatically knows you offer the service they are researching; you basically were selling without selling. With information like this they will always compare what other companies say to what you said. You provided great information and you appear to do things right. So who gets the job?
Provide the Information People Need to Make a Good Decision
People are careful how they spend their money. You need to give them all the information they could need or want to make a safe buyer’s decision. As stated above, trust influences sales, so if you are the one to provide information that is solid and educational you become someone the reader can trust.
Some ways to provide good information:
- How to and tutorial style articles and videos. (Needed for products! Everything from setup to advanced use.)
- Break down what services are, what they offer and why they are needed. The same can be done for products.
- Who needs this service or product?
- Want needs are met by this service or product? Why and how is it useful?
- What is “service name”?
- Review of “product name” or a collection of links to positive reviews.
- Discuss related products and services.
- The negatives or not having a product or service.
- Thing to look for when hiring someone to perform a service.
Which Audiences Need or Want What You Offer?
All businesses should take the time to discover which audiences they need to be targeting. You also need to know which terminology your different audiences use so you can market effectively.
You cannot jump into content marketing and hope that you can create content and it will magically reach the audiences that will invest. You need to do some research first and discover how you will get your information in front of your target audiences. Where to market, how to market and what to say in your titles is critical (remember terminology).
Think about which social networks your audience(s) are using. Which blogs do they read? What do they share and how do they share it? Where do they leave reviews?
Find a way to present your information to the audiences that need or want your product or service. Blogging on your site on a regular basis is important too, because you want to the search engines to take your blog, and the information you provide, seriously.
Assuming your site and SEO strategies are done right, when your blog gains some trust and offers unique, quality, information-filled content your articles can get ranked highly. The more people that see your articles the better shot you have at reaching an audience that needs or wants what you provide.