I’ve worked with many clients who insist that their copy needs to be extremely persuasive, pushy and in-your-face sales-y. Sometimes, these clients can be educated that the best way to connect with a customer is by providing value. In other cases, unfortunately, there’s no talking them out of the hard sell approach.
The validity of value-added content has been proven over and over again. Take a look at just about any highly-successful website and you’ll find the content isn’t focused on selling the business’ products or services. Instead, these websites take the approach of educating their consumers, solving a problem or meeting a need. Any business in any industry can educate their consumer. Check out these examples of how everyday businesses can use content to educate consumers:
- A daycare center offering child care tips and safety information.
- A pet store providing informative articles on caring for different types of pets.
- Wedding planners producing wedding planning tips, do-it-yourself centerpiece ideas, etc.
- Insurance brokers offering financial planning information and advice.
- Landscapers discussing different types of shrubs, when it’s a good time to plant a garden, how-tos.
- Bakeries offering tips on baking gluten-free cakes and cookies.
- A health food store producing articles on healthy eating, nutritional supplements, and vitamin and mineral intake and sources.
- A senior care provider providing tips on caring for an aging loved one, searching for long-term care or financing long-term care.
You see, it’s possible to provide value to your consumer without giving away all your expertise. Educating your customer, and providing free information, helps build trust, establish rapport and establish your thought-leadership in the industry. Giving away just enough information to leave them wanting more is the key to conversions.
Moving Beyond the Sales Pitch
The downside to sales-focused content is there’s only so much of it you can do. There are only so many ways to present the features and benefits of your products and services. Since Google’s latest “freshness” update, greater emphasis is placed on websites which have frequently-updated content. Offering value-added content leaves the door open to infinite possibilities, whether you’re delivering timely content via a blog or evergreen tips articles on your static website.