How to Sell Without Selling-Content Marketing
At Mad Scentist Digital, we talk a lot about content marketing. It has become the new normal and the best way for brands to gain a loyal following. It is focused entirely on offering valuable content to users and not just on plugging their companies products.
Ian: Good evening
Andrew: How are you going?
Ian: I am Ian Hopkinson and this is Andrew Radics. What’s your name?
Andrew: Certainly not the same as yours, my name is Andrew of course.
Ian: Do you like this new look?
Andrew: You look like an absolute stud.
Ian: Maybe I could sing an Eminem cover for everybody today.
Andrew: Please don’t.
Ian: Screw that. Today we’re going to be talking about how to sell without selling-content marketing. Are you drinking coffee?
Andrew: Oh, I forgot my coffee!
Ian: Oh, well do you want to go and grab it?
Andrew: No, it’s fine.
Ian: How long does it take you to make one.
Andrew: About ten minutes.
Ian: About ten minutes?
Ian: How do we sell without selling Andrew? It sounds like a crazy concept.
Andrew: Well, last time we were talking about content marketing, and how content marketing is not just about article writing and all that sort of stuff, syndicating them to a thousand different article sites or whatever. There are many ways to do this, obviously one of them is through your blog or through your website, if you have a website, it should have a blog attached where you write relevant articles to do with your business, tell people what your business is about and to very subtly talk about the things that you do, like any products that you might have that are new without being pushy. That’s the thing. Once you set that up, naturally people will sit up and take notice of who you are and what you do.
Ian: So by providing good information and providing original, relevant material to your customers.
Andrew: Yeah, pretty much. The other way to sell without actually selling is through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and whatever else, as well as some of the overlooked ones such as Tumblr, Delicious, Reddit, StumbleUpon. There’s lots and lots of them where you can put up links to your website with some sort of an article.
Ian: So social bookmarking sites?
Andrew: Yeah social bookmarking but its still social so.
Ian: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: It does generate a truckload of traffic if you do it right, so put your message out there, don’t be pushy and people will listen.
Ian: Yeah that’s a good tip, and the other thing actually, we’ve had a great example of it today. We’re putting out a regular newsletter and having e-marketing in alignment with that, it’s very handy. So if you’ve got a database you’ve been building up, and the best way to build that up obviously is through asking people lightly if you can send them regular information. But don’t grab a database from goodness knows where and start blasting information out to people.
Andrew: Don’t buy email lists whatever you do.
Ian: We actually had someone come in today who said they had ten thousand emails that they had acquired. That set off a whole lot of alarm bells in my head, I thought oh no please don’t do that. Don’t do that for a myriad of reasons, you’ll be blacklisted forever.
Andrew: They just don’t work.
Ian: They don’t. So yeah, classic example today of that. We had a client that a thousand people in their database which doesn’t sound like a lot but after a couple of hours they’ve just hit four hundred opens. So almost fifty percent of people have opened their email and they’ve got to think, half the world is asleep so that’s pretty good going.
Andrew: Yeah well we’ll wait and see what the figures are tomorrow .
Ian: In their newsletter was excerpts of their blog, connecting through to their website so it should have fully integrated with their other content marketing initiatives. So what are the other aspects of content marketing?
Andrew: Well there’s the classic, and that’s SEO. What more can I say on that one.
Ian: Well, we’ve said a lot on that one. But again, it has to be integrated doesn’t it.
Andrew: It does. But then again you don’t need to be pushy with what you’re trying to get across. I think when you’re talking about selling without selling you know if you talk about content marketing, in sales we’re always taught, always close, always close, always close, be closing all the time and all that sort of stuff. Well that’s great in some industries but when you’re talking about content marketing don’t always be closing.
Ian: Well everyone talks about the ‘call to action’ where to the point that ‘call to action’ quite frankly is like ‘call to leave the room.’ It’s been used so much and just about every call to action has been used and abused in ways that are just ridiculous. My favourite one is click here and download my PDF for all the great information. That’s good in theory but it’s getting a little bit tiring. We need to come up with something else to stimulate people’s interest.
Ian: So, thats actually my call to action for today! Send some suggestions for calls to action! The first person to do it will get our free PDF! About content marketing!
Andrew: You don’t have any PDF’s what are you talking about?!
Ian: We don’t have PDF’s, we keep making videos which is obviously more powerful than a PDF. So what else should small businesses be thinking about in relation to content?
Andrew: Well, we’ve got marketing, emailing which is something you just mentioned. Newsletters. I know it’s old fashioned, it’s old hat but the one we just did for these guys has done really, really well. You can put in subtle things about what you do and what you sell even without being pushy once again, that’s the key. Don’t be pushy because it will go straight over people’s heads.
Ian: That’s it. I think the key thing to this particular example, the emailing thing today is that there was a human face to it, we had the boss of the company up there, a photo we had taken of him, and there were some excerpts of blogs of interesting articles and things that are happening in the industry that could affect their customers and clients. It was short and sweet, it didn’t go into elaborate details. We could make it even better by putting a video on there but we’ll get to that. So they obviously have a large following and they’ve taken the time to fill up their database and you’ve got to make use of it. It makes sense. Are we leaving anything out?
Andrew: Nah, I think that’s about all I can think of.
Ian: I think there’s something we’re leaving out.
Andrew: What’s that?
Andrew: True. Video is another very effective way providing of course, that it is done correctly. You can still talk about your products and services or whatever but without being pushy.
Ian: Well again, providing people with information and advice, kind of like what we’re doing right now I guess in a way.
Andrew: Pretty much, well you can click on the links below if you want, if you don’t you don’t and if you do you do, terrific.
Ian: That’s right, choosy calls to action. That’s the thing. What we’ve found with some of the videos that we’ve put up, when they’ve gone up on Twitter, people who are interested in content marketing, marketing or SEO have said thank you very much, here’s some information that I can provide to my clients quite happily because they know the information is put together quite well and they trust it. Things like that which is good feedback to have.
Andrew: They seem to think we know what we are talking about so that’s a good thing.
Ian: Well, ultimately we’re just doing what we’re advising people. That’s really what you should be doing. It’s a little bit frustrating when we’ve had an SEO company say that they are doing amazing things for their clients. But when you go onto their website, it’s the most neglected thing on the internet. In fact one that we did a digital health check on recently was the worst optimised website we’ve ever seen based on our own internal rating system that we use for our digital health check. It was the worst we had ever seen and that’s an SEO company.
Andrew: It’s funny, because when you ask them why is your website so neglected, their response is “oh, we’re too busy doing other people’s websites.”
Ian: It’s not a good enough excuse I’m sorry.
Andrew: It’s like a landscape gardener with overgrown weeds a metre tall.
Ian: “Oh but we’re too busy doing other people’s.” I don’t think that’s right. In digital you essentially are what you do. If you want people to have confidence in your services you really have to have your act together.
Andrew: Your website now is kind of like your business card. It’s the first place people go when they find out about you and they check you out there. If that looks like absolute rubbish then what are they going to think about your work.
Ian: Having said that, when we first started the business I think we went through two or three websites very quickly. But we were getting our ducks in a row and working things out. It was all typical start-up stuff when you’ve got a lot of things happening at once. That’s understandable, but really you need to be getting the right presence. So content marketing is obviously very important, it’s very topical at the moment. I think one of the illusions that we’ve touched on previously is that the big point about content marketing is that there is a whole lot of stuff about a whole lot of things that can line up with your keyword ‘strategy’ but as we’ve said, don’t get caught up in that. Be the best brand that you can be with the right strategy and the right content marketing and you will be found. Be more focused, don’t span across everything, it is just a waste of time and resources.
Andrew: If you’re going to push anything, push your brand. That’ll get you noticed.
Ian: Well there you go, hopefully that’s some sort of insight into how to sell without selling.
Andrew: I hope so.
Ian: Well it’s really to move product without being in your face. I find it quite remarkable just in wrapping up, that infomercials are still happening on television. Do they still work?
Andrew: Well they must if they’re still around.
Ian: Our next hangout is going to be along the lines of infomercials versus content marketing. WHO WINS?!
Andrew: You can research that.
Ian: Well I won’t have to research that much because so much of that stuff is just in the public domain or online so I can get that very quickly. Thank you very much once again, thanks for listening to us carrying on about content marketing. Nice shirt today by the way.
Andrew: It’s pretty old.
Andrew: I dunno, never been.
Ian: Right. If anyone has a spare ten grand for an around the world trip for Andrew, if you want to sponsor the program for a week then we’ll be happy to do that and get Andrew over to Texas, and the rest of the state for that matter because it’s an awesome place. That’s all from us we’ll see you next time.
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