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People don’t like being sold to. We skip through ads in newspapers and magazines. Every time a pop-up ad “bloops” onto our screen, we close it. We DVR our favorite shows and fast-forward through commercials. (And if you don’t have a DVR, like my family, you simply mute those obnoxious disturbances.)car_salesman

It seems that what advertisers have done is attach their offer to something appealing: something funny, sentimental, or ego-boosting. The problem is … most people see through the stratagem.

Everyone is selling something. And everyone else is tired of it. Make yourself stand out.

How do you cut through the noise? How do you gain trust?

Write relevant content with real value. Be helpful, and … here’s the shocker … don’t try for a sale. Here’s why:

  1. Reach your audience – As soon as someone starts selling something, most people tune out. Potential customers are more likely to keep listening if your content is both helpful and not overly promotional.
  2. Engage with your audience – If users like your content, they will reward you with follows, shares, retweets and comments. Good content gets promoted.
  3. Build credibility – Consumers respond to brands they can relate to. Honesty goes a long way. If they feel that your brand offers real value, they will trust you, become your advocates, and even purchase your products and services.
  4. Your audience will seek you out – Once you write relevant, interesting content, much of your audience may continue to tune into your website to see what you post next. Being a valuable voice in their ear will encourage them to come back.
  5. The more they know, the more likely they are to buy – Customers want as much information as they can get before they buy. We read reviews on third party sites. We talk to our friends, both face-to-face and on social media sites. The more helpful, favorable information we get about a product, service, or company, the more likely we are to buy.

Like the teacher says in Ecclesiastes, there’s a time and place for everything. Of course, there’s a time for calls-to-action. There’s a time to go for the sale. But it’s not always.

The simple truth is that every company should dedicate time every week to writing content that is simply helpful. Every week.

Write blog posts. Create frequently-asked-questions pages. Incorporate customer reviews. Include third-party articles. Add entire sections to your site simply to be helpful.

Resist the urge to make a sales pitch. Good content speaks for itself.

 

Written by: Daniel Griffith on July 8, 2014

Daniel is an Author, Designer, and Entrepreneur. With over 10 years of industry experience, Daniel utilizes his unique blend of mathematics and poetry, engineering and creative thinking to solve both technical and business challenges.

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