Mythbusting Content Marketing: Storytelling Doesn't Create Sales
"People do business only with those they know, like and trust." So just tell compelling, transparent, authentic stories about your brand and watch the sales roll in, right? Wrong. Hope is not an effective strategy.
Some B-to-B brands use content marketing to soft sell, essentially disguising what they're really up to. Others have fallen victim to the "telling a good story" myth-where somehow customers start buying based on emotional pixie dust. The truth is if you want more leads and sales from content marketing, what you publish must ultimately cause customers to become so confident in themselves (as buyers) that they ask you for the sale.
Create Confidence, Not Content (Nor Stories)
There are a handful of ways to approach effective B-to-B content marketing (that sells). The two big strategies are solving common problems and giving away mini-samples of experiences that relate to your product or service. Yes, yes, content marketing gurus... you can tell a story as part of this formula; however, that story must be meaningful enough to provoke a response that gets "the conversation" going in a direction you can do something with.
My focus today is showing you a way to publish blogs, videos, download-able applications, etc. that creates confidence in buyers' ability to buy.
Let's avoid over-thinking this and disconnect from your work life for a minute. Instead, think about the last time you made a purchase-one that you had to really think about. Really... stop reading for a second and think of one. Now, consider the process you went through to arrive at the final point of purchase.
Give Customers a Reason to Believe It Can Happen
In the beginning, you probably had a handful of questions that needed to be answered before you were comfortable enough to see yourself parting with money in exchange for whatever it was. Or you needed to actually experience a little bit of whatever it was you were considering investing in. Those questions-or that free taste-probably had a lot to do with a particular goal you had. Or a fear or worry you had.