How Content Marketing Will Keep You From Being Eaten Alive

If you pay even a little attention to marketing, you see and hear the endless buzz about content. If you pay a great deal of attention to marketing, you probably get it and know why it’s so important. If not, you absolutely need to start right now, and here’s why.

Your Business is Irrelevant

Don’t take that the wrong way. I don’t mean irrelevant in the sense that it has no importance. I mean it in the sense that it doesn’t matter what business you’re in ­– you must have a content marketing strategy – if you don’t want to become irrelevant.

Why? Because content is the bridge between you and your potential customers. Anybody can build a relationship with an existing customer with a little effort. But what about all the people you’re trying to reach?

What’s going to inspire them to try you out? How do they know they can trust you? What do they know about you, and is it accurate? Content is the answer – and it’s the bridge you need to build.

Andrew Davis, one of the most influential content marketers in the world, puts it this way: “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” You can’t get much more direct than that.

Build It, They Won’t Come

No matter what business you’re in, you can’t rely only on the ‘Build it and they will come’ philosophy. Sure, many will come by word of mouth – eventually. But is that really your plan? To take as long as possible to build your business?

You might have the best service business or have some of the best widgets available to man, but if nobody knows, it’s moot.

“Oh, they know about us!” you exclaim. “We run product ads on Facebook all the time, and we have a website that tells all about us.”


Sure, maybe you’re a step ahead of your competitor who doesn’t have a website, but there are a dozen competitors – or a hundred – who are going to eat your lunch because they understand content marketing. Because they understand that…

It’s Not About You

We all know the sales analogy of the radio station everyone listens to: WIIFM. What’s In It For Me? That’s what people want to know. You can’t drone on about how great you are all the time, because very few people care. What they really want to know is how you can help them solve their problems.

How many times have you seen an ad on TV, online, or in print that shows other people just like you, using the product? Or talking about the product and how it helped them. Why do you think testimonials are so popular? Because, as the seller, you have no credibility.

Not to sound harsh, but your credibility comes from other people, not from you. Every company will say they’re the best, have the best service, blah, blah. But when other customers tell you, then it’s real.

Go to the App Store or Google Play Store. Everything there has real reviews by real people. Facebook pages have reviews. Websites have reviews. Yelp, TripAdvisor, GlassDoor and Angie’s List, and many other websites all exist because of this concept. Reviews are everywhere and for a reason. In sales, it’s called Third Party Credibility, and it works.

What’s Your Poison?

Testimonials are only one type of content, but they are one of the most powerful by far. You have to work for them. You have to build relationships, then ask for them.

So, you have a few testimonials, now what? There are many, many ways to get your content in front of the masses. Social media, your website, Google Ads, landing pages, click funnels, local advertising, case studies, and articles, to name a few.

Some will make more sense than others for your business, depending on your audience. But whichever you choose, your content is the construction crew that builds the bridge to your audience.

The content you use must tell the story of what you do, as well as why and how you do it. If you can tell that story through other people, even better. Those other people aren’t trying to sell anything to your audience – but they will. They’re just talking about what you did for them and why you’re great.

It’s Still Not About You – Giving it Away

Another important aspect to content marketing may strike some people as completely counter-intuitive: giving away your expertise for free.

Another well-known expression from the world of sales is “Like, Trust, Buy.” People have to like you and trust you before they will buy from you. When you give away knowledge (via your content), people begin to trust you as an authority.

For example, let’s imagine a company that sells office copiers/printers. They have a blog on their website, and every post gets shared to their Facebook page. They constantly post short, upbeat articles about how to get the most bang for your buck from your copier, ways to get the best color, how to troubleshoot common issues, etc.

You might argue that they are missing service calls by solving those problems. But what if you’re the customer? I can tell you what I think if it’s me – I like it! On one hand, I appreciate not having to wait on a tech to come next Wednesday (while my equipment is down), and I also begin to appreciate that they are so knowledgeable and helpful to their customers. They actually care.

Why would I think of switching to anyone else? If they were all about themselves and charging me for service calls, I wouldn’t be a happy camper.

When you put yourself in the customer’s shoes and figure out how to help them, you build trust and loyalty.

Bridge Construction Ahead

There’s an old expression that goes: “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”

What does your content say about you? Here’s a one-minute exercise: put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes and ask why they should do business with you. Do they feel like they know you? What are other customers saying? Are there any reviews? Do they like you? Can they trust you?

If you aren’t using content as part of your marketing strategy, don’t wait another day. Bridges take time to build, but there’s no better time than today.

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