Friday, July 26, 2013

Content Marketing – Don’t be “That Guy”

There is a reason that Used Car Salesmen have a negative perception. They are always selling, and not taking time to understand a potential buyer’s pain points with a goal of truly helping buyers. For example if a middle aged man walks onto the car lot, is he looking for a vehicle to transport the kids, or is he looking to cruise away in a classic Porsche?

The used car salesmen would see how much money I have, and try to push me into whatever he has on the lot that drives. The good salesperson would take the time to figure out what I need out of the car, and work with me on my problems. For example if my pain point is moving the kidos from soccer games, he might talk about storage space for the gear, AC in the back to keep the kids cool after the game, configurable layouts to fit everything, etc.  For the Porsche he might talk about classic models and which should increase in value/how rare they are, or the race history of them. He would relate everything back to me and my problems.  

When you produce content if you are always leading with the sales pitch, your content will be viewed in the same light as the classic used car salesman. To quote a tweet coming out of this years #MozCon – "@Bradley0319 - Didn't expect to learn this at #mozcon English is the only language that capitalizes "I" but not "we", or "us" - very individualistic." Perhaps this is why when viewing content, we don’t care to hear how great you are, we just want to hear how your solution helps MY problem.

To further expand on this: 
I recently heard someone ask the question – “Is it true that the only people making money in social media are those either selling it or teaching others how to use it?” 
If you are using social media to pitch and push products, not help people, the impact and ultimate ROI will be significantly reduced. You need to ask yourself what is the goal of your social presence? 

Sure you can impact sales with social media, but NOT if you are just pitching products. However if you use social to put an ear to the ground, listen to problems, and help people solve their problems you will see an impact. Use it to enable a consultative value based selling position. 

If the  purpose of your content or social strategy is to sell, then you will limit your success. It’s about engaging, gaining a thought leadership position, solving problems, and building relationships. This strategy may require more focus and dedication but it will increase close rates and sales. Don't produce content telling me how great you are, don't be "that guy".

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