Have you ever encountered overly “salesy” content? You probably know what I mean. You’re reading an informative blog post and suddenly you realise you’re in the middle of a sales pitch. For many people, particularly potential customers, this can be a huge turn-off. Instead of providing value, a company or author is attempting to get us to buy their product or order their service.
But if salesy content is so bothersome, why does it also seem to be everywhere? Apparently, salesy content is proving itself to be effective. Indeed, we live in a consumerist society and advertising, marketing, and sales are virtually everywhere. It appears that salesy content isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
So how can a successful business use salesy content in the right way? How can you reach customers and clients without coming across as too pushy? It’s not about completely avoiding salesy content, but learning how to create excellent content (with just a little bit of sales).
First and Foremost, Provide Value
When potential customers are browsing the Internet or looking through a magazine, they are generally guided by primary goals: entertainment and information. Depending on the medium and your industry, your first aim can be to meet these needs. Content that is overly salesy can often be spotted immediately. This results in users clicking away from your site or turning the page on your advertisement.
The goal of your business needs to shift. If customers are seeking information and entertainment, those need to be the elements that you lead with. Well-written, thorough articles on your industry can are a great example of this. In their quest for the answer to a question, your ideal customer will find your piece. After you’ve given them a solution to their problems through your comprehensive information, they may become a customer or they may not. But most importantly, you’ve set the stage for building trust. You’ve begun to establish yourself as an authority in that industry. When the customer has another issue, who do you think they will look to for their answers and for possible products/services?
Appeal to the Customer
Content does its best when a reader/ potential customer identifies with that content. People are attracted to things they can relate to. Thus, the best content will be written with the customer in mind. This content will speak to the customer in his or her own language. It will address the customer’s primary concerns, needs, and hesitations. It will show the customer how their problem can be solved, improved, or enhanced. And then, finally, a little bit of sales to show the customer how YOUR product or service is the only solution for them.
How is this done?
Reaching your target audience has a great deal to do with market research. Every business has an ideal customer out there. Narrowing down who those customers are likely to be ensures your content does not fall on deaf ears, but instead, reaches those who will benefit from it the most.
It’s All About Balance
At the end of the day, it is all about finding the right balance in your content and taking advantage of opportunities. If you are a business, well, then, you eventually have to focus on selling. You have to get your products and services noticed and purchased. But there’s a fine line between showy, overstated “salesy” content, and informative content that gently leads the customer in your direction. Once you can find that sweet spot, you’ll be good to go.
How do you keep content from becoming too “salesy”?