Teaching Your Customers Instead of Selling Them
Human beings love to be online.
In 2018, our online activities now take up as much as 10-12 hours of the day. That’s a scary statistic, considering how relatively new the internet and online media is to our society. Through social media, news sites and internet browsing, we are exposed to between 300-1000 advertisements every day while scrolling and clicking.
Of course, we don’t even notice 89% of the advertisements we see, as we have become blind to the constant barrage of media.
As a business owner hoping to get your message across, this means that gaining your customer’s attention is harder than ever. Thankfully, there is a new and very effective way that businesses can reach their prospective customers.
The age of Content Marketing
Instead of selling products through features and benefits, the new approach to marketing is to help customers to buy through teaching. This tactic is often referred to as content marketing, and it a lot less expensive than you might think.
According to a 2015 report by Hubspot, “content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing (email, online ads, print media). But interestingly, it costs 62% less”.
Content marketing is essentially answering the pre-buy questions that your customers might have. It can be delivered in blog form, video or audio. It replaces you as the first point of contact, explaining everything to your customers in the early sales inquiry process. You are teaching them the things they want to know before making a buying decision.
Lessons from the Pool Guy
Marcus Sheridan, the author of the book ‘They Ask, You Answer’ is a successful business owner who used the content marketing approach to grow his fledgling pool company. By answering the typical questions that people ask, and explaining solutions to everyday problems, Marcus was able to draw a considerable amount of interest to his company’s website.
More than just attention, Marcus was able to gain trust. His potential clients saw him as the go-to person for all their pool-related questions. Eventually, when they were ready to make a pool purchase decision, Marcus was at the top of the list.
Listen to what customers ask you
Many business owners today who we work with are willing to spend thousands on developing a website, and even more money on advertising. However, they forget that the most valuable type of advertising may simply be found in their experience.
They know the answers to the questions their customers have, it’s just a matter of teaching.
Before you think about spending more money on advertising, take an hour and write down every common question, or concern your customers typically have before buying from you.
Then write out answers to each question. Post these answers as blogs, or records short videos that you can post to youtube, facebook and on your website.
The most difficult part of a good content marketing strategy is getting started. You don’t have to be a professional copywriter or video creator. You just have to write and speak in the same way you do to your customers.