Focus on Knowledge Sharing, Not Sales

One of the biggest mistakes commonly made in content marketing is that the content turns into a sales pitch, either intentionally or unintentionally. When this happens, you lose the attention of the reader and damage the relationship you’ve been working so hard to build.

Right now, you might be asking, “why am I doing this?” Or “how is it going to help my business if I can’t pitch my products or services?”

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is: “The art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent.”

Success in content marketing starts with your company defining its business goals. These can vary, but some of the most fundamental goals are:

  1. Building Brand Awareness. This is one of the most common goals of a content marketing strategy. How does this help? By providing high-quality content and positioning your company as a niche expert you build a following.
  2. Building Brand Loyalty. When readers find themselves consistently reading a brand’s content, their perception of the brand shifts, not only in terms of credibility but also likability.
  3. Lead Nurturing and Customer Education. An educated client is a more satisfied client. Coincidently, educating potential customers is also one of the most efficient ways to put content marketing to work. Make a list of the questions your team hears from clients. These questions can be the start of your content offering and are sure to please new and existing customers.
  4. Relationship Building. Be ready to respond and monitor your content interactions on social media or on your blog. Responding to comments or questions with current or potential customers is an opportunity to connect and build relationships. This also helps humanize your company — giving it an opinion, expertise and personality. Customers want to buy from people, not a brand.
  5. Recruitment. Don’t miss an opportunity to showcase your company’s vision and culture. Great content can show prospective employees why working at your organization would be meaningful and interesting.

You don’t have to pick just one goal, but it’s likely best to focus on three or four key goals. Once you’ve identified your content marketing goals, generate a couple sentences to flush out how each goal aligns with your company’s larger objectives. This essentially becomes your touchstone and helps you explain why you are engaged in content marketing. It’s also a fundamental component when it comes time to measure the return on investment.