We work with a lot of business owners here at Bixa Media. And we talk to far more entrepreneurs than we have the capacity to work with. And funnily enough, I hear the same thing over and over again.
“Lauren, I want to get more clients / customers for my business through content marketing. But I don't really know what to write about and I don't want to come across as overly salesy or spammy.”
If you're nodding your head as you read this, stick around, because this post is DEFINITELY for you.
The Cold Hard Truth = To Make A Sale, You Must…
So, first and foremost, I want to give you an injection of cold, hard truth.
If you don't put an offer out there, you won't ever make a sale.
Truth. Because how is your audience going to take you up on what are selling if you don't tell them about your offer?
Here's the caveat. If the only thing you ever communicate to your audience is about your offers (your products, your services, etc.), then yes, you absolutely are going to come across as salesy and spammy. People will get annoyed, and they will unsubscribe / unfollow you.
So what's an entrepreneur to do?
Use The 80/20 Rule
So if you know you must put your offers out there to make a sale AND you know that cannot be the only thing to communicate, what else are you going to share with your audience?
That, my dear business-savvy friend, is the trick.
And this trick is something called education.
When you educate your audience about your niche, around topics they care about, adding value and helping them achieve quick wins, you build your know, like and trust factor.
(Because honestly, who wants to work with a company they don't know, like or trust?)
When you educate your audience, you end up selling them on your company, without ever being salesy.
Then, when it comes time to finally present your offer and make the sale, it's a no-brainer. People don't unsubscribe or unfollow you because you give them immense value for free, and if the offer is right, they'll likely take you up on it.
It's a win-win situation. Your audience wins because you help them. You win because your audience sticks around and wants to actually hear about your offers. What's not to like about that?
Plus, education solves the ever-so-common content marketing problem: “What the heck should I write about?”
So, when it comes to communicating with your audience, I like to abide by the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, you should be educating. 20% of the time, you should be promoting your products and/or services.
Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes, you'll have a big sale or promotion, and all of your content for the month will be promotional. And that's ok. Just make sure to back off after that month and add a lot of value through education.
Educational Content: How To Do It
You might be thinking right now.
“Well Lauren, that sounds all fine and dandy, but I still don't understand how the heck to educate my audience. I mean honestly, what am I supposed to write about?”
Let me share some ideas with you:
(1) Make a list of your most Frequently Asked Questions. Yup, you know those ones that every single prospect asks you time and time again? Then, turn each question (and answer) into a blog post or marketing email. Bam! You likely will have 5-10 pieces of educational content just from this one exercise.
(2) Ask your existing audience (of customers and prospects) what they want to hear about. Look at what they are commenting on your blog posts, on Facebook and via email. When your audience's requests dictate your educational content, it's sure to be a hit.
(3) Check out this great, free video tutorial I created just for this purpose. I show you, how, in 10 minutes, you can come up with 100s of educational content ideas around your niche. It's free, easy to do, and could help you figure out all your marketing content for the rest of the year. It's that good.
It's official. You now know:
- To sell, you need to make an offer,
- To not come across as spammy, you need to talk about things other than your offers, and
- You can use educational content as a sales tool.
What does that all mean? It's time to get started and come up with your educational content ideas!
So tell me in the comments, what are 5 educational topics you can leverage for your content marketing?