Imagine walking up to a stranger on the street and engaging him with your well-rehearsed elevator speech about your product. He listens at first, rather stunned, then turns and simply walks away. That scenario is what you’re doing if you try to hard sell your content marketing, peppering it with self-promotion.
The fact is you can’t convert your readers (or the man on the street) to customers before you have begun a relationship with them built on trust. Once they consider you an expert in your niche or industry, you’ve established credibility. And, if you don’t have credibility, you won’t have customers.
Here are some fairly intuitive things to avoid the hard sell in your content marketing strategy:
- Mentioning money: Mentioning any money amount in your articles does not offer any real value to your readers. It doesn’t give them anything that they can walk away with. It might as well be an ad. Simply give people information that they want and need and they will keep coming back to you for more and more information.
- Dropping names: Your content should be used for tips, hints, tricks, and other substantive copy; not name dropping. The concept is that you present valuable ideas and tips so readers will want to continue the relationship. Name dropping degrades the effort.
- Reviews of other products: It is perfectly acceptable for you to post unbiased reviews of other people’s products and services as long as you have no connection to them. Remember, of course, that it is important that you don’t provide a direct link to the owner of the products and services because that would be promotional on their behalf.
- Unclear messages in your title: It is very important to have a strong title or headline and make sure it focuses on the overall message. Be clear and focused and you will engage your readers.
Your online interactions are essential to your success and the relationships that you build with potential customers must be cultivated, nurtured, and maintained on a consistent basis. Remember, at the very core of those relationships is human emotion. There is no place for hard sell in that stage of the relationship. People will eventually want to buy from you once they trust you and believe that you will give them the best products and services based on your insightful understanding of what they need and want.