Last week, we were discussing content strategy with a client when we had a bit of a combo lightbulb-over-the-head, slap-your-forehead moment when we realized that for all we talk about aligning your content with your products and services, we’re missing a key piece of the puzzle. (And this is why many sales trainers hate content marketers …)
To be fair, we haven’t really been missing the boat on this, but we should be making the point more explicitly. And what is that point?
You have to align your content with your advantages, your unique selling proposition, your key differentiator. It can’t just be about what you do in general terms.
Admittedly, this is a fine line to walk. Too much focus on you and what sets you apart and you’ll quickly cross the line from content marketing to unrepentant shill. Your audience will notice and they’ll stay away in droves.
But if you put in the effort to present valuable information and useful tools/tips in ways that highlight (perhaps) or align with (most definitely) your key strengths without overtly selling, you will find that your return on content marketing efforts will improve dramatically.
This isn’t news to most of you, I wouldn’t think, but if you’re like us, you may not be focusing as intently on this as you should be.
Oh, and my crack about sales trainers? They’re right in pointing out that too many people sell content marketing as the business development equivalent of the old “EZ-Off” oven cleaner commercials. (“I’m selling my products – while I bathe!”) You still have to close the deal, and if you’re not developing content with the idea of generating sales by presenting yourself favorably, you’re not going to move the needle.