One of the foundational tenets of direct marketing (which means all online marketing) is the “reason why.”
- Why are you the best?
- Why should I believe you?
- Why should I buy right now?
Good luck with that now. You can claim anything you want … and that’s the problem.
These questions have been answered in the prospect’s mind before you knew they were a prospect. The Internet makes your internal sales process a joke.
These three questions become one: Why should I buy from you at all when I understand your competition better than you do, and there’s no difference?
You say you’re different and better, but they think (know) you’re not. In fact, you might not get the chance to be considered at all.
First, they have to find you. Not by interruption, but by discovery. You have to appear in response to the questions they ask via search and social.
Then you have to demonstrate a difference. Not claim, demonstrate, with content marketing.
Content allows you to be discovered and express your difference in powerful ways, even if your ultimate offer is a commodity. If you don’t want to play, you don’t just lose … you’re not in the game.
Reader Comments (21)
I think the same concept is beginning to extend to people in their professional lives as well. How do you demonstrate what you have to offer in relation to skills etc is better than the next person. Why should someone hire you instead of the next person? Everyone searches for people on Google before they hire them.
A person’s online activities are their portfolio. Are you published in reputable online publications? Are you active on twitter and how many followers do you have? What kinds of recommendations are you getting for people?
IN this way every single person is now a content marketer. If you are not even online, you are quickly falling behind in the game. Soon, content will not be an option but a requirement.
Hashim Warren says
The more your product is a commodity the more your marketing can’t be.
Actually, the more boring your business, the more remarkable your marketing has to be.
I think businesses have latched on to content marketing as a way to fill Facebook feeds and Google search results. There’s no demonstration of a winning difference.
I’m trying to move my clients past just showing up. I want their content to be held to the same standards as their sales team, where every interaction has to be used as an opportunity to build relationships, demonstrate the brand, and if the prospect is ready, close.
This is all very true. Thanks for the words of wisdom.
Greg Strandberg says
Maybe because I put up 202 word filler posts when I should have just taken a day off?
Susan Velez says
Your post makes so much sense, especially, when I am in the process of creating my own product.
Creating the product is not that difficult, it’s going to be getting the word out and making sales. This is especially difficult for someone who is not really known.
We all have to start somewhere, but building up the trust with people so they can trust you can be a challenge. Thanks for sharing this, it really is an eye opener.
Todd Hower says
Simple and brilliant!
Arlen Miller says
Touchdown! Thanks for stirring the pot. Those are strong and motivating questions. Thanks, Brian.
I totally agree. It’s like magnet marketing, and not megaphone marketing. In order to make people believe in us, we must have something (a quality force) that can make them attracted to us even without calling them. We can have that force through the quality of our work or output which are what people discover on us.
Great post and thought provoking in many ways. I definitely agree that content allows you to demonstrate your ability and build trust.
On a deeper level, I think “belief” is not only important for the prospect but also for content provider.
Do you believe you’re the ‘best’ or, at a minimum, are putting forth your best efforts?
Does you believe your content demonstrates that?
If not, what will you do to improve it?
David Pederson says
I’m not letting you off the hook as easy as the others. I don’t see anything new here. Content + SEO = awareness. Product + trial = strong sales lead. That’s an old message we’ve heard for many years now.
Your a very smart guy and that brain of your is filled with good ideas. We’re here because of that. Now tell me something new, something only you know, something I should know.
Brian Clark says
Sorry David, but you’re not the only reader we’ve got. Come back next week and we’ll try again. 😉
And, also, if you find you already know everything, get started.
David Pederson says
BTW – I don’t know everything. That’s why I read your posts. 🙂
Have a good weekend. I’ll look forward to next week’s ideas.
Hashim Warren says
Sounds like you want to buy Teaching Sells 🙂
Daniel Adetunji says
Well done, and nice post. I don’t really have the time to read this, as I’m writing a long post right now, but will do my best to read it thoroughly as soon as I’m done with what I’m doing
The web content writer
Chris Sanchez says
Wait, was that just a demonstration of a short post as recently recommended?
Well done, Brian. Well done. 🙂
Have a great weekend!
Alvin Chadwick says
This was a really great post, great job, Brian!
Ben Landers says
Brian, I enjoyed the post. I agree with David that what you’re saying here isn’t anything really new, but I’m okay with it. Sometimes I write just to clear my head and to help me think. In the process, I’m sure I’ve created dozens of post that essentially regurgitate stuff I or others have already said. It’s selfish, but true.
What immediately came to mind when I read your post was this…
An awful lot of companies would probably generate much greater returns for their employees and shareholders if they spent as much time working on their business as they do working on their marketing.
Ted Forbes says
So true, but it makes a difference to consider that it is our responsibility to figure out how we are unique and different. The messages are rarely unique as you’re saying, but we have to find ways if telling the story our own way.
Justin Meier says
Thanks for the words of wisdom Brian. Demonstration has been in my head for weeks after reading your posts!
Rainer Proksch says
Nice and motivational post. These are true for all who are looking for an online marketing success.
I think it is all depend on us that how we are propose them to come to us.
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