Could your product or service be your best kept secret?
That sounds absolutely ridiculous, doesn’t it? Yet it happens.
People can create lots of content and build a huge audience...of people who don’t have a clue what they actually do as a business!
That’s why it’s essential that content marketing and audience building must never lose sight of the ultimate goal.
The reason creators often fall short of communicating what they do as a business is because they’re worried about sounding too promotional and salesy.
How do you tell people about your business, product or service without being too sales-focused?
Providing helpful content is key to building an audience. But if people don’t know what you do or what you sell, is creating content really a business strategy – or just some sort of hobby?
I’ve made this mistake before…when I started Content 10x I got so carried away with giving tips and advice on content repurposing that I neglected to tell people what my business was. I assumed if they thought I was helpful they’d look things up for themselves. But that’s a silly assumption to make.
What happens then is people see you as an authority, but not necessarily a provider of the solution. In fact, you raise the profile of the problem, but send them to others for the solution.
Meaning you’re missing out on potential sales!
The key is to balance helping your audience while directing them to your product and/or service. It’s tricky, but you can get there with the right approach.
In this blog post, I share my three top tips for using content to share what you do and what your business offers – without harming your relationship with your audience.
Hit play to watch the video…
Or listen to the podcast episode…
Or read on to learn more…
Are you neglecting your product or service in your content?
As a content creator, you already know how powerful content is for building an audience.
It’s easy to get caught up in creating content with the sole aim of nurturing your relationship with your audience. We’re always being told to “lead with value” and “be helpful first and foremost”.
This can make you hesitant to talk about your product or service, or even what you do as a business.
This is what happened to me. When I first started creating content, I was so focused on providing value that I completely neglected to tell anyone what it was that my business did.
It wasn’t until I was in a mastermind, and someone told me they love listening to my podcast but had no idea what it was I actually did, that I realized I’d left out the most important thing of all. Directing people to my service!
This was a massive wake up call. But at first, I struggled with the idea of incorporating what felt like self-promotion into my content.
I had thoughts like:
“I don’t want to sound too salesy”
“What if people stop listening to me because I speak about our services”
“People might unfollow my content because I shared what we do as a business”
Then I thought, actually, I could be directing perfectly good business straight into my competitor’s arms.
People could consume my content, realize they have a problem, and then look for a solution. If I had the solution via my product/service, then I’d hope to be their first port of call – not someone else’s business!
Keep content focused on business goals using your product or service
The other problem I see is people getting side-tracked chasing vanity goals rather than business goals.
It can be a real high to see your social media posts, for example, go viral and get lots of engagement. But these types of content aren’t always directing people to your product or service.
For example, I follow one business coach who is always posting content asking simple questions/sharing motivational posts that get conversations going.
“If you were a superhero, who would you be?”
“What’s your favorite drink first thing in the morning?”
Plenty of people reply. Retweet. Share.
But when it comes to selling their high-ticket products, the people who respond to these posts and follow them aren’t the 6/7-figure business owners that the coach wants to work with.
If you’re constantly chasing vanity metrics, what ends up happening is a huge disconnect between audience and ideal client.
Sharing information about your product or service then becomes even more challenging as your followers are used to engaging with only the fun stuff, and might not have any interest in what you do at all.
How to balance engaging content with promoting your product or service
The trick is to balance your helpful/engaging/entertaining content with your business messages.
This means introducing people to your business, including your product or service, through your content.
This balance isn’t an exact science, but in my experience, I would say your content needs to be at least 80% helpful/entertaining/engaging, and 20% talking about what you do/how you can help/your product or service.
So I’m not saying that you should go and create sales-first content. Your content should still aim to build and nurture your audience – this is where your clients will come from, after all.
But you cannot forget or neglect to bring your business into the conversation.
The reason why you create content in the first place is to generate business, unless you actively lead your audience to your business, they simply won’t find it, and won’t know that they can buy from you. Your audience are not mind readers!
Three ways to tell your audience about your product or service
If you’re apprehensive about sharing content in this way, here are my three top tips for telling people about your product or service without being pushy….
1. Explain next steps and use call to actions
When people consume your content, don’t let that be all they do. A call to action is a simple and non-intrusive way to keep people engaging with your content and encourage them to check out your product or service.
If you’re repurposing your content, this is really easy to do.
Say you’ve recorded a podcast episode about a problem your audience has and mentioned that your product is one of the solutions.
You could repurpose this into bite-size audiograms to share on social media.
Your call to action for these audiograms could be to listen to the full podcast episode.
Then your podcast episode could tell your audience where to find your product.
Low friction calls to action are a great way to keep your audience moving between your content, but also are a non-pushy way of promoting your product or service because they only mention them when it’s relevant and useful.
2. Be clear what you do
Make sure that your content and your messaging is always on-brand.
I know this sounds obvious but it’s easy to end up creating content about everything and anything for engagement. But try to avoid doing that. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!
If you sell eco-friendly products, then your messaging should be all about how to be eco-friendly, what’s new in the eco-friendly world, inspiring stories of being eco-friendly, and so on.
Aligning your content and messaging with what you do makes it so much easier to talk about your product or service because everything is aligned. Opportunities to share your product or service are natural and not forced.
For example, I often talk about the services we offer at Content 10x – but it’s never forced or pushy. That’s because all of my content is about how to repurpose content, and Content 10x is a content repurposing agency!
It’s clear what we do because it’s the backbone of every piece of content we put out there. Which leads me to my final tip…
3. Be intentional
You may have heard me say “create content with repurposing in mind”, but you should also create content with your product or service in mind.
The best way to create content that leads people to your product or service is to start with what you offer and work backwards. Ask what problems you solve and create content around that.
This way, you can intentionally create helpful and engaging content with a clear pathway direct to your product or service.
Think of it like a short funnel guiding your customer’s journey. It’s your job to help people get from A to B. And it’s also a brilliant approach that helps you consider all of the repurposing opportunities along the way!
I’ve previously written a guide all about how repurposing can improve your customer journey, so do check that out here: The Content Repurposing Customer Journey: from Mobile to Long-Form to Buying.
So, if you’ve been neglecting your product or service in your content, start using these tips and let me know how you get on. Don’t let them be a secret any longer!
To find out how we can help you create more content that leads your audience to your product or service, check out our comprehensive end-to-end content repurposing services.