The Marketing Approach That Sells Without “Selling”

You may already be familiar with the idea of content marketing: putting awesome content out on the web to draw people to your web site or social pages.

If you are, read on, and we’ll talk about how you can create the best kinds of content to promote your business.

And if you’re not, read on, because content marketing is a low-cost, high-return way to get your business visible – and you need to know about it.

The Premise

The idea is, you provide information that either entertains or educates your target market (or does both, for a double whammy). Your followers enjoy and appreciate the information you’ve shared. This builds up goodwill toward your brand.

When it comes time for those educated, entertained people to purchase what you’re selling, guess who they buy from? You, of course.

Here’s a little image you may want to save or share to remind yourself how all your work is going to lead to sales:



Okay, so you see how content marketing works. Now, how do you make it happen?

The Process

1. Planning

A benefit of content marketing is that once a solid plan is in place, following it is simple – you’re just finding and relaying information. In order to create that solid plan, just decide your answers to:

2. Writing

Whether you plan to tweet, blog or send an email newsletter, your most time-efficient approach is to sit down and write as much content as you can in a given time period, then schedule it for publication later.

For example, perhaps you take two hours on Friday mornings to write up an email newsletter and 10 Facebook posts for the next week. You can use tools like WordPress‘ and Facebook‘s schedulers to automatically publish your content throughout the week.

Then, you’re free for the next six days to handle all the other facets of your business.

3. Responding

You’ll want to check into your content platforms regularly, looking for responses. Schedule these checks on your calendar to make sure you’re replying in a timely fashion.

Do You Market With Content?

Sending helpful, interesting emails through AWeber is one way to market with content. Informative social posts and helpful blogs are others.

We want to hear from you, so if you market with content, would you please share what your approach is in the comments? If you don’t, would you share why not?

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By:
Amanda Gagnon is the former Education Manager for AWeber and has started a number of small businesses.

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22 Comments

  1. I do most of my content marketing through my blog, emails, and articles on my site. I also participate in forums, so this also counts as content for my site, and boosts my credibility at the same time. Great post.

    1/28/2013 3:29 pm
  2. Forums, good community involvement. :)

    1/29/2013 9:59 am
  3. Facebook scheduler? Who knew? Thank you so much for introducing me to this powerful tool…you rock!! :)

    1/29/2013 2:42 pm
  4. I LOVE the info graphic that you guys came up with for this article. It’s the most creative and simple explanation I’ve seen yet for content marketing. Great job all!

    J

    1/29/2013 2:53 pm
  5. Infographics is still one thing which people have not captured properly. Its always easy to study content in pics.

    1/29/2013 2:55 pm
  6. I use a monthly newsletter, and facebook postings. Thanks for the information.

    1/29/2013 3:44 pm
  7. Loved learning about the Facebook Scheduler, that was a new one on me. I use content on my blog and looking to integrate more effectively with other social media tools.

    1/29/2013 4:18 pm
  8. I didn’t know there was a Facebook scheduler either? Thanks for the heads up. I market content via my blog, emails and social media like Facebook, Pinterest and G+.

    1/29/2013 4:25 pm
  9. Excellent article! I learned long ago of this method and I never “sell” anyone. I let the website, email followups do the selling and telling. Many new (and not so new) seem to think cold calling and all is required to make online sales. Hopefully more will learn these techniques. It makes for a much nicer buying experience. Thanks again!

    1/29/2013 5:42 pm
  10. Great article! I like to call it “edutainment”. I’m the Marketing Director at Performance Network Theatre and our apprentice has REALLY taken this to the next level. She blogs about fashion, hairstyles, music, etc. that surrounds the themes of our performances. It works great for sharing on Pinterest in particular. Check out her awesome work at http://www.pntheatre.wordpress.com!

    1/29/2013 6:40 pm
  11. Runy

    I will have a new wordpress site by 31-1-2013.

    I have made a subscription form. I plan to give a free giveaway of 10 tips. Video tips.

    Do you think this is a good idea?

    Each Day a new video.

    How can I protect the videos? Make it only available to subscribers?

    1/29/2013 7:37 pm
  12. I do the blog thing. And, now that I have read this, blocking those posts and writing content for an up and coming web site in advance in blocks, as well as Facebook posts is probably the best way to go, because I can see being on a roll when doing it this way. Thanks for the reminder, I should make a big sticky sign in neon until it becomes a habit.

    1/30/2013 3:36 am
  13. Ed

    As well as being an Aweber customer myself, many of my content marketing agency clients use Aweber as a vital part of their content marketing strategy.

    Every week we help them create their blog posts and then use their Aweber accounts ‘blogcasting facility’ to invite their subscribers to read the new content. (Love that feature – wish all email services had it!!)

    My latest client (also an Aweber customer) reports that the last 4 weeks of blogging has produced more inbound enquiries than he’s had over the last 20 years!

    Across all our clients, we use a wide variety of email services, but Aweber has to be one of my favourites for its sheer simplicity and ease of use. (Thanks!)

    1/30/2013 4:10 am
  14. Tami – You’re welcome, anytime, and also, in case you aren’t familiar, check out Facebook Targeting, too (it’s free).

    Jim – Thanks! We had fun with it.

    Ritz – It’s definitely easier, and it’s definitely tricky making that happen with infographics.

    Marie – Solid strategy. :) (And do you have a sign up form on one of your Facebook page tabs?)

    Sheri and Silke – Awesome, glad to help. Also, if you’re on Pinterest, check out Pingraphy – it lets you schedule pins.

    Stan – Glad you’re on board. :) And thanks!

    Marissa – Honestly, that’s some solid content. You know, you could probably get a few posts out of the Victorian hairstyles and ’50s fashion posts, and get even more mileage out of them.

    Runy – Yes, it’s a good plan, especially if the information is stuff people are seeking out. To protect the videos, put them on pages of your blog instead of blog posts (WordPress lets you make both.) Don’t link to the pages from your blog; just send out the links in your emails and only your subscribers will see them. (Though they could share, of course, unless you looked into deeper security methods.)

    Victoria – Sounds like a plan!

    Ed – That’s an incredible story! Thanks for sharing it. :)

    1/30/2013 9:48 am
  15. I content market most of all through Blogging, Social Networks and emails. Content marketing is really one of the most fun, although not easy, things I have done in my life so far. At the moment I am doing it just for free basically, as we do not sell anything on our website, and still I enjoy it very much. Perhaps in a near future we will try to sell something.
    You rightly say that email is the most effective way to deliver content, however our stats are not that amazing. We have way more engagement on the website itself. It might be our newsletter’s maybe not very well constructed.
    You are right in regards to interacting with your audience, I find it extremely important. I noticed that when I interact with people they tend to come back to visit the site and check out what we say on our website.

    1/30/2013 11:07 am
  16. Amanda – interesting thought! Thank you very much :)

    1/30/2013 11:22 am
  17. Amanda… forgot to mention one thing, the smiling face appearance(like yours)..even before people start reading the article. It makes a hell lot of difference.

    1/31/2013 2:39 pm
  18. Thanks for the Pingraphy tip. Wow, I just subscribed to this blog last week and I already received so much value. Thanks!

    2/2/2013 8:38 pm
  19. Tea

    I love content marketing. It gives an opportunity to teach, entertain and engage with people. I use blog post, forums, guest blogging and social media. It’s cheap yet very effective strategy that helps build following and credibility.

    Love the image :)

    2/5/2013 8:07 pm
  20. David – It’s definitely fun, isn’t it? I like the idea of you starting to sell if you already have engaged subscribers – and I’d suggest selling an app or a tangible product, since you’re already giving away information in the emails. :)

    Tea – Nice work being on several channels. Glad it’s effective!

    Sheri – You’re welcome, and that’s good to know. :)

    2/6/2013 9:44 am
  21. hey Amanda,

    I do content marketing (as my main business focus) through my blog, and send emails and newsletters with, of course, AWeber :)

    I also use BufferApp to schedule Twitter and Facebook alerts.

    Most of my content teaches people about affiliate marketing, list building and online promotion. I am a super affiliate myself, and know the importance of building assets and online connections.

    With content marketing you want to be authentic, and entertaining at the same time. This is something I’m always looking to enhance. It all comes down to practice.

    Hope it helps.

    2/10/2013 3:13 pm
  22. Hi Amanda

    the way I approach this is by doing blog broadcast, with the current frequency of about 1-2 post every 2 weeks. I might consider adding newsletter in the future as well.

    6/28/2013 9:41 pm

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