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What is the difference between salesy content and content that sells?

Have you ever walked into a furniture shop and become instantly bombarded with a too-eager salesperson? Before you can take a minute to look around the store, you have someone asking you a million questions, offering incentives, and following your every move.

Most customers want to get a feel of the store first, gather inspiration and ideas, sit on the couches, and touch the material. Like many large purchases, furniture shopping is an experience. A salesperson who doesn’t take the time to listen to your needs, wants, and concerns is irritating, to say the least.

You can feel when someone just wants to make a sale and leave with the commission, rather than getting to know you and building a relationship first. Salesy content feels the same way, and this type of content is getting pushed out of the digital marketing realm (hopefully for good!)

What is content that sells?

When we refer to content that sells, we mean content that brings the right type of audience in who you won’t need to “sell” to. They are already looking for your product, service, or solution to the problem that they’re currently experiencing. 

Content that sells includes communicating that pain point with your audience in a way that makes them feel understood and heard. When people connect with your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you and forge a lasting relationship instead of a quick one-off purchase.

The type of content that sells provides value in the form of:

    • Educational blogs
    • Informational social media posts
    • Inspirational captions
    • Entertaining videos
    • Consistent email marketing 

The purpose of creating content is to provide value, a story, and an experience for your audience.

What is salesy content?

Content that tries too hard to make a sale is much like that forceful furniture salesperson eagerly waiting at the door. It’s pushy, it feels sleazy, and it makes your audience want to leave as soon as possible. 

It’s content that provides little to no value and often ends with a call-to-action along the lines of “Buy it today, offer closes tomorrow!” While this type of marketing has a place in some industries, if you’re looking to create a sustainable business in 2020, your content has to do more than sell.

How do you create content that sells?

Let’s take the example of the furniture store again. You walk in, and the salesperson approaches you calmly, asks how you’re doing and what brings you in. You tell them that you’re looking for a nice sectional for your newly developed basement. They walk with you through the store and share a story about a family who recently purchased a couch where they have many cozy movie nights with popcorn, hot chocolate, and tons of blankets during a cold winter night. 

You now have a story in your mind of the ultra-comfortable couch in front of you, and you want to recreate that experience for your family as well. The salesperson follows with an incentive: “You don’t have to choose this couch, but, if you do, we have a deal that includes free delivery.”

If we translate this into the digital marketing world, content that sells creates an experience for your audience. Rather than talking about the features of the couch, it’s content that talks about the household memories that your family can make over the course of a lifetime with that couch. 

Final thoughts

The furniture salesperson may not have made a sale that day and taken their commission but, because of the great experience, you’re sure to come back when you’re ready to make a purchase and for other needs in the future. 

While it’s tempting to only create content for the purpose of making a sale, creating content that sells is a long-term strategy rather than making a quick buck. It’s providing value for your potential clients so that, when they do buy, they already know, like, and trust you. 

Learn How To Craft Killer Content

Queenie Wei

Article by Queenie Wei

Queenie loves to challenge the status quo, whether in social media or social change, she is always on the hunt for more efficient ways to optimize existing structures. As part of the 2017 cohort for Global Student Entrepreneur Awards and the 2019 cohort for Startup Canada’s Global Entrepreneurs Challenge, Queenie (the Chaos Harmonizer) loves to explore boldly and implement change on a global scale.