Using Content Marketing to Win Friends and Influence People

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Using Content Marketing to Win Friends and Influence People

According to the Content Marketing Institute,

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

This type of marketing includes blogs, podcasts, social media and other ways of creating and sharing content, and over the next few weeks we’re going to be exploring several of these. Andrew Lisa kicks off this series with an introduction to content marketing.


Not only can a great content marketing strategy position you as an industry authority, draw likely buyers to your website and improve your search rankings, but it can help you make sales without actually selling. Here is why a good content marketing strategy is priceless.

Content Marketing: Make Them Come to You

Even the best sales strategy requires you to track down leads, turn them into prospects and continue selling until they become customers. But content marketing catches potential customers at a crucial point in the funnel – when they’re researching to buy. As discussed in the article “How to Generate More Leads than Ever in 2015 with Content Marketing” (no longer online), content marketing is the act of continuously and consistently creating and distributing information – such as articles, info graphics and videos – that is relevant to your industry niche.

If you are a professional organizer, your website may showcase dozens of articles about the different kinds of organizing products, different organizing techniques and the best ways to find a good organizer. People who need their house organized, but don’t know anything about the process, should start by researching. If you’ve built a large stable of credible, authoritative articles on the subject, they may just land on your website where, conveniently, you also offer your services.

Google Likes Content Marketing

When you’re constantly updating your site with high-quality content that Google’s algorithms recognize as credible and authoritative (i.e.: content that is not artificially stuffed with keywords or just a re-written version of something that has already appeared somewhere else), they reward you with better rankings in their search results. Google wants to give the person conducting the search the results that will be most helpful and the most relevant. Since most people click the first few links, that’s the sweet spot that Google stingily hands out. Great content marketing can put you at the top.

A Selling Point for Those Who Don’t Like Selling

Some of the best businesspeople and entrepreneurs in the world simply don’t like selling, don’t like cold calling, don’t like convincing people, even if they believe in their product or service. Content marketing makes the business of selling a lot more palatable. The people who land on your content don’t need to be convinced that they need their house painted. They already know that, that’s why they’re researching. They just need clear, accurate, credible information. When you provide that information, you position yourself as an authority – and who wouldn’t want to hire an authority?


Content marketing looks good to Google as well as to potential customers. It lets you start in the middle of the funnel and it takes the sales out of selling. A great content marketing strategy takes a lot of work and consistency, but it’s good for your site, good for your reputation and good for business.

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Andrew Lisa is a freelance marketing writer. He covers website monetization and digital marketing.

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  1. Avatar Seana Turner on March 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I so agree that it is selling, without feeling like selling. It is often surprising to me when I get a new client and find out they’ve been “stalking” my blog or various content marketing posts. Often people want to check me out quietly, under the radar, before they make a decision. Seeing my consistent content communicates the feeling that I do know what I’m doing, and therefore can really help.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on March 21, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Don’t you love when that happens, Seana? It makes me feel like a rockstar – but more importantly, it’s great for business!

  2. Avatar Sarah Soboleski on March 21, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    This concept really speaks to me. As an introvert by nature, taking on the salesperson role is difficult for me. I look forward to reading more posts in this series.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on March 21, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      Me too! I find that I “shine” much more online than in person.

  3. Hazel Thornton Hazel Thornton on March 21, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Ditto Seana and Sarah! Seriously, they said everything I was thinking. 😉

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on March 21, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      Yes, you and are much alike, Hazel. 🙂

  4. Moreen Torpy Moreen Torpy on March 21, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I agree with all of the above, and would like to add this: how can a PO actually cold call prospective clients? To ask if they need to be organized? That never made sense to me despite certain marketers saying it was the only way to find prospective clients. Much prefer the more gentle “pull” marketing of content.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on March 21, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      I went to a session about cold calling at a POC conference several years ago but since it’s something I’d never do, I don’t remember anything that the speaker said. I should see if I still have my notes, because that’s a valid question!

  5. Avatar Brennan on March 27, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Basically, the disparity between content marketing and SEO lies in who you are writing for. With the latter, you’re writing for the search engines. With content marketing, however, you’re writing for people, and you know for a fact that you will be read.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on March 27, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Of course it doesn’t hurt to consider both, especially since SEO now factors in whether the content has value rather than just incorporating a bunch of keywords!

  6. Avatar Matija on May 12, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Hi there, nice post. What is your opinion how much time would it be neccessary to gain effect from content marketing? And how to measure if content marketing is making results? Thanks, Matija

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