As a content marketer (and consultant) I get this question A LOT! “How does content attract consumers?”

The truth is, the very moment that I say you should AVOID being a salesperson in your content, I get blank stares and questioning looks. But it’s true.

You may wonder what the point of having owned media (content) is if you can’t sell to your audience, but this is an interesting point. The fact that you AREN’T selling to your audience increases sales.

How can that be?!

In today’s world, the consumer is the one who engages with a brand, NOT the other way around.

Consumers search for answers to their questions.

Consumers choose whether to listen or skip commercials.

Consumers choose whether to click your link or read your article.

Consumers control the engagement now.

Most organizations make the mistake of framing THEMSELVES as the hero in the CONSUMER’S story that is their life.

This is where people go wrong. The CONSUMERS want to be the hero of their OWN lives.

But they need a GUIDE with which to help them overcome an issue or resolve a problem.

Content is supposed to frame the business as that guide, and NOT as the hero.

Doing so will tell your audience that the organization actually cares for the value and the outcome that the consumer (the true HERO) will receive by interacting with them.

This is why you don’t sell in your content.

Consumers avoid salespeople, and it’s no coincidence that an organization that tries to sell in their content will be avoided by those who notice this.

This is a surefire way to ensure that people avoid engaging with your brand. Obviously, this is NOT what we want.

By focusing on providing actionable value to your audience, you establish a rapport for having the answers to their questions. You frame yourself as the guide they NEED to solve their issues. And they feel comfortable with you because you don’t present yourself as pushy or “sell-Y”.

This should actually take a lot of the load off of your shoulders when worrying about copywriting! All you have to do is answer questions, resolve issues, and provide knowledge, and you make MORE money as a result.

This is why content works.

That being said, the first requirement for this is actually finding an audience to provide content to.

This is why content seems difficult. Most marketers create the content, leave it on their website away from ALL promotional channels, and merely wait to benefit from the SEO.

After all, this is what I had done for EVER, and I saw hardly any results.

It was once I started using this content as a promotional (and disruptive) lead generator that I was able to reach a broader audience. An audience that was actually interested in my content.

This is how you begin to form the top of the sales funnel, at which point, people who willingly engage with you can lead themselves (with your help) down to the purchase decision, further making you money and enhancing the effectiveness of your content timeline!

SEO is still important in the long run, but it will take quite some time to see actual benefits from SEO optimization.

To summarize, avoid selling in your content, and instead, focus on providing consistent value to your consumer base to see more results.

Thanks for reading!
Work With Austin

-Austin Denison is a management consultant and coach from Southern California and founder/CEO of Denison Success Systems LLC. He is the author of The Essential Change Management Guidebook: Master The Art of Organizational Change as well as The Potential Dichotomy: The Philosophy of a Fulfilling Life, and, coming soon: KICK*SS Content Marketing, How to Boost Your Brand and Gather a Following.