You Can Sell With Social And/Or Content Marketing, But The Ask Is Less Direct

Ann Handley of Marketing Profs spoke with Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner about content marketing.

Smart marketers have figured out how to give people precisely what they want with the highly scalable power of content.

What people don’t want are details about why they should buy from your business. What I discovered is most people could care less about me and my products. I found this out the hard way.

But, what people do want is detailed “how to” information, success stories, and expert interviews. This type of content meets their insatiable appetite for free guidance and assistance.

Stelzner also says people want to be recognized and that they want all of the above for free. Demanding, aren’t they?

I have to say I don’t disagree with Stelzner’s take on content, but if you read the entire exchange with Handley, you’ll find a fervor for the new age of social and content marketing that speaks a bit too highly of these channels while needlessly denigrating traditional marketing. We all understand that traditional marketing can be bad and bothersome. But do we also all understand that the same is true for social? The channel doesn’t determine quality–quality is the outcome of the right intentions and skillful execution.

Stelzner says people don’t want details about why they should buy from your business. He means don’t weigh your content offerings down with sales pitches. Which is good advice; however, there is definitely a place for, and need for, product information and persuasion. Social and content marketing are not replacements for traditional marketing, they compliment and work in conjunction with traditional.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.