These days I tend to pay attention to ads. I can’t help it. I blame our CEO Mike. But before I joined Mojo—back when I was just a normal functioning member of the coveted 18-25 year old demographic—I did the sensible thing and used a browser add-on called AdBlock so that I never had to look at any annoying banner ads or pop ups. Why? Because they’re ads. Let’s face it, ads are annoying.
We’ve mentioned in copy elsewhere on the site that inbound marketing is marketing with a magnet, not with a sledgehammer, and that is absolutely true—and I’m only realizing now exactly how true that is. I’ve been led through the classic inbound funnel over and over and never saw what it was. And the beauty of it? It’s so effective that I still buy into it, even though I can identify each step along the way as it happens.
Let’s Use Nutrition as an Example
I wanted to lose some weight towards the end of college. So, I started researching nutrition plans by searching discussion groups on Google. Time and again I keep seeing references to a popular nutrition blog, so I checked it out. Inside, I found a wealth of information. The entire website is centered around daily nutrition blog posts, and it’s stuff that makes sense. The guy doing the writing is funny and personable, and every time he brings up a subject he links back to an earlier post he’s written, so I know exactly what he’s talking about, no matter where I come in during my research. There are FAQ pages, there are positive comments from visitors, there are top 10 lists of mistakes I don’t know I’m making. Pretty soon I want to read more, and as luck would have it, there’s a handy, unobtrusive link on the side to download a free eBook that has a more structured layout to it. All I had to do was enter my name and email, and I could download it. I checked a little box to get subscribed to the newsletter as well, because hey, I like what this guy is saying.
I Just Became a Lead
The eBook was great. And it contained another link, the first chapter of the guy’s book. Read it, loved it, and ultimately bought the book off amazon. Many of the posts sent to my email talked about the importance of supplementation, and wouldn’t you know it, this guy ran a supplement business as well. Sure, I could go look around to find cheaper supplements, but if these were his supplements and he was so knowledgeable about what I should be putting in my body, I might as well buy from him and save the guesswork. He’s a trusted, authoritative source. And with the supplements there was a discount offer on the cookbook so I bought that too. And since I got so excited about this plan, I bought a set of books for my friends too, and they got involved.
Here’s the Point: I Never Felt Like I Was Being Sold To
I always felt like I was doing research and being educated, and when I was ready to purchase, they were the trusted source and provided handy solutions. There was nothing pushy about it. I’m not completely jaded about the whole thing because the lifestyle that website was selling worked great for me, and I still recommend it, but I fell hook, line, and sinker for that brand not because they were trying to pester me with clever ads and sending me emails with “FREE” big and bolded in it, but because they were useful to me.
Content marketing is the ultimate way to sell online. It’s not a short term strategy, but it works, and it’s one that encourages social, organic growth. It also encourages other blogs to link to your useful content, boosting your traffic and your search ranking on Google. As you increase your content, the benefits multiply, and pretty soon you’ll even be able to sell to the guys like me who have the rest of your ads blocked. They’ll never see it coming.