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Content marketers sell with content. We're not primarily media creators—we're salespeople who use content as our weapon of choice.

Our job is to create content that produces business results. To do that, we have to convert our audience into customers.

There are a million reasons why marketing fails to drive sales. However, one of the most common is a misconception so subtle that many of us accept it without a challenge.

Somewhere along the way, many marketers got a terrible idea drilled into them. We know content is supposed to be helpful, but we fell for the notion that being helpful means never actually selling our products or services.

Yes, the content marketer's job is to be helpful. However, being helpful will nearly always involve positioning your product or service.

If your company is in business, it is already helpful. Your job is to connect your company's proven solutions with your prospect's solvable pain.

I get it: Content marketers love the soft-sell to provide value. But if you never turn the corner and position your product, you're neither marketing anything nor being as helpful as you can truly be.

You have to find a way to generate business value. And that means understanding that content marketing and real calls-to-action (CTAs) are more than compatible—they're mutually sustaining.

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image of Garrett Moon

Garrett Moon is the CEO and a co-founder of marketing calendar provider CoSchedule.

LinkedIn: Garrett Moon

Twitter: @garrett_moon