A few weeks ago, we talked about how content marketing can generate leads by getting the doorbell or phone to ring. Now we turn our focus to how content marketing can lead to direct sales. In other words, how can content can get the cash register to ring?
If you Google content marketing and direct sales, you will find blog posts and marketing experts who claim that content marketing is not intended for the purpose of direct sales. I disagree, and a few examples from our experience at Hammock and other great marketers might help you see how content marketing can be a direct sales engine.
Each year about this time, I’m asked by various publications and websites to contribute my predictions on trends in the magazine industry and new media in general. After a couple of decades of constant curiosity about the evolving roles of media focused on helping companies and associations strengthen their relationships with customers and members, I’ve come to this conclusion: In attempting to predict the future, it is far more challenging to predict the “when” than to predict the “what.”
For instance, the people who follow my blog know that I spent years predicting what finally, eight months ago, became the iPad. While I predicted the “what it was going to be” with great accuracy, I was less accurate on the when. In his book, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, author Steven Johnson explains the concept of “adjacent possibilities,” a term coined by scientist Stuart Kauffman. The term is an attempt to capture the essence of a creative process wherein new possibilities are made possible only after the occurrence of some preceding “first order” innovation. For the iPad that means two-decades of innovations were required before the “adjacent possibility” of the iPad could finally arrive — innovations in the areas of networking, mobility, memory, miniaturization, Moore’s law, Metcalfe’s law and lots of laws related to the FCC and telephone carriers.
I can only guess about when the following predictions will occur because some of them may not quite be ready for their prime time. But I’m fairly confident that one day, they will be.
Until they heard of the controversial website WikiLeaks, many people thought the word “wiki” and the website Wikipedia were synonymous.
Today, there are countless wikis, many built using the same approaches and software used by Wikipedia. SmallBusiness.com, a wiki created and managed by Hammock, is one of them. Other wikis use different software, different approaches and are so different looking from Wikipedia, you may not even realize they’re wikis. (Ironically, there’s nothing about the software or approach used by the website WikiLeaks that is a wiki as popularly defined.)
Earlier this year, Hammock began working with 20|20 Research on a project designed to help boost their organic search results and generate leads for its suite of online research products.
Long known for its physical research facilities, the company now boasts impressive online products with a fast-growing user base of research professionals in the United States and Europe. As these new products ramp up, they want to make sure their expanded capabilities and unique online products are receiving the recognition they deserve.
When they reached out to us they were already savvy content marketers and a step ahead of most companies. Not only did they have a well-written and authoritative CEO blog, they also had a strong presence on LinkedIn and Twitter.
However, like many companies, the full plate of duties already being handled by everyone on staff made it difficult for the company to find the time and focus needed to reach the objectives they had for their online efforts.
Hammock provides content marketing services, which includes publishing print and digital magazines customized to meet our clients’ objectives. We study those objectives and work to ensure each issue of a client’s publication meets their specific goals. We accomplish this with expert writing about topics of interest to our clients’ target audience—and compelling design that brings to vivid life our writers’ stories. In the last month, these stories have included everything from historic re-enactors to the U.S. Marine Corps special ops and from the latest in pharmaceutical innovations to how health-care reform will affect supply chain managers. No matter the topic, our storytelling is tailored to the interests and passions of our clients’ customers and members. But we don’t just tell you that’s what we do—we’re always eager to show you. View our latest work for some of the publications we publish for our clients, including American Spirit, Semper Fi, The Source and Pharmaceutical Commerce.