In this modern era of web design, getting a website up and running is actually pretty easy. Getting people to visit that website, well that’s a whole other story…

In case you are new around here and didn’t already know, we believe that the best way to generate traffic to your business website is with high-quality digital content. What is high-quality digital content you ask? Well, content is the

  • Written content
  • Photographs and images
  • Graphics
  • And Video

that are included on your website.

 What makes it high-quality content?

Well, this is objective to the beholder, but we feel it is any content that has value to your target audience. So, any of this media that is designed for the purpose entertaining, engaging and informing. Not really selling or “pitching” does that make sense?

If you still aren’t certain what qualifies as quality content consider this apple metaphor:

If you sold apples one way to go about it would be to say that you are selling apples, tell people how much the apples cost and let them know the process of buying the apples from you right then and there. You may even explain the unique qualities of your apples and try to make an argument about why they should buy them from you. You’ll create demand by suggesting there is a limited supply of apples. You know, do everything to push those apples off the shelf and into the hands of consumers.

That’s pretty traditional advertising – and it certainly has its place in the world. The purpose of this type of advertising is to generate immediate results and sell some apples today, to the people who are interested in purchasing them.

However, from the perspective of someone who is just interested in learning more about apples and aren’t looking to buy them, but instead weighing their options and doing research. This may come across as a little self-promotional and to sales focused. They likely won’t find any value in this content because it wasn’t what they were looking for. They may even be skeptical about the reliability of the information that you have provided because it is clear from the content that your key objective is to sell your own apples not benefit the whole apple industry.

So what would the alternative to traditional marketing be?

Well, the alternative to flat out “selling” or promoting your apples,  would be to tell people more about apples ( as a topic of interest ) and bring attention to your apple business by establishing yourself as an expert on the subject of apples.

Instead of talking about how great your apples are ( in a way that only benefits you ) you talk all of the exciting things that relate to the apple industry, different apple types, the nutritional value of apples, apple recipes.

The type of people who you then will attract to you is apple fanatics – people who have a curiosity about apples and who are actually very likely to buy your apples because they are already a fan.

Just by being enthusiastic about apples and taking the time to publish content about apples on a regular basis you are indirectly marketing your own apples. Ideally, this could work so well that you would never really need to traditionally pitch your apples to customers, they’d just buy your apples because they’ve enjoyed your content and the product that you sell clearly appeals to your interests

Beyond Apples…

Now forget the apple metaphor but start thinking in the broader scope of marketing. On one hand, you have traditional marketing where you pitch and promote the product, then ask for a sale. On the other hand, you have what is high-quality content marketing, where you educate, entertain and engage the consumer and then offer a product or service that relates to their interests.

The point here isn’t to say you must always do one ( either market traditionally or do content marketing ) but to demonstrate the difference and explain how one type of content is perceived as “advertising” or “self-promotional” and how the other type of content, has value to your audience whether they buy from you or not.

Now if you are looking to decide between one or the other – content marketing is a more modern approach.

Consumers are very skeptical about advertising and blatant sales pitches ( especially online ) can be exhausting.

An idea to keep at the forefront of your mind is that “nobody comes online to be advertised to” – most people merely tolerate advertising online and although they are accustomed to it, its not really what they prefer.

That said, content is more of a long-term investment. You are basically deciding to lay down the groundwork now, in the form of content and just let whatever happens to happen, with your sales. Although, it is a more passive approach and can have long term payoffs.

You cannot completely never sell your services or products. That’s illogical. So, like with all good things, everything is about balance.

Selling when the time is right. And investing the rest of your time in offering value through content.

There should be no confusion about what content is “value content” and what content is your advertising. When you’re selling, say “I am selling” and give the best pitch of your life. When you are offering content that is meant to engage people, let it do just that. Don’t blurry the lines.

Even to this day, there are a lot of marketers who say that they have high-valuee content” but what they really have is a lot of advertising. Understanding the difference, and how it comes across to online users is really important because you don’t want to lie to yourself, say it is one thing, when it is really another.

If you are ever unclear about this just stand back and ask.

Does this offer value ( entertain, engage or inform ) to someone who isn’t going to buy from me but is genuinely interested in this topic?

If the answer is yes, what you have is high value content. If the answer is no, what you have is advertising.

Who Wrote This?

My name is Brandie Peters, and I am the B and the P in Creative Marketing Strategies. In 2012, I started my career online as a content writer and later began consulting and developing strategies. My passion is digital story telling using content and social media! I am also an avid Facebook Live Broadcaster and I still blog just for fun!

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