How Content Marketing Is Not Just About Selling

If you read my post from yesterday, you may have caught on that I dislike being sold to. It’s not that I don’t enjoy advertising and marketing schemes that are edgy and make me think about a product or service in new ways. It’s that I can’t stand when an ad or commercial lays the sales ploys on too thick (think infommercials or the marketing email that drags on and on and on). That’s when I become wary.

Perhaps my dislike for sales ploys is why I shy away from some of the more commercialized approaches to copywriting and content marketing. I’ve come to realize that clients and customers value content that serves more of a purpose than simply calling attention to itself. What counts in advertising and marketing is not what is being sold but rather how the customer feels.

Effective marketing content, the type that makes viewers and readers say “I agree” or “you got me,” reaches its audience on an emotional level. It focuses on the heart rather than on the mind. Bernadette Jiwa explains this in a recent blog post where she discusses changing customers’ minds: “What we must do instead of trying to alter a prospective customer’s version of the truth, is build on the story they already tell themselves about who they are and what they believe.”

Consider, for instance, the recent ad that Ulta Beauty is now running with Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful” song. I don’t wear much if any makeup, yet I get chills whenever I see this ad because of how its message makes me feel empowered about who I am. If I were to buy some foundation or new eyeshadow, I may now consider stepping foot in an Ulta Beauty store instead of defaulting to a department store’s cosmetics aisle. This is just the type of “small step to an alternative” that Jiwa is describing.

Think about some of the ads you’ve seen and have felt a connection with. What draws you to these ads? How do they make you feel? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Katie Signature001


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