Введите Ваш email, чтобы получать ежемесячный дайджест по почте:

Andrey ByzovIn my son's grade school when he was young, there was an inspirational sign posted in the cafeteria that read, "Character is what you are when no one is watching." I think the same is true of marketing. What kind of company are you when no one is watching? When they're not looking at your ad? When they're not on your Facebook page? When they're not reading your blog?

That's the testament of your company and speaks directly to issues of quality, integrity and trust.

When your clients trust you, when they believe you act with quality and integrity even when they're not watching you, you will discover some interesting advantages. Your cost of sale will go down because you no longer have to push so hard to get a sale. Your margins will increase because people will spend a bit more with companies they trust and stay with them for longer.

These are facts you probably already know, and you're probably already pushing for a company culture that supports this kind of integrity.

But there is an odd contradiction here. You can also communicate that kind of culture-a culture of character, integrity and trust-and you can do it through the better mechanisms of content marketing.

You can't sell to someone who doesn't know who you are, of course, so building brand awareness is essential. But how do you convert customers to your brand? How do you capture more market share?

First and foremost, you provide a fairly priced product or service that delivers quality and benefits. But when you communicate that, you also need to establish your firm as an expert in its field, a knowledgeable resource that provides benefits beyond just your product or service. In short, you have to give something to get something.

In the practice of content marketing, what you are giving is your unbiased expertise. The "unbiased" portion of that is essential. I see companies who often provide information and expertise through a blog, on their Facebook page or in a magazine column, but eventually they succumb to the temptation to shill their own product. An education marketing piece is just that: educational. It is not a sales piece that talks about the benefits and values of your product or service.

When you give something to someone, and education is a gift, they feel a sense of indebtedness. And when that gift is unbiased knowledge, the indebtedness leads to trust.

My point? Your marketing efforts should include not just sales pitches but also educational information. When you do that, your website and your sales people and your social media platforms become go-to sources of information. They become invaluable resources.

Want to sell a product or service? Become invaluable.