Businesses of every kind are investing in great content for their websites and communication platforms these days. Whether it’s articles, videos, or podcasts, they’ve found the pull that powerful content has to offer, luring more traffic to their sites and blogs and generating more leads.
While this is great for business, there also needs to be an effort to promote your own products or services amidst the other articles, podcasts, and videos you’re creating. Promotional content may be more hard sell compared to other blogs but they’re crucial when it comes to informing a potential customer about what you offer.
Promotional content doesn’t have to be advertisement outright, but a more straightforward piece that capitalises on good SEO and other posting requirements for videos and podcasts, landing it high on search engine results and podcast or video players. While people have grown used to blogs as a driving force in promotion, promoting through new media like podcasts and videos can also generate more leads as videos offer a visual element that people might prefer and podcasts are preferred by those who love to multitask, widening your reach.
Through promotional content, you’re able to shed more light on what your product or service is all about.
What is promotional content?
Promotional content is content that directly communicates your brand and the products and services you offer, as well as their uses and benefits. It highlights the strengths of your products and services, as well as your values as a business. It presents, in a way, what you offer alongside the backdrop of why you offer it.
It’s more than just flashing a “buy now” sign, it’s showcasing and telling your story and what you stand for.
It can be a blog about why you started your business and how it grew or even several podcast episodes about the journey your business took that has a video element to it. And with the story of your business’ inception, you can seamlessly talk about the product or service you offer without sounding like you’re trying to be overly pushy.
But, like with all things, there can be too much promotional content. What can often happen is a business can go overboard promoting themselves that a customer can feel turned off by the attempts to pitch and sell. If all your content is promotional, it can be difficult because people are often consuming your content for information rather than to directly purchase your product or service. It breaks trust and credibility when a reader feels the knowledge they’re trying to absorb from your content feels like a thinly-veiled sales pitch.
Promotional content vs. informational content
Informational (or educational) content differs from promotional content in that it tries to address problems and offer solutions instead of talking directly about your brand or business. Informational content can come in how-to or tip blogs or videos that pop up as results on search engines when people are looking for answers to issues they have.
It’s the kind of content that answers the question: How do I help my audience?
It builds trust and authority. If you can address someone’s problems through your content, they’re more likely to see you as an authoritative figure and stick around for more content or even purchase what you’re offering. This matched with good SEO and other posting requirements for podcasts and videos can help you grow your audience.
One thing smart businesses do is strike a balance between the two types. They understand the need to help out an audience and build their credibility by having consumers rely on them while also knowing that they need to forward their story and their products or services in order for their audience to get a better understanding of them.
By keeping an eye on statistics and seeing what works and what doesn’t, your brand can also figure out the best balance between promotional and informational content.
Why is it important?
While informational content can be incredibly useful in building an audience that trusts your word, it doesn’t always thoroughly explain what your brand or product is about. For example, an accounting firm can give advice all they like and release relevant content about accounting that people might be searching for, but without the more direct kind of promotion, consumers won’t know what they’re about unless they spend extra time looking around their site (which they rarely do).
Promotional content also addresses any questions a consumer might have about the brand or the product itself. Say you hooked someone through your content already, they’ll want to know more about you and what you offer. So having that kind of promotion can aid you in telling your story and lead to potential sales.
In terms of authority, your brand knows your product or service best. So being able to create content about it can maximise the knowledge you’re forwarding to an audience. By detailing what you offer as the business that knows itself and its best, you make information about your brand available to a huge audience.
5 tips to creating and producing promotional content
Creating promotional content can be tricky as it requires you to strike the right balance between informing and advertising so here are five useful tips to producing it.
1. Tell stories
People are drawn to stories. They often remember stories more than facts and figures because they can inject themselves into narratives and feel the events unfold as the story is told. The emotional way that people respond to stories makes a brand feel more credible and reliable.
Opening your promotional content with stories or peppering stories throughout can be a big help as people feel they humanise a business. They also have more influence on people compared to a list of factoids about your brand.
Stories stick and are a great way to segue into or introduce a topic without feeling overly pushy. Instead, you will end up sounding more genuine and more open.
2. Know your audience
By knowing your audience, you’ll be able to better tailor content to their needs, their questions, and what they want to see. Instead of just randomly casting out a net, being able to identify who your consumers are can help you tweak your content and know what you need to say or do in order to get their attention.
By understanding who you’re addressing, you know what appeals to them. You know what kind of problems they need to be solved and how to engage with them. By doing this, you create a following that trusts in you and is more loyal to you.
Loyal audiences are also audiences that purchase more. A consumer that sees your content likes it for what it provides, and continues to return for more content is more likely to turn into a sale. They trust you so they’re more likely to trust in your product or service.
3. Avoid bragging
One sure-fire way to get a consumer to click out of your content? Bragging.
Nothing turns a consumer off more than a brand that thinks so highly of themselves, that they’re the be-all and end-all of their industry. By overtly praising your own product or service (or even yourself), you can come off as incredibly arrogant and people tend to not like that.
Acknowledging the strength of your product or service is fine, but by inflating its benefits (and your brand in the process), you’re not doing yourself any favours. Don’t overdo it and don’t be pushy about your brand and what it can do.
You can highlight what you do by offering social proof instead. By supplying stories, testimonials, and reviews that previous customers have made, you can come off more trustworthy because other people are making these claims about your product or service, not you. People tend to trust social proof because if it worked for another person, surely it’ll work for them, too.
4. Don’t overcomplicate
When it comes to creating content, possibilities are endless. You can create a 3000-word blog on a topic you’re passionate about or a 20-minute video explaining a specific process and stuff as much as you can into them. But this isn’t always helpful. Complicating something doesn’t always make it better. Sometimes, simpler is better.
You don’t want to overwhelm your consumer with pretentious language or a full 20-minute commitment to a video. Pare down where you need to and be concise. Not everyone will be ready to deal with complicated language or irrelevant information. Don’t overcomplicate your content or your process.
5. Avoid superlatives
Avoid using words like “the first-ever,” “best,” “most,” because they’re unreliable and difficult to prove. While they seem like great adjectives, they can be empty words as they hold no factual weight to them. Facts work a lot better in terms of trying to convey your brand’s authority rather than exaggerating.
And, like we mentioned earlier, it may come off arrogant. Which people dislike.
Superlatives are less trustworthy than facts and can make a consumer suspicious of you and your content. These kinds of words require a brand to prove with absolute certainty why they’re the “most” x or y in the business.
Even though creating promotional content can be precarious, it doesn’t have to be once you consider simplicity, storytelling, and understanding who you’re telling your story to. This is a different kind of content that you may be creating already but it’s crucial in letting an audience know about your brand and your story. Creating compelling promotional content can draw in plenty of consumers and generate more leads for your business.