Inbound marketing counterintuitive

If you’re a new SaaS company, or a web2.o type of company, then content marketing and social media tools all seem quite natural. But for some (maybe most?) B2B companies  who have been around for a while, the transition from outbound marketing practices (you know – ppts, brochures, white papers, PR) to inbound marketing, or content marketing is not that natural. Why is that? Because it’s counterintuitive.

In case you’re not fully clear on definitions, then content marketing focuses on pulling prospects when they research online for products and services your business also has to offer. It includes lead generation, blogging, SEO, social media, and more. Take a look at this infographic to learn about inbound vs. outbound marketing. (Yes. I’m using ‘inbound marketing’ and ‘content marketing’ interchangeably, though they are not exactly the same. But for this context, they’re pretty close).

Back to our revelation – why is content marketing couterintuitive?

Well, if you’ve been talking about your product/service all your life, how can you suddenly market it without talking about it? With content marketing, you’re essentially ‘not selling’. Your product/service is no longer in the spotlight, but rather your prospects’ problems, pains, questions and concerns.

So when it comes to planning the content of your next lead generation item, such as a paper, webinar, or blog post, it’s not features, benefits and ‘competitive advantages’ you’ll be talking about. Instead, you need to identify a topic (within your domain of course) that would educate and interest your prospects. For some, it’s not that natural to grasp. As one customer asked me the other week – “but how will the reader get interested in our product if we’re not talking about it?

photo credit: liquene

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