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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

The Art of the Soft Sell in Content Creation and Inbound Marketing

Michael McNichols
Senior Content Manager

Not everyone likes a hard sell, but sometimes it works. It’s blatant and upfront in what it wants you to do. If it catches you in the right moment and offers you the solution you need and the offer is intriguing and reasonable, you might just go for it.

Outbound marketing can depend much on hard selling, as TV and radio ads, fliers, and physical mailings are hitting you right away with what they want you to buy. They’re targeting a mass audience and not you as an individual, so they cut right to the chase.

Some people prefer being courted, though. They like marketers to know their preferences and quirks to design marketing materials based upon them. They also prefer not to always have to deal with a full-on sales approach.

This is where inbound marketing comes in. Inbound marketers design content to build up their brand as a thought leader, knowledge resource, and problem solver in their industry. They post this content where it can be found by their audience, rather than sending it out. Once someone has shown an interest and given you their contact information, then you the marketer can follow up with emails, texts, white papers, and more that offer more specific solutions and answers for their problems and concerns.

Content marketing and inbound marketing come together in producing materials with a soft sell. The more personalized you can make these marketing materials, the better a chance you have of intriguing and interesting your prospects, as you are speaking to them more closely as individuals and at their level.

You do not need to hit them over the head with sales offers and put any undue pressure on them. They already know that you can present solutions for their problems, due to your thought leadership, reputation, and online presence. Your marketing materials engage them by offering further information, educating them, intriguing and interesting them to want to learn more about you and your solutions.

Any selling you do is subtle. It’s more about showing them that you understand their situation, you know how to help, and you can do so in a way that nobody else can. In so doing, you are priming and readying them to make a decision about whether or not they want to go with you. You are nurturing a lead with the right information and taking them to the point when they might want to become a customer. Much of the time, when a prospect is finally turned over to a sales representative to bring it home, they have already decided whether or not to sign on due to the marketing.

If you reach out and connect with a customer, show that you understand their frustrations but can help, as you’ve helped many others with the same problems. You’re letting your brand, your solutions, and your reputation seal the deal, but it is up to marketers to communicate all this information to the right customers at the right time. Knowledge is power. Not only do you need as much data as you can have on a customer to personalize your marketing and better target them, the more information a customer can have how on what you can do and what solutions you can provide will help all the better to make a sale.

With inbound marketing and a soft sell, you are swaying and influencing a prospect and nurturing them as a lead, but really you are mostly helping them make up their own mind.

Find out more about proper lead nurturing with “Lead Nurturing for Modern Marketers.”

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