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5 Unexpected Ways How Content Marketing Drives Sales in 2024

how content marketing drives sales

Let’s level here: the world of content marketing isn’t what it used to be.

Remember when slapping a few keywords onto a blog was enough to get the traffic pouring in?

Yeah, those were the days.

What we have now is a beast of a different nature.

Today’s content marketing is a complex maze, brimming with nuanced strategies, trends, and – you guessed it – cut-throat competition.

To thrive in this realm, your content needs to be crisp, creative, and, most importantly, customer-centric. 

That’s the secret sauce to increase sales.

So, what’s the plan of action for this blog post? 


We’re going to uncover some lesser-known ways to use content marketing to increase sales.

And trust me, some of these might take you by surprise. So stick around.

Way #1: building trust through educational content

You know the saying, “Knowledge is power?”.

Well, in content marketing, it’s more like “Knowledge is profit.”

Allow me to explain.

Today’s consumers are smarter, savvier, and more sceptical than ever. 

They’re not just looking for a product or service. 

They want a partner, a guide, someone who truly gets their pain points and can offer genuine solutions.

And that’s where educational content comes in.

Educational content is not a slick sales pitch wrapped in a fancy package. 

It’s about delivering value upfront, addressing questions, dispelling doubts, and essentially saying, “Hey, we’re not just here to sell; we’re here to help.”

Think of it as a friendly neighbourhood shopkeeper. 

The one who knows all their customers by name, offers expert advice, and genuinely cares. 

Now, who would you trust more? 

The store with flashy signs or the friendly shopkeeper who always lends a helping hand? 

Yeah, we thought so too.

In fact, studies show that content marketing drives about 300% more leads than traditional marketing.

Let’s take Patagonia, the outdoor clothing brand, as an example.

This isn’t just any retail company. 

Patagonia took their content marketing campaign to heart. 

They didn’t just peddle jackets and backpacks. 

They provided valuable information on how to enjoy the great outdoors responsibly.

They offer tips on gear maintenance, shared stories of conservation efforts, and helpful guides on outdoor living.

Source: Patagonia

And guess what happened?

Their credibility shot through the roof. 

People trusted them, believed in their mission, and yes, bought their products. 

Because when you stop selling and start helping, that’s when the magic really happens.

Way #2: user-generated content – what’s all the fuss about?

Imagine a friend of yours, someone you trust, is raving about a new product they just tried. 

Now, does that pique your interest more than a glossy ad or a silver-tongued sales rep?

That’s what we call user generated content (UGC). It’s the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth. 

But instead of one friend, you’ve got thousands of voices telling their tales, sharing their experiences, and essentially doing the marketing for you. 

People are weary of polished ads, celebrity endorsements, and the same old sales spiel. 

They crave real connections, honest opinions, and the nitty-gritty experiences of fellow consumers. 

UGC offers that in spades.

And let’s be honest, when was the last time you bought something without checking the reviews?

Let’s dig into a real-life example: GoPro, the makers of action cameras.

GoPro didn’t just sell cameras; they sold experiences. 

They invited their users to share their adventures using the hashtag #GoPro.

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From snowboarding escapades to deep-sea diving explorations, GoPro’s social media pages became a thrilling showcase of life’s most exhilarating moments.

Did it work? Like a charm.

Their community grew, engagement skyrocketed, and those authentic, action-packed user videos became the best advertisement they could ever ask for. 

Sales followed suit.

And that is the beauty of a user-generated content strategy. It’s raw, it’s real, and it resonates.

So next time you’re pondering ways to jazz up your inbound marketing efforts, why not turn to your own customers? 

You might be surprised at what they can do for your brand. 

After all, in a world filled with ads, sometimes the most powerful voice is the one that comes from the heart.

Way #3: personalisation is more than just a name

There’s something incredibly special about hearing your name. 

As Dale Carnegie said, “A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

It’s the kind of magic that makes you feel seen, heard, and valued.

That’s where personalisation comes in.

Personalisation is not about bombarding people with ads or pestering them with pop-ups. 

It’s about finesse, subtlety, and a deep understanding of who your customers are and what they want. 

It’s about speaking to them, not at them.

When you create content, offers, and recommendations based on their behaviour, preferences, and past interactions, you essentially say, “Hey, we’re listening, and we care.” 

And trust me; people take notice. 

The connection deepens, engagement soars, and before you know it, those casual browsers turn into loyal customers.

Here’s a thought: 69% of people love a tailored experience, but it’s got to be built on data they’ve knowingly shared.

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Let’s turn the lens to Spotify.

Spotify didn’t just revolutionise music streaming; it set a new standard for personalisation. 

Their ‘Discover Weekly’ playlists are nothing short of personalised content masterpieces, with every song handpicked based on each person’s listening habits. 

And their end-of-year ‘Wrapped’ feature makes people feel seen and heard based on their unique listening trends.

Because of these innovations, Spotify increased its user engagement, achieved higher subscription rates, and, yes, increased its sales.

The moral of the story? Invest in personalised quality content. 

It’s more than a marketing strategy; it’s an empathy exercise that makes your customers feel seen and appreciated. 

And in return, they’ll reward you with their loyalty…and their wallets.

Way #4: the power of SEO in content marketing

Let’s play a game of hide and seek. 

You’ve got a brilliant product, a killer website, and a vault full of valuable content. 

Now, imagine hiding all of that in a dark corner of the internet where nobody can find it. 

Doesn’t sound like a winning digital marketing plan, does it?

See, creating high-quality content is only half the battle. 

The other half is making sure people can find it. That’s where SEO struts in.

It’s like setting up signposts on the Internet highway, guiding traffic straight to your door.

But how does that translate to sales (or by helping your sales team to generate leads)?

Think of it this way: If more people find you, more people know you. 

If more people know you, more people trust you.

If more people trust you… you guessed it; more people buy from you. 

SEO lays down the pathway for potential customers to stroll right into your sales funnel.

But let’s move from theory to reality. How about Airbnb’s SEO journey?

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Airbnb knew that people were not just looking for ‘a place to stay’; they were seeking experiences, local vibes, and unique homes. 

So they tailored their SEO strategy around those specific searches, crafting content that resonated with what travellers were actually typing into search engines.

They didn’t just rank high on Google; they ranked right in the hearts of travellers looking for something more than just a hotel room. 

The result? 

Higher visibility, a surge in bookings, and a remarkable increase in sales.

The lesson here is clear as crystal: SEO isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’; it’s a ‘need-to-have’. 

It’s your voice in that crowded room, your map in the maze of the Internet. 

Do it right, and you’re not just setting yourself up for visibility; you’re paving the way for growth, connection, and sales. 

Way #5: Creating social media content for better reach

Let’s not beat around the bush. 

Social media has become the town square of the digital age.

Businesses not leveraging social media content aren’t just missing a trick; they’re missing a colossal opportunity to boost reach, engagement, and, ultimately, sales.

Social media content isn’t about blasting promotional messages or drowning your audience in a sea of sales pitches. 

It’s about being a part of the conversation, understanding your audience’s pulse, and delivering relevant content that resonates, engages, and delights.

In essence, social media gives you a megaphone and a spotlight.

It amplifies your message, helps you reach corners you didn’t even know existed, and allows you to turn casual browsers into dedicated buyers.

But enough with the pep talk. 

Let’s see how Wendy’s, the fast-food chain, used social media in its content marketing strategy.

In a sea dominated by corporate jargon and generic promotions, Wendy’s brought a breath of fresh air with their witty, humorous, and engaging social media content.

They engaged in friendly banter, responded to customer tweets with tongue-in-cheek humour, and weren’t afraid to serve a roast or two.

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The outcome?

Their social media profiles didn’t just garner followers; they created fans. People didn’t just eat at Wendy’s; they identified with the brand, shared its content, and yes, contributed to a significant rise in sales.

So, if you’re ready to take your sales strategy up a notch, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and try social media. 

It’s not just about being where your customers are; it’s about connecting with them in a way that makes them feel seen, heard, and, most importantly, ready to buy.

How to Adapt These Techniques for Your Business

Don’t be overwhelmed; these techniques are not reserved for giants alone. 

Start with understanding your audience and defining your voice.

Invest in educating them, encouraging user content, personalising experiences, optimising for search, and engaging in social media. 

Test, learn, and refine. You don’t need a massive budget, just a mindful approach.

So, What’s the Takeaway Here?

Effective content marketing isn’t just words and images; it’s a powerful catalyst for sales. 

Through building trust with educational content, leveraging user-generated stories, personalising interactions, making noise with SEO, and connecting on social media, you can unlock new avenues for growth. 

Go ahead, experiment. I can’t wait to witness your journey.

Josiah is a multi-award-winning digital marketing consultant and former journalist for the Australia Times. He now helps 6-7-figure brands as a Fractional CMO to generate predictable leads and sales growth.​

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