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Product Marketing Rule #29: Sell More by Talking Less

Product Marketing Rule #29 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by By Joe Pulizzi,  Junta42 Blog Founder, Content Marketing Institute

To be a content marketer we must first realize that our customers don’t care about us, our products, or our services. They only care about themselves.

Traditionally, to sell more product, we needed to talk about our products and services as much as possible. We needed to do more advertising. We needed to position the product message wherever our customers were located.

Those were the days when our customers had fewer choices for information. According to Forrester Research, 90 percent of buyers begin their search for a product or service on the web. Customers can now get practically all their information in the form of informational blog posts, reviews, social media referrals, eBooks and more. To that point, Google’s Eric Schmidt stated that every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of time until 2003. Amazing.

Am I going to tell you to create more content? Well, yes.

Content marketing, one of the fastest growing marketing areas according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), is the idea that all companies are publishers. To attract attention, we need to be creating valuable, compelling, and helpful information, just like a media company does.

Eighty-eight percent of all companies employ some form of content marketing today, but most aren’t seeing it result in more customers. Why? The biggest reason, according to CMI’s study, is the challenge to create content that is truly valuable.

Let’s face it, although publishing has been around since the dawn of time in some form, this is a new skill set for marketers. Marketing professionals are so used to talking about themselves, it’s very difficult to develop content strategies that don’t talk about their products or services.

To be a content marketer we must first realize that our customers don’t care about us, our products, or our services. They only care about themselves. So how do we attract customers and prospects that only care about themselves? Create the best content on the planet in our niche.

Here’s how to get started:

Set Up Listening Posts:

The first step to content marketing is to listen just like a publisher or journalist. Talk directly to customers and open feedback channels with customer service and sales. Be sure to use customer surveys and analyze keyword search terms using Google’s Keyword Tool and look for story ideas using Google Alerts or Twitter Search.

Log Your Customer Questions:

Log every question your customers have ever asked you. By doing this, you are mapping out your story ideas and editorial calendar.

Create Your Publishing Hub:

The content needs to be located somewhere. WordPress, Hubspot, or Compendium are three solid options for your content platform. Think of this as your content library.

Focus on Content Distribution:

Now that you’ve developed your content hub, start to think about the different ways to distribute that content to customers.

Use tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ as well as email/print newsletters, guest blogging/webinars, and eBooks/white papers.

Develop Your Calls to Action:

More than anything, we want to make a connection with the reader in some way. These could be small or big, such as liking you on Facebook, subscribing to your eNewsletter, downloading your eBook or white paper, trying a demo and, of course, buying something.

Keep the Editorial Calendar and Repurpose:

If you don’t set a content schedule, the work won’t get done. It’s as simple as that. Once that is complete, look for ways to repurpose your content into other avenues that would be valuable to customers.


This strategy takes time, but if done well, you can be found everywhere your customers are searching for information. We’ve been at it almost five years now, and built a multi-million dollar business from nothing. Now, everywhere our customers search online to find answers to their problems, we are there, and this drives our business.

Done right, it can drive your business as well.


Product Marketing Rule #29 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing

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