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A Brilliant Example of Help, Then Sell

The hypocrisy of social media marketers is normally subtle. But, from time to time, it walks up to you, smiles and punches you in the face. For years, most either said or hinted that you should eschew traditional advertising and just “join the conversation.”  And then they lost their jobs and clients because social alone doesn’t cut it.

The true marketers in the bunch know that social is one touchpoint in a larger, integrated array of channels you can use to reach and persuade consumers. And the brilliance comes when the touchpoints all converge to convince and convert, to borrow a phrase.

Take Friday’s brilliant post from David Meerman Scott. His post contained an astute observation delivered under the headline “Advertising is inherently egotistical.” The short piece said that you have to move beyond advertising alone to have marketing success. You have to engage, educate and inform people before you try to sell them something.


And then, right there under the post was a big, whopping ad for Scott’s library of content. “HURRY!” it read. (I added the red arrows to the screen grab shown here for effect.)

A passive reader might see it and call Scott a hypocrite. And certainly, an ad for free stuff isn’t the same as a “click here and buy this” kind of call to action. But it is an ad and a perfect illustration of how it should be done.

What a wonderful world it would be for buyers and sellers alike if we all paid attention.

One Response to A Brilliant Example of Help, Then Sell

  1. Jason! Ha! I thought long and hard before I put that CTA at the bottom of the post. I knew it would be strange if I had a link to a book or another product, but I figured a link to free stuff was okay.

    Really appreciate you and your post.

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