Can content marketing drive sales?

How exactly?

And what strategies can you use to ensure your content generates sales?

These are some of the many questions I'll cover in this guide.

If you want to generate sales through inbound, organic traffic, then you need content marketing.

How content marketing drives sales

Below are some ways content marketing can help you generate more sales:

1. Content marketing generates organic traffic

Let's start with the obvious.

Having a content marketing strategy with SEO in mind allows you to attract traffic for free.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is an inbound marketing strategy every brand needs in its marketing stack.

Picture getting to Google’s first page and being visible to millions of search engine users.

If you rank well for the right search queries, you can bring visitors and potential customers to your virtual doorstep.

Granted, ranking takes time and money. But it's worth the effort.

Where does content marketing tie in with all of this?

Everyone in the digital marketing world knows that strategic content creation is important for ranking well in search engine results.

Great content is more likely to attract backlinks from authoritative sources, improving your chances of getting into the top 10 results.

Statistics show that the top three results get the most search engine traffic, with #1 getting 39.6%, #2 getting 18.4% and #3 getting 10.1%.

Without a carefully crafted content marketing strategy, you'll struggle to rank your pages.

2. Content marketing addresses the pain points and challenges of your target audience

To turn website visitors into paying customers, you need to offer content that addresses their pain points.

This is an essential aspect of a well-rounded content research strategy, which plays a crucial role in content marketing.

In a content marketing strategy, you provide content tailored to the audience’s goals, needs, preferences, and challenges.

These factors depend on where they are in the sales funnel, which in its most basic form has five stages

1. Awareness: Users are introduced to the brand via catch-all content campaigns.

2. Interest: Interested users get to know more about the brand through targeted content.

3. Evaluation: Prospective buyers are on the fence on whether or not to purchase from a brand.

4. Engagement: Warm leads start interacting with the brand through a contact form, live chat, or newsletter subscription.

5. Purchase: The lead is now your customer.

An illiustration from Zendesk showing the five stages of a sales funnel
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Let’s say a potential customer is in the evaluation stage of the sales funnel.

Their challenges are the lack of knowledge about your products and unclear benefits of choosing your brand over a competitor.

If you created your content marketing strategy right, you’d invest in product reviews, comparison posts, and tutorials.

These content types will eliminate the roadblocks that keep your site visitors from buying.

3. Content Marketing helps to reel in customers from social media platforms

Content marketing isn’t just limited to blog posts and organic traffic.

It also includes other content distribution channels, such as review websites, online communities, and social media platforms.

Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram are among the most popular channels for spreading content.

They also contain handy content promotion tools and features that maximise brand awareness.

For one, Twitter and Facebook are perfect for sharing blog post updates. On the other hand, Instagram features Stories with visual content and interactive stickers for user engagement. TikTok has high-engagement video content at its core.

Let’s say your inbound marketing strategy includes posting podcasts to draw in leads and boost sales.

You can upload a Story containing a “behind-the-scenes” clip from your latest episode and insert a link sticker that takes users back to your website.

A screenshot of a computer screen

Don’t forget that it’s also possible to monetise your social media content directly.

Facebook, for example, lets you add “Shop Now” CTA buttons to your official page. Instagram also enables you to create shoppable posts that guide users from brand discovery to checkout.

To learn more about social media for content marketing, check out my post about the five steps to social media success.

4. Content marketing creates sales-optimised landing pages

Speaking of checkout, most—if not all—buyer journeys include interaction with at least one landing page.

If you’re serious about content marketing, your landing page will contain more than just a product description and an order form.

It would include a compelling headline, positive social proof, eye-popping visuals, links to relevant resources, and a decent helping of supporting copy. These are the components of a convincing, “complete” experience that leads to conversions.

Furthermore, everything will be optimised from top to bottom based on analytics data from content tracking.

That’s how a successful content marketing strategy works. It doesn’t have to be perfect from the start, but it should constantly evolve based on results.

5. Content marketing is great for building your authority

Before closing a single sale, you need to establish a certain level of trust between you and your prospective customers.

Content marketing can do that for you.

By consistently producing top-quality and high-value content, you create awareness and bolster your credibility and brand authority.

All that can boost buyer confidence and encourage customers to buy from you.

6. Content marketing generates demand for your products and services

Most visitors don’t come to a business’s website with the intent to purchase right off the bat.

Often, people visit a site with the intent to search for valuable information that will help solve their problems.

With a user-oriented content strategy, you give them the information they're looking for while also positioning your product or service as a “must-have.”

You don’t need a sophisticated content marketing plan for this.

For example, MalCare regularly publishes guides that provide tips on improving the security of WordPress websites.

At the same time, they include mini sections that present their product as a shortcut to success.

A TL;DR: section of a post from MalCare
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7. Content marketing can help you to stop relying on paid channels

Paid advertising is a reliable way to generate sales, improve brand awareness, and grow your following.

However, relying solely on advertising revenue to keep your business afloat is risky for two reasons.

One, ad fatigue kills the possibility of scaling your advertising efforts past a certain point. And two, you need to constantly launch creative ad campaigns one after the other or else your revenue stops.

Content marketing fixes both problems by providing your online business with a steady flow of organic traffic.

After a successful content marketing campaign, you don’t need to dwell on the drawing board—nose-deep in research for your next move. Once you start ranking for the right keywords, you'll get relevant, organic traffic.

How to create content that drives sales

With the right approach to content research, content development, and analytics, anyone can leverage content marketing to achieve their revenue goals.

Below are five tips that will help you create sales-generating content.

Tip 1. Target keywords with purchase intent

Remember to target keywords with strong purchase intent.

These are keywords that people use when they’re ready to buy. You can find these keywords with a keyword research tool such as Semrush.

With SEMRush's Keyword Magic Tool, you can discover tons of keywords with purchase intent in minutes.

Start your search with any relevant keyword, select ‘Transactional’ under the “Intent” filter, and wait for the suggestions to pile in.

Keyword Magic Tool's results
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On Keyword Magic Tool, simply click the ‘Include keywords’ filter, select ‘Any keywords,’ and type in transactional terms like:

  • Buy
  • Price
  • Best
  • Order
Keyword filters applied on the Keyword Magic Tool search results
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The resulting keyword suggestions may get fewer monthly searches per month. But, you’re bound to attract users who are inches away from clicking that ‘buy’ button.

A search result in Keyword Magic Tool
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Tip 2. Offer lead magnets

Your site visitors are no longer willing to wait hours or even minutes to receive the value or support they’re promised.

This happens not just in the customer service space but also in content experiences and online purchases.

That’s why lead magnets like ebooks, templates, and industry reports are so important for content marketing. They provide comprehensive answers to the questions your potential customers are asking.

In return, brands can convince users to share their email or other information that qualifies them as marketing leads.

Check out what brands like Semrush do to present their lead magnets and generate truckloads of marketing-qualified leads:

An free report offered by SEMRush
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Tip 3. Leverage user-generated content

User-generated content or UGC refers to content created and submitted by sources other than the brand itself. In other words, the user.

A product review from a social media influencer is an example of UGC—so is a testimonial from an actual paying customer.

Online brands use UGC to make their offers more believable and convincing in the eyes of prospective customers.

You often find them sprinkled all over landing pages amongst supporting copy. They come in the form of screenshots, tweetable quotes, plain text, image quotes, or video testimonials.

A screenshot of a testimonial given to Marketing Labs
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UGC is also a high-performing content format for social media marketing—not just because it's effective in persuading prospective leads but also because they’re easy to come by.

A good strategy is to launch a hashtag contest that requires participants to upload something.

A social media post with content mechanics
Image Source:, @fitnessconceptmalaysia

Tip 4. Put a premium on Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Conversion Rate Optimisation, or CRO, involves tracking content’s conversion performance and launching experiments to improve it. This goes beyond content tracking with a focus on top-level metrics.

Sure, tracking metrics like conversion and bounce rates sounds good on paper. However, it can’t tell you exactly why your content isn’t converting—nor will it show you how to make things more conversion-friendly.

Instead, you need CRO strategies like split or “A/B” testing. This works by comparing two different versions of the same page and keeping the one that performs better.

If you have the budget, you can also invest in heatmap tools like Hotjar to determine which elements of your content get clicks and which get ignored.

As a result, you can visually track the user experience on a page level and make adjustments to maximise the visibility of conversion elements.

Hotjar's heatmap feature
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FAQs about creating content that generates sales

Question 1. Does content directly increase sales?

Yes, content can directly impact your bottom line if you use the right strategies. Additionally, well-optimised content tends to be more profitable than ads, especially in the long run.

Question 2. What kind of content helps increase sales?

Social media content that brings attention to your products can be a reliable driver of sales. Landing pages, lead magnets, and user-generated—from product reviews to social media photos—also increases buyer confidence and, by extension, conversions.

Question 3. How does content marketing attract potential customers?

Content marketing draws in potential customers in many ways. They can spur lead generation through lead magnets, maximise conversions through data-driven landing pages, and bring users straight to checkout through shoppable social media posts.

Create sales-generating content now.

Creating content to boost sales isn’t a walk in the park.

Several elements need to come together so your content can turn your site visitors into paying customers.

At the very least, you’re looking at a couple of weeks’ worth of work to do adequate research, build the right content, and optimise conversion performance.

If you need expert help with any of these, don’t hesitate to reach out so I can discuss your content marketing needs.