Do you know that there are only three main reasons for your customers to go online?
Identifying what these reasons are and crafting content which meets your customer’s unmet needs can help your brand to stand out.
This is crucial in an increasingly crowded marketplace. One where ideas, products, and services are constantly being pitched at consumers whichever screen they look at.
So what are the three content marketing strategies which you can apply?
#1 Solve Your Customers’ Pain
The first reason why your prospective customer is spending time online is to solve a problem. This is especially so when he or she uses a search engine or a forum to look for a solution.
Depending on the nature of your business, it can be anything from…
- Reducing their headaches or body aches
- Improving the quality of their work
- Growing their personal financial portfolio
- Baking a delicious cake for their loved ones
- Strengthening the productivity of their employees
- Trimming their rising business overheads
- Increasing the effectiveness of their digital marketing
Now the trick is this: you have to provide value to your prospective customers FIRST before asking them to fork out their cash. In other words, you got to give, give, and give before you get.
To remove pain from your prospects, consider crafting content that exactly fits what they need.
For example, if your prospect is looking at how they can reduce their business costs, you can offer an Excel Template that allows them to better diagnose what their current financial situation is and where they are bleeding red ink.
Perhaps you can provide a different cake recipe each week for home-cooking aficionado. Or share a short video helping tech-heads and gadget geeks to fix their own devices.
Like any other aspect of digital marketing, it helps to be specific and focused on less competitive niches.
#2 Increase Your Customer’s Pleasure
Beyond pain relief, people go online because they are bored. This is especially true when they tap on to their social networks like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
In an increasingly hectic 24/7 world, online folks are constantly looking for mini-escapes and micro mental vacations. They want to tune out of their humdrum existence. They want to spend a couple of minutes (or hours) in a harmless and imaginary world.
As a small business, you may not have the means to commission the next “World of Warcraft” game or YouTube soap opera. However, you should consider how you can inject a little fun into your content:
- Humour is a huge sharing trigger for almost everybody. See if you can introduce an element of wit and fun in your content.
- Leverage on popular culture and include them in your content as GIFs, short videos or image files. Make your content meme-tastic!
- Introduce the fine art of storytelling into your content marketing efforts. Studies have shown that people tend to trust and remember stories better than mere facts.
- Use lots of visual content to make your topic come alive. Infographics, videos, quotes, cartoons and other forms of image-based content are much more palatable than a wall of text.
#3 Help Your Customers Bond
Last, but certainly not least, people flock online because they want to connect with others.
(In fact, that’s how the term “social” in social media came about.)
Unlike the stodgy old websites of the past, digital technology these days is all about interaction and engagement. From addictive Multi User Dungeon (MUD) games to the endless chats on Whatsapp, we humans just love to communicate with each other.
Now what forms of content could help to nudge our customers closer to each other?
- Community News: Create and curate information that is of specific interest to your online communities. This can include news about places, personalities, and events which serve as common rallying points.
- Customer Stories: You know what we love to read about? The stories of the people in our communities who are very much like us. (This is the reason why Humans Of New York has continually captured the hearts and minds of millions of Facebook users around the world.)
- Conversation Starters: These are the “hot topics” of the day which captures the mind and stirs the heart of your audiences. They can be anything from the latest trending news item, the morality (or immorality) of taking certain positions, or perhaps just something strange, quirky and unusual. Viral websites like BuzzFeed, ViralNova, and BoredPanda are masters at this game.
It Is Not About You…
One thing you need to remember about content marketing is this:
It is not about you. It is about them.
Steve Jobs probably said this best. The iconic and legendary founder of Apple once stated the following:
“Your customers don’t care about you. They don’t care about your product or service. They care about themselves, their dreams, their goals. Now, they will care much more if you help them reach their goals, and to do that, you must understand their goals, as well as their needs and deepest desires.” – Steve Jobs
By helping them to solve their problems, increase their pleasure, and strengthen their relationships with each other, your brand will slowly win their trust, improve their affection, and build respect.
With so much goodwill generated, it is only a matter of time before they will buy from you, and do so repeatedly too.
What are your thoughts on how content could be used to strengthen customer relationships?