Is content marketing a dubious concept? Some might think so, because it shifts the emphasis away from selling. However, this is precisely why content marketing can be so effective.
Content marketing is an essential means of building trust and relationships with prospects, contacts and customers in a digital age.
Imagine the traditional corner shop. It’s reputation in a neighbourhood may now be something of a cliché, but it can still be a place where the shopkeeper knows his customers well, where he has built face-to-face relationships with them, and where they trust him or her.
Content marketing helps to capture the essence of this corner shop experience and use it to help businesses reach out and connect with their target audience.
It uses three special ingredients to do this: personalisation, customer-focus, and value.
Make Content Marketing Personal
The digital experience, as a customer, can feel very remote and impersonal. However, using online channels can personalise what a business can offer, providing they use them in the right way.
Social media provides the perfect, organic marketing platform, providing you have the kind of content that can tap into your audience’s likes, needs and concerns.
Just like the shopkeeper talking to customers over the counter, ensure that your content makes your audience feel like you’re talking to them, directly and personally.
Concentrate on the Customer
Rather than attempting to sell something to your audience, your content should be empathetic, offers something of value and sees things from their perspective.
By making your audience know that you understand them, this allows them to build trust in you.
Good shopkeepers ask customers how they are, what ails them, what they’re interested in. It’s about the customer, first and foremost.
Give Good Value
If you give something extra, freely, people appreciate this. It’s a proven part of customer service and it works for content.
Content adds value because it addresses issues and recognises problems, and you can offer it as free advice to your prospects and customers. What do you want in return? Enough to be able to build a dialogue with your audience.
Using certain tools and analytics, we know exactly who is taking an interest in us and, in some instances, know what their pains are before they have spoken to us. This enables us to have a much focused dialogue.
Content marketing helps businesses build relationships and trust. By explicitly not selling, you’ll be surprised at the opportunities that you can generate.