“If you start dating a brand and getting to know your brand, you’ll make a commitment to it down the track. You don’t meet a girl for the first time and go and marry her… That’s what we should be doing as brands, building relationships with our customers.”
In fact, there are several ways using content marketing to engage your customers is like building a relationship. For both successful content marketing and successful personal relationships, the following are essential.
Find things in common
Just like in a relationship, you’ll get along with your customer much better if you can find common areas of interest. This means understanding their interests, passions, wants and needs. It means listening to your customer and developing your own set of opinions and information on topics that are interesting to them.
Keep it fresh and interesting
If you keep delivering the same old content time and time again, your customer will inevitably get bored. It’s important to use several different types of content in your marketing mix so you can maintain the interest of your customer. In addition to using different forms of content, vary your tactics slightly to experiment with what works. If new trends emerge in your sector, play to them. A successful content strategy will be current and up to date at all times.
Be a giver
Don’t be afraid to give your customer things without the expectation of receiving anything in return. Giving away information might go against your traditional marketing instincts but it demonstrates your authority on the topic you deliver on. In content marketing, giving information for free attracts quality customers who are hungry for more. But don’t pour your heart and soul out all at once. Assuming a ‘drip-feed’ approach to giving away valuable information keeps your customers engaged and excited.
Interact frequently and consistently
A customer, like a partner, is going to be annoyed if you give them radio silence for a couple of weeks after you’ve established a relationship. This is why a key part of any successful content marketing strategy is using social media to distribute your content. Knowing you’re there to talk to when they want will put your customer at ease, but you don’t want to bother them with irrelevant messages. A key part of a successful content strategy is outlining when, where and how much to communicate with your customer.
Trust is key
Becoming a trusted source of information for your customer is essential for successful content marketing. It is trust that will keep your customer returning week after week for your content. It is trust that will ultimately lead them to choose your business when the need arises. Content marketing often establishes trust with a customer before they require your help; in this way trust will be the foundation of your relationship.
Don’t expect real commitment until you’ve been in it for a while
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, content marketing is a slow-burn process. It is unrealistic to expect any kind of measurable results even after six months in the game. This conflicts with traditional marketing expectations, but it mimics the expectations people have for their personal relationships. Only after a significant amount of time spent together will your customer truly invest in you when it comes to content marketing. When they do, their commitment will be iron strong and well worth the wait.
If you’d like a content marketing matchmaker, contact Lush – The Content Agency. We’re responsible for many happy content marriages every year.
By Carla Young