Building Consumer Relationships with Content Marketing
Advertisements bombard us every day. They are on the side of almost every website we visit, every other page in the magazine we are reading, and every five minutes during a TV show. We, as consumers, have learned to ignore subliminal advertising. I challenge you to find someone who does not click “Skip this ad” after five seconds when trying to watch a YouTube video. Why is this? Simple. We want to see content, not advertisements. We want to learn something or to be entertained. We don’t want to be told why we should buy a product.
Form Relationships through Marketing
Marketers can learn from this consumer behavior. A recent study done by Econsultancy, a company specializing in research about marketing, finds that many brands base their content marketing on advertising rather than what their consumers want–the opportunity to be engaged and informed. Successful content marketing should form relationships with consumers and would ideally result in them coming back to learn more. This creates sales because it shows a level of trust between the consumer and you.
How can your company form strong consumer relationships?
- Engage Your Readers
Write blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates that interest your readers. You know your audience best– find articles, tips, and stories that are relevant to them. Teaching someone something new is one of the best ways to form relationships and build trust. For example, if you were going to donate to a cause, would you rather donate to the individual who asked you for money or would you donate to the person who explained why this cause deserves attention and funds through statistics and personal stories? The person conversing with you would raise more money as they are sharing knowledge and building a relationship with you rather than impersonally asking for donations.
- Avoid Being a Walking Ad
Don’t waste a social media update on simply telling your followers to use your product. You must do more to keep them interested. A “like” is just a click of the mouse, so engage them by asking questions and sharing knowledge. There is no harm in mentioning your company or product at the end of a blog post or Facebook update but avoid using the post as only an advertisement. Returning to the fundraisers, the individual simply asking for money is nothing more than an advertisement while the latter focuses first on the cause and then on the donation.
- Prove Your Knowledge
Don’t tell people your company is the best. Prove it. You can do this by providing evidence that you are knowledgeable in your subject matter by talking about new trends in your field. It’s true that actions speak louder than words. Don’t resort to saying you are the best in the field–again, prove it! The fundraiser that spoke about their cause proved that they were passionate and their cause worthy of your contribution.
Relationships Can Lead to Sales
The goal of content marketing is to yield sales. In today’s struggling economy that is more evident than ever. It does not mean, however, that sales pitches and advertisements are the only way to get people to buy your services or product. Forming trusting relationships with consumers will lead to not only one initial sale but also countless future sales. Social media has made it easier to form these relationships. Use it right and engage your followers. They will return the favor by choosing to your company when they are ready to purchase.