Content marketing has changed how we deliver our marketing messages. Long gone are the days when we pummel people with messages hoping to eventually get them to buy from us.
Marketing has changed because how we do business has changed. As consumer’s we have access to more digitally driven data than ever before. Most often we have already made the decision of what we want to buy, the decision is who do we want to buy from.
In today’s marketing to be successful we must educate, connect and engage with our target audience to earn a chance to sell them something.
“Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time. Worry less about sounding professional and worry more about creating remarkable content that other humans can relate to.” – Ann Handley
1. Educate by Answering Questions
Seems like this should be common sense and so I am amazed when I go to buy something and I can’t get a question answered. Recently I was doing research online for a specific product for my home and I did a ‘Google’ search for “Top Rated XYZ’s” and one blog popped up offering reviews of the product I was searching for. Now there is an opportunity!
Pay attention to the questions you are asked about your products or services and answer those questions on your website because that will show up in search results! You can also answer those questions in your newsletter, utilize live video on Facebook, or via a blog post. Content marketing is a term used for using a form of content to market – there are so many forms these days such as what I mentioned above and so many more.
The more you can answer questions your ideal customer has, then you become the authority. The ‘go to’ company who people learn from, gain trust in and eventually buy from.
2. Connect with Your Target Audience
To connect with your target audience, you need to know where they hang out. If you have a retail business do, they prefer the in-person connection? Are they social, if so what platforms do they frequent? How do they like to hear from you? Do they read online newsletters or are they from the era they want snail mail? If you don’t know the answers now is the to take a survey.
Connecting means more than sending a LinkedIn invitation or asking someone to join your email list. It means you are intentional and clear on who you want to attract and how you can best serve that target prospect.
3. Engage with Your People
Once you know where your audience is, you will want to set-up an engagement strategy. For example, if your ideal audience is on Facebook, have they liked your page? Do you post informative and/or fun posts that elicit engagement? Do you ask them to comment and share on your page? Again, sounds simple but so often I see comments ignored by businesses on all social media platforms.
In this crazy, non-stop digital world we are faced with thousands of messages every day. I believe people want to connect more deeply, they want to be seen and heard. If you are building a community, answering questions and simply showing up for people – well, that is a game changer.
Building relationships lead to trust and people buy from those they know, like and trust. Showing up and being engaged can drive revenue and those who are successful are winning. Engagement is an investment of time in your business but something you can’t ignore.
4. Reviews & Testimonials– people care about the opinion of strangers
When was the last time you bought something on Amazon? Did you read the reviews before you made the purchase? Have you checked someone out on LinkedIn to see how professional or credible they appear? Perhaps you checked out their recommendations to see what others were saying.
The point is, in today’s world we care about the opinion of strangers! In marketing, adding testimonials to our website and marketing materials adds to our credibility and trust factor.
Consider the ‘Google’ effect…you are out doing errands and stop to do a Google search on your mobile device for something. You check out the Google reviews before making your decision. Google is rewarding businesses with 5- star reviews online by pushing more search traffic their way. Google believes review are that important.
If your business does not have a Google business listing I recommend you do it today and encourage people to leave you recommendations.
Implementing these four steps into your marketing strategy will build deeper and more meaningful business relationships. People will be more curious because you show you care in ways that are helpful and valuable to those people who are wanting more from you.