There has been a major shift in business marketing in the last ten years. Businesses have switched to digital marketing, and creating customer relationships and a favorable customer experience has become a top branding priority for companies. Digital consumers base their perception of a brand on the value they receive from the company. This value isn’t created just at the checkout stage but throughout their interaction with the website. Businesses that are genuinely helpful, informative and offer entertaining content are more likely to have a good image. Businesses that do not focus on content get ignored and fail to generate interest.
In this blog, we look at several ways to improve customer relationships through content marketing.
Identify Your Target Audience
People are attracted to different types of marketing content. You will have more success with marketing content when you identify your target audience, and focus on creating the right content for them. For instance, some marketing material attracts men while women are drawn to different types of material. Then there is the generational gap. People from the baby boomer generation had a different upbringing and see the world differently from someone in their teens right now.
If you want to build long term followers, make sure that your content is written with their goals and views in mind. Ask yourself what your readers need? What kind of questions do they have regarding products and services in your industry? Analyze things from their perspective and you will have a much clearer idea of what your readers expect. That will help you build the right content strategy.
Design a Content Strategy
Once you have identified your target audience, the next step in creating customer relationships is to determine the style and flow of your content. Is it going to be humorous and lighthearted? Are you planning to establish yourself as an authority in the domain? Do you want to create a mutual participation kind of platform through your content? The style you choose forms the basis of the content you create.
Another question is to choose between quality and quantity. Do you want to post new content frequently every day or want to stick to posting once a week? With more frequent content, you are likely to get better interaction but the quality of content drops. You will find your audience complaining about repetition and it may become boring. If you post once a week, you can put in more though into your content and fine tune it before publishing. However, you may not get as much interaction from your target market as you hope.
Lastly, make sure to promote your content on multiple channels. Sticking to just your website can leave you behind in the visibility game. So add a few social media platforms to the mix. You can also post to third party websites like guest blogging sites and business comparison platforms.
Create Good Quality Content
Many content writers find it difficult to identify what good quality content really means. In a nutshell, it is this. Any content that motivates your audience to do what you want is good content. Whether it is to buy your products, subscribe to your mailing list or promote your brand on your readers’ profile, if it gets the results that you want, it is good quality content. Consistently producing powerful, informative and unique content helps you build trust and engagement with your audience. There are a few things to keep in mind here.
1. Keep It Simple
One of the main goals of your marketing content is to provide information and get the attention from your audience. If your content is too complex or too ‘edgy’ it will fall flat. Remember, content marketing is a numbers game and you need to reach out to as many people as you can. Unless you are running a niche business that only sells to the top 1% of the smartest people in the world, keep your content messaging simple to understand and follow.
2. Focus on Providing Value Instead of Selling
Most online searches are made to find relevant information online. People type in questions and search engines like Google provide results that have the answers to those questions. To improve your online visibility, you need to publish content that provides answers to your visitors’ questions. If your content is only focused on selling your products and doesn’t provide any help, then three things will happen:
- People will move to a different site that offers solutions and provides valuable content instead of just trying to sell to them.
- Your search engine ranking will suffer.
- You won’t be able to build a connection with potential customers. You can say goodbye to the possibility of any future repeat sales.
In short, your website copywriting team should focus on education and helping people instead of selling and you’ll gain more rapport with your audience. Once you have good customer relationships, sales will follow. Trust us on this!
3. Create Content Consistently
It is common for online businesses to get sudden booms in activity when they post new content but then they fall off the radar after a while. Why is that? There are two reasons.
First, search engines want to show relevant and current results to their users. If you updated your website in 2018 and haven’t posted anything new on it since, then it will go down in search results over time. The content posted on your website two years ago may no longer be valid so it will get pushed down.
Second, your existing site visitors don’t have any content to read. So why would they come back? You may get some new visitors who stumble on your website while browsing online but people who have already seen it all have no reason to continue. This causes a drop in your site traffic.
Enable Two-Way Communication
Gone are the days when marketing content only used to flow in one direction, from businesses to their potential customers. Today, digital consumers expect to be equal partners in the marketing communication process. You should provide ways for your website visitors to easily get in touch with you. You can create an instant chat or place a bot on your website. Also consider providing a feedback form or comments section for people to get in touch. You can also provide visitors an email address for your business. This is a great way for building mailing lists. Last but most important, consider creating social media pages and have a team member assigned there to answer queries for users.
Digital business brands need to be easy to reach out to customers. They need to be responsive, friendly, polite, and helpful at all times to create a good impression. Above all, two-way communication allows you to help solve problems in real time, which is great for building a good reputation.
The Bottom Line
In the digital domain, the brand image of a business is based on how much trust they can generate and the value they provide for people. Content marketing with a focus on engaging your audience is the best way to build long term customer relationships. When designing your content strategy, consider the points we noted above and you’ll be well on your way to developing trust and building a great relationship with your audience.