Marketing in our digital era has certainly changed the way we deliver strategic communication in order to build a brand’s identity, relate to an audience, create brand’s advocates and a loyal following, and finally do excellent customer care. If up until recently marketers were pushing towards strategies that relied on finding potential customers and target them with branded messages, today the rules of marketing have changed.
We marketers create fertile ground for a brand to be found rather than for the brand being on the look out for customers. This is why content marketing has become central to any overall marketing strategy, whether you’re in the business of consumer products or offering specialised niche services. Content marketing’s goal is to attract and retain potential customers by creating and curating valuable and knowledgeable content. It’s all about offering a customer the answers to his online and offline searches by making available to him or her content that is interesting, contains valuable information and finally positions you as an authoritative voice in your field of business.
Remember that the era of using communication to directly sell is long gone. We don’t sell products, we sell trust in our services, continuous customer care and being a step ahead of our competitors, both in terms of quality and prices.
In December 2015 one of the most significant reports was released for anyone working in the marketing industry. The “State of Content: Rules of Engagement for 2016” report highlighted 5 trends that are key to any content marketing strategy regardless of the marketplace.
Whether you’re an experienced marketer or just starting out with your own brand, we advise you to take inspiration from these trends in order to successfully connect and maintain a relationship with your potential customers.
Adapt the communication and design to fit every screen
Customers browse websites on their desktop, their laptops, their iPads and mobile phones. This is why a design that is adapted to fit all types of screen and content that is simple, short, straight forward is key. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to gain customers by having a non responsive website that does not display properly on different types of devices. According to the above-mentioned report, 83% of consumers today use at least 2 devices at the same time.
It’s not about the quantity of information, it’s about the one thing that hits the spot
According to the report, 67% of users stops reading content if too long. You are probably wondering how long is too long, right? There is no overall rule but remember that it’s more important to communicate that one thing that makes your brand or the product stick out than describing the why, how, when, and where. If you manage to get a customer interested in you and your products, the second step will be to provide him or her with further information. The key is to get the customer’s attention first, and then to inform him of all the details.
Be relatable and personal
These days competition is tough since we are living in a global marketplace. Communicating in an impersonal, corporative, detached way won’t help you to relate to your customers.. Being open, personal, warm and relatable is what customers appreciate and value.
70% of consumers have stated that humor and content that is more fun than corporate make them like a brand. Share relatable content. Make your customers lough; connect with their emotions by telling compelling stories, even if it’s about someone or something that is not strictly related to your brand. The key is to connect on a human level and leave corporate affairs for times when it’s really needed.
In a brand we trust. In many other brands we don’t. Today, more than half of all consumers have a hard time trusting content published online. Is a brand telling the truth about a product? Are the reviews authentic? Is an article biased?
So how do you make a customer trust you? You do that by providing customers with consistently valuable information that is true. Also remember that if you get a negative comment on your website or social media, do not delete it. Try to find out a view to turn that negative comment into a positive one. If there is a customer that is not happy, it is your job to make him or her happy.
Of course, there are customers that simply can’t be satisfied but if your other customers see that you have gone out of your way to understand a customer’s complaint, they will appreciate you more. Most of all, they will trust you more.
Make consumers feel safe
In the digital era it’s so easy to use personal information without really having permission to do so. And that is exactly what you should not do with your customers. Do not ask them for personal information before assuring them the data you collect won’t be used without their permission. Also, don’t email them, contact them with promotional material unless they ticked a box saying they wanted to receive stuff from you.
There is nothing more obnoxious to a consumer than being bombarded with unsolicited emails, messages, social media messages or any other type of contact that hasn’t been approved.
If you would like to read the full report featured in this article, please click here.