When I introduce the idea of content marketing to a client who is learning what they should be doing to attract an audience online, there are a few that get a little bit confused about what that content is supposed to be.
It may seem like an invitation to talk about what your business has to offer, but it’s actually your opportunity to give away information that your client wants to know in order for them to see you as a part of that conversation. We’re talking about the difference between that content that your customers is looking for vs. the content that your business operates around.
You need to give your customer what they want to know so they will trust you and listen to what you think they need.
Blog posts, tweets, your free email product, videos, etc. All of these mediums are where you start to build that relationship and share information that is being sought out by potential customers about your industry. What are they Google-ing? This isn’t about why they should hire you yet. It’s about how you can point them in the right direction.
If you saw Email Is Not Dead then you know that the social fan gets to a point where they trust what you’re sharing with them, maybe you’ve even gotten them results, and they’re going to be on your email list and in a good position as a prospect to get a proposal from you in regards to products or services that might complement whta their focus is on.
So here are a couple examples of wanted content vs. commercial content.
- Maybe you have your own fashion line of accessories. You want to attract attention to your products so you have to think like your customer. What would they want to know that would make them start thinking about a purchase decision? If you create a video or step-by-step blog post about how to wear a scarf ten different ways, that would certainly get the attention of someone who’s only aware of a couple ways to wear their scarves. They watch your tutorial and start thinking about how they now what a different kind of scarf or more of a variety in their closet, which would lead them to check out your website further to see what your selection looks like. Maybe you even mention in the content what scarf you’re using for the demonstration as a point of interest for best results.
- Another idea came from a chat I had with Ryan Hanley when I appeared as a guest on his podcast. If you’re an insurance company, you can probably come up with a million reasons why it would be good for your potential client to know why it’s important to buy insurance in case of a house fire. But even if there are some hidden gems of perks in there, people already know they need to have the right insurance in case of a fire. But what they might not know is ways they can better prevent one in the first place. Like having your chimney swept. Teach your customers how to save money to do it themselves, or the best ways to find a sweeper who they can trust and a good bargain.
The key with content marketing is to be helpful and not focus on sales strategies. That’s how you’ll really get the attention of your customer.
What has been your strategy to attract customers with content marketing?
How are you measuring what works or doesn’t?
How do you get your clients to remember you once you’ve given them free information?