How Content Can Help You Reach Your Goals in Creative Ways – Part 1
Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt said of customer behaviour: “people don't want to buy a quarter inch drill, they want a quarter inch hole”. This perfectly sums up your customer journey.If you sell burglar alarms your customer doesn't want to buy an alarm, what they want to do is protect their house, and if you sell ladders your customer doesn't want to buy a ladder, they want to reach something high up. Sure, your customer will buy an alarm system or a ladder, but they are doing this to fulfil their need.It's vital that companies don't lose sight of what their customers actually want from their products or services.
Your products and services are the most important part of your business, without them there's nothing to sell, but content comes a close second in the hierarchy. Content, whether that's the copy on your website, a blog post, video or photo is the foundation of a marketing strategy which brings potential customers to you.Your customers want to solve a problem or meet a need, so focusing your content on need fulfilment makes it relevant and interesting to your customers, who will go on to make a purchase from you, their problem solver.
Some of the best types of content, whatever the medium, are question and answer pieces, problem solving (which works especially well from a first-person perspective or in the form of a case study), how-to and troubleshooting guides, comparison and review articles and “best of” or “top ten” posts. You can present these as written pieces, interviews, videos and photo stories which take your customers on a journey. Getting this content in front of people can be done by posting it on your own blog and on your own social media, but you can widen your audience by getting relevant sites to publish your content, or to link to it.You can even create guest content for an industry site which will draw people over to your website once they are interested.
Case studies or testimonials and original research are high value pieces of content because they are unique to your business. Your customers can't find that same information from your competitors if you engage in creating fresh, original content and it ensures you are perceived as a company who cares and keeps their finger on the pulse – exactly the sort of company people want to spend money with. You can conduct original research very easily by setting up an online survey and gathering responses from your customers.
If you don't have the time or resources to conduct your own research you can always add a fresh slant on research conducted by others to provide insights that others may not have thought of. Taking publicly available research to the next level with your own interpretation joins you into a conversation that's already out there and can be great for brand visibility, as well as positioning you as an expert in the field.
B2C companies can take advantage of publishers like Buzzfeed, who provide a platform for brands to create their own content which will then be seen by Buzzfeed's audience. The key here is to be mindful of the context around where your content is being seen.You wouldn't turn up to a wedding wearing trainers and a neon tracksuit, but if you rocked up to a millennial party in the same get up you would fit in much better. Content published by Buzzfeed needs to be attractive to the people who read the site and not obviously a marketing ploy. Using a ladder company as an example, we could decide to make a quiz asking people which celebrity is the same height as a particular ladder, or a listicle of the top ten stupidest ladder injuries, or the most dangerous examples of ladder use. This type of content is what Buzzfeed readers are used to, and they're less likely to read an article on Buzzfeed espousing the benefits of a particular type of ladder – that content is better placed for a company blog.Context is the key to well-performing content.
Join us in part two where we line up your goals with different types of content.
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