How to Give Your Customers What They Really Want
Do you know what your customers really want?
Unlocking that secret is the key to growing your customer base. And believe me, it’s not as straightforward as you may think.
Today’s consumers have become more savvy and more sensitive. They’re tired of being sold to, and are wary of anything and anyone claiming to have quick and easy fixes for their problems.
When it comes right down to it, today’s customers want to know and trust your brand before they buy from you. They want to know that you understand their wants and needs. They want to be able to see themselves in your products or services. They desire storytelling that feels like it’s about them. They also want to know that you value them and that you care about improving their lives. They want you to prove that you actually know what you’re talking about. When your potential customers feel a positive emotional and psychological connection with your brand, that’s how you establish the trust that consumers are craving.
These feelings are complex. They’re also all the more complicated because they’re not always conscious.
You need to demonstrate that you understand your customers, speak to what they’re looking for, so that you can earn their trust. Once you’ve built that trust, that’s when sales can be made.
Out with the Old, In with the New
Everything changes and evolves, and marketing is no exception.
There are two ways to look at traditional marketing. First of all, it’s a broad category that encompasses many forms of marketing, but most often refers to broadcast, print, telephone and direct mail. It’s still used by many businesses as a way to advertise to the public, it’s become less effective with today’s increasingly skeptical consumers.
The other way to look at the “traditional” approach to marketing is the “sell sell sell” A-B-C (always be closing) messaging. Those old marketing and advertising tactics are very transparent in their goal to make as many sales as quickly as possible. And you know what? It’s a turn off! When things get too salesy, people don’t believe that your business has their best interests in mind.
Today’s successful marketing is all about making people care. When you find a way to make people care, you can turn “people” into “customers”. But how do you make people care? This is where content marketing comes into play.
Content Marketing & Why it Works
“A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”
“Content marketing” gets a lot of buzz these days, and there’s a good reason for that — content marketing is what has the potential to draw in today’s savvy consumers, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing avenues.
Content marketing is a relatively new concept, coinciding with the rise of social and online digital media. Content marketing recognizes that today’s consumers are more skeptical than they used to be, and are often turned off by traditional sales tactics. In response to this, content marketing sets out to market to potential customers in a new way–by adding value to their lives through meaningful and quality-driven online content.
Content marketing speaks to your customers on a deeper level than traditional marketing is able to. The same consumers that pull away from heavy sales messaging are building relationships with brands just like yours online and through social media. 80% of social network users connect with brands on social media and more than 60% of those people are more likely to seek out a product or service after seeing it on social media.* That’s a huge opportunity if you can leverage social media networks effectively.
Your prospects want to be understood, and good content makes people feel that you “get” them. When a person feels understood by you, they feel confident buying from you. Engaging, well-written copy highlights your brand’s expertise and, more importantly, it shows readers that your product or service will fulfill their needs and desires. With the right copy, you can establish trusting and memorable relationships and turn more “browsers” into the customers you’re looking for.
Traditional marketing is loud and unsubtle in its goal to “sell, sell, sell”. Content marketing, on the other hand, builds rapport with your potential customers over time, winning their trust and loyalty. Yes, it’s a longer game, but one that’s well worth the time it takes to play.
Tool #1 – Your Business Blog
One of the best ways to create a connection with your target customers is with a business blog. A good blog builds active readership and, over time, turns those readers into customers. Remember, visitors to your website are prospective customers. It’s important to have a regularly updated, well-written business blog filled with informative content because it connects prospects with your brand. Plus, it gives them a reason to regularly visit your website.
The more important purpose of your blog should be to let your prospects see themselves in your writing. Good content gives readers the feeling that you “get” them, that you know their questions and can provide answers, and that your content has the potential to enhance their lives. When you achieve that, your readers will feel that you understand them. And your readers want to be understood. Everyone does!
Strong writing builds your readers’ trust. When they trust you, they’ll remember you when it comes time for them to make their buying decisions.
Tool #2 – Social Media Marketing
Social media has humanized marketing. People now want to be able to relate to brands in more personal ways and social media makes that possible.
Think about it – 8 out of 10 people are connecting with brands on social media, and the people who connect with you on social media are 60% more likely to become your customers than those who don’t connect with you.*** By nurturing social media relationships, you can not only maintain, but develop both short-term and long-term sales. To do it right, your social media needs to be engaging, impactful, and have an approachable tone. Your would-be customers want you to give them a reason to take notice.
Only a very small part of your communications should be promotional messaging, and you need to pick your approach carefully. What people are looking for is personable, funny, entertaining, and/or informative content. Brands that share fun, engaging, customized content on social networks generate three times more customers than traditional marketing. (And by the way, it actually costs 62% less, but that’s a subject for a different article.**)
Your messaging needs to be clear, everything needs to be reinforced with enticing visuals, and the content should give your followers some value. That value might be informative or entertaining, but not particularly “salesy”.
A streamlined marketing effort that includes an impactful social media dialogue reinforced by strong visuals and clear messaging helps to build a trusting relationship with your would-be customers. That’s how today’s consumers make informed buying decisions.
Prioritizing Content Marketing
Content driven-marketing, including website copy, blog posts, newsletters, press releases, articles, videos, and visual content, generates value that engages potential customers on social media. The value-rich content builds a trusting relationship with your brand that results in better brand awareness and increased sales.
There’s a tremendous amount of work and discipline that goes into a successful digital marketing campaign. It can’t be an afterthought added to the end of someone’s job description. Our team includes skilled copywriters, copy editors, graphic designers, technical experts, and engagement coordinators to to ensure that your brand puts its best foot forward.
Do you have the time and expertise to write customer-focused blog posts and engaging social media content? Most business owners don’t have that kind of time or know-how. If you need some help, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to give you a free marketing consultation, take a close look at your brand, and provide some ideas about the direction that your blog could take.