How to better connect with your audience.
No matter their age, no matter where they go to do it, before consumers purchase or engage, they do their research to better understand a product or brand.
People don’t simply believe what a brand says. They hunt for information. They gather, consider and develop relationships. Most of us have heard the Bill Gates quote, “content is king,” but it isn’t just content anymore. It is quality content in the right place at the right time.
Communication has shifted fundamentally. Brands used to control the message. Now there are full-on conversations and community development. Because of this, consumer expectations have changed, too. They expect more than just disruptive sales messages. They expect value beyond the product or service.
you need to generate content that is useful and relevant.
How do you make sure you’re providing the best content possible?
The first step is understanding that there are three popular areas of content consumed by all audiences:
- Utility. Provides tangible value for a consumer’s life. This can be calculators, calendars, weather, FAQs, etc.
- Entertainment. Provides a brain break, a good laugh, a good cry or an emotional connection. This could be a video, a song, a meme or an image.
- Educational. Provides details, explanations and real-time, relevant alerts. This could be news, statistics, scores, tips, or how-to videos.
You need to generate content that is useful and relevant.
Content provides marketers with unique ways to connect and prove we value more than just sales. The content we create can (and should) show that we value our customers.
When approaching any and all communications with a consumer, everything is a channel now. Rather than just mass media, it’s people and reviews and videos and images and memes. Keep in mind a user’s purpose and provide content in various forms to allow him or her to connect and appreciate the role you play in providing them with what they care about most.
Ask yourself 10 questions when creating content:
- What is the consumer’s purpose for seeking out the content?
- What will this content DO for them, not you?
- How will they experience it?
- What will bring them to it?
- When is it relevant?
- Why should they share it?
- Who are the people who would value it the most?
- Is it as concise and authentic as it could be?
- Where does it live and why?
- Would you choose to spend time reading, watching or engaging with it?
Consumers expect more, just as you expect more from them. If you want them to engage, communicate, recommend and advocate for you, provide them with content that is not only worthy of their time but demonstrates you are willing to put in the effort to create a relationship, not just a sale.