06 Feb Building a Community of Customers: Why Your Content Matters
As we direct our professional efforts towards the predicted success of a new year, there are countless digital marketing tips for us all to keep in mind in order to maximize the digital and social success of our endeavors. This is especially true in the case of our content development.
What questions should we be asking our team as we begin to strategize our content plan and initiatives for 2016? What direction will we take our content? What platforms are we using? How are we using them? How can we use them better? The considerations are potentially endless, but there are a few points I wish to drive home in regards to why content creation is so critically important.
Firstly, when looking at your content, it is important to focus on building a community; not just on creating customers.
Why? Because you should work to build credibility before you try to monetize. A community of engaged readers will not only help you to build that genuine credibility but will also become potential clients in the process.
Take the now world-renowned personal trainer Kayla Itsines as a progressive example of this concept at work. Kayla took the Instagram world by storm this past year and currently has 4.4 million followers and a world fitness tour. Why? There are thousands of personal trainers who use Instagram as their marketing tool to sell e-books, online training advice and push tailored content. How did Kayla beat out her competition?
The answer is actually quite simple. She built a community.
Anyone who purchases her training guide officially joins “Kayla’s Army” and is encouraged to take and post progress photos throughout the initial 12 week plan. Kayla then constantly reposts these photos, links back to those user’s profiles, establishes personal connections with her fans and constantly engages her community. The insurmountable success of her on-going campaign speaks for itself.
After all, it’s no secret that the world of journalism is shifting to a largely online avenue in which there exists a surplus of blogs, information and businesses looking to get content out to their professional and social circles.
Instead of considering this to be a set-back, we should view this shift as an opportunity to understand the importance of well-developed content and digital voice. This understanding translates into influence, impact and eventually, potential revenue growth.
The idea here is to build and establish value, versus simply using a content channel as a tool for one dimensional self-promotion.
Take the changing landscape of banner advertisements as a shining example; customers don’t care to be bartered with basic, impersonal distractions when they visit a website. These advertisements have become entirely less effective than before. Why is that? Well, they aren’t necessarily tailored to the user’s interests or desires, they aren’t necessarily engaging and they generally don’t offer something captivating enough to steal the user’s attention from the task at hand.
Instead, the advertising focus has shifted to in-content marketing and “smart advertising” which tailors ads based on users’ search history. Along with that, we have YouTube video advertisements which have to deliver ‘their punch’ or lock in the viewer’s interest in a mere 5 seconds or they will likely lose that view when/if the user chooses to skip the ad. Then of course, we have social networks which our customers are almost always plugged into on one of their devices, at home or on the go; whether that be Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Vine etc.
So what can we learn from this changing model? What does it have to do with content development? Well, everything.
The effect of well-developed and delivered content is the much the same as a good advertisement. You have to project to the right audience, understand their intentions and desires in order to hook their interest and then drive the point home. This cycle works to initiate interest/curiosity, establish trust and then, ideally, solidify a customer.
Initiate, engage, establish and solidify.
Take this model and internalize it into the way you approach your content. Look at the bigger picture and understand the relationship, first. Who is your audience? Why them? What are their needs and their interests? What can your product mean for them? Why should they trust your brand? What gets them talking? How can you get them to talk about you? How can you capture their interest and, more importantly, keep it?
When you can answer these questions, you will arm your brand with the necessary information to begin the creation of a working, effective community and open dialogue, which is a definitive step in the right direction for your content.
Don’t work for your content; make your content work for you.
For more information on how our team can help to re-vamp your creative content process, click here or email us at [email protected]