5 Ways to Make Your Content Marketing Campaign About Your Customers, Not You
5 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR CONTENT MARKETING CAMPAIGN ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS, NOT YOU
Communication is a two-way street, where information flows in one direction and back in the other. When communication works well, all parties get their message across effectively.
However, in order for messages to get across, every interlocutor must listen more than they speak.
Unfortunately, many brands fail to understand the concept of two-way communication. Some brands believe in talking down to their customers. They hold an erroneous belief that they know what is good for their customers.
The message falls flat when content marketing is about the brand and not the customer.
Instead, brands must strive to communicate with their customers by showing their genuine understanding of their pain points. Moreover, brands must be empathetic to their customers’ needs.
The question is: How can a content marketing campaign be about customers?
Using a Content Campaign to Communicate With Customers
A content campaign provides a wonderful opportunity to communicate with customers. Brands can use this two-way communication to foster a meaningful relationship.
Customers base their relationships with brands on trust. When customers trust a brand, they are loyal. When customers lose trust, they seek other brands or alternative products.
Indeed, building trust between brands and customers is the main goal of content marketing. Communication is the vehicle that enhances communication.
When brands fail to communicate, they have difficulty building trust in their customers.
The brand may sell, but customers may not remain loyal.
Moreover, customers may find excuses (usually price) to switch over to another brand.
Please remember that content campaigns should always be centered around customers. There are three things that content campaigns must always address:
- Focusing on customer pain points
- Showing empathy with customers
- Communicating how the brand can solve or alleviate pain points
These three elements enable brands to communicate with customers effectively. After all, customers may see that brands “get them.”
Nevertheless, the question begs, “How can you learn what customers want to hear?”
Building a Customer-centered Content Campaign
Building a customer-centered content campaign is not an esoteric proposition. Customer-centered content campaigns are the result of listening more than talking.
This point is where most brands get it wrong.
Many brands fail to listen to their customers. Some brands neglect to listen to what their customers have to say. Microsoft founder Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
The fact is that most companies would much rather listen to all the good things customers have to say. However, no one ever wants to listen to the bad things customers have in mind.
It all boils down to fear. There is a fear of hearing what no one wants to hear. But it is facing that fear that allows brands to grow. The brands that fail to listen are the ones that ultimately fail. Walmart founder Sam Walton encapsulates this point with the following statement: “If you don’t listen to your customers, someone else will.”
Who is that “someone else?” The competition!
When companies fail to listen to their customers, competitors have a golden opportunity to swoop in.
Building a customer-centered campaign begins with listening to customers. Successful brands take the time to listen and pay close attention. These brands are far more interested in talking to unhappy customers than satisfied ones.
Successful brands understand the value of listening to dissatisfied folks. When brands truly pay attention, they build trust by showing customers they care. Please remember that empathy is a valuable asset. Empathy starts with careful listening.
5 Ways to Make a Content Campaign About Customers
There are five significant ways brands can build a customer-centered campaign when building a content campaign.
1. Forget about the brand.
The first step is to forget about the brand. In other words, building a successful content campaign is not about touting the brand. It is about focusing on the customers’ needs. The last thing a successful content campaign does is hype the brand.
Think about it.
Using a content campaign to hype a brand is like going on a date to spend the entire time talking about oneself. The other party would most likely get bored quite quickly.
The same goes for content campaigns. Customers tune out quickly when the message focuses on tooting the brand’s own horn.
Brands must get to know their customers in order to build effective content campaigns. The most effective way to know one’s customers is to talk to them.
Savvy brands incentivize customers to fill out questionnaires and surveys with special rewards. For example, offering a special discount code to anyone who fills out a questionnaire can become a highly useful tactic.
Also, some brands use focus groups and segmented demographics to figure out how customers feel. From there, brands can determine where their target customers lie.
It is incredible how much customers are willing to speak when given the opportunity. So, listen up!
2. It’s all about pain points.
The next step in an effective content campaign is to focus on customer pain points. These pain points may be problems, needs, or wants customers face. A typical approach is to focus on a problem customers face. However, effective content campaigns do not tout the brand. Instead, they offer valuable information that customers can use to alleviate their pain points.
Consider this situation:
A fitness brand plans to launch a new line of weight loss supplements. Instead of telling customers how wonderful the supplements are, its content campaign focuses on addressing weight loss issues. The content campaign provides free health advice sponsored by the brand. The customers see the brand, but they do not get a sales pitch. Rather, customers get helpful advice on how to build healthy habits.
Please keep in mind that successful content campaigns always talk about customers and their needs. The brand sits in the background, waiting for an opportunity to emerge as part of the solution.
3. Show empathy.
Some brands fail to show empathy with their customers. These brands sell their products by telling customers what to do. For instance, a pharmaceutical brand tells customers that their painkillers are the best on the market. Their content is focused on extolling the product’s qualities while completely neglecting what customers truly want.
How can brands show empathy?
First, brands must address pain points. In our previous example, the pharma brand recognizes that customers must live with pain. They discuss the causes of pain and what habits or diseases may cause pain.
Then, the brand strives to show empathy. They tell customers that everyone must deal with pain. They are not alone. When brands “get it,” they run ads that show people suffering from pain. They highlight the types of activities that may cause pain and the types of people it affects.
The brand strives to communicate its message by saying, “We’ve been there, too.” Nevertheless, the brand does not push any products on customers. At least, not yet.
4. Offer a solution.
Great content campaigns provide useful information customers can utilize to solve their pain points. The information itself, however, may be insufficient to solve the issue fully. This point is where brands can present their solution to the problem.
Think about the last example. The main customer pain point is living with pain. The brand uses a fantastic campaign to offer tips on diet, exercise, and healthy habits customers can use to relieve pain. However, these valuable bits of information may be insufficient to get rid of pain once and for all.
Now is the time for the solution.
The brand introduces its new pain medication as the definitive solution. However, the brand does not tout the product.
Instead, the brand focuses on how the product relieves pain by explaining how its formulation works to reduce discomfort.
Thus, the message is not, “Take this product because it is the best pain reliever.” Instead, the message is, “The formula in this product, along with all the other information provided, will help you eliminate pain. We know it works because we have tried it, too.”
In this example, the message is effective because it flips the narrative. The narrative is no longer about how wonderful the product is. The narrative focuses on how the product is a great tool to solve a significant pain point.
5. Show the outcomes.
Successful content campaigns end their marketing interventions with satisfied customers. Clever brands showcase how customers solve their pain points by consuming the brand. In the previous example, the brand could use customer testimonials to show how effective the product truly is.
Why does this approach work?
It works because it is about empathy!
Once unhappy people tried the product, and it worked. Now, they want to share their happiness with others just like them.
Showing the outcomes with real people is the most effective way to get a message across. Forget about fancy lights and cool people. Instead, focus on real people, real problems, and real solutions.
How can a writing agency help produce a killer content campaign?
Regarding pain points, some brands might feel that building an effective content campaign may be beyond their scope.
Creating a customer-centered campaign requires specialized knowledge and technical expertise. Furthermore, the research and effort that goes into building a successful content campaign demand time and effort.
Often, time and effort are limited resources for most brands.
Hiring a writing agency can become the best solution to this significant pain point.
Here is a look at how hiring a writing agency can help brands build effective customer-centered campaigns:
- A writing agency can produce the documentation needed for market research. For example, questionnaires, surveys, data processing, and report writing all fall within a writing agency’s area of expertise.
- A writing agency can assist in producing a content campaign. A professional writing agency typically has a diverse writing team. This team is capable of producing top-quality copy, scripts, marketing materials, product brochures, and user manuals.
- A writing agency saves time and effort. An experienced writing agency can tackle the nitty gritty of a successful content campaign. They know how to manage the ins and outs of a content campaign project.
- A writing agency becomes a trusted partner. Over time, a professional writing agency can become a trusted partner for any brand. The relationship between brands and writing agencies is predicated on trust. After all, brands trust that their chosen writing agency will always deliver.
The partnership between brands and writing agencies can become a force multiplier. Brands know their customers. Writing agencies know what it takes to produce effective content campaigns. When joining both forces, superb content reaches information-hungry customers.
A Final Thought About Content Campaigns
There are those who might say that hiring a writing agency is expensive. Moreover, some might say that it is an unnecessary cost.
Those who feel this way have never seen a writing agency in action.
Hiring a writing agency is an investment. The cost of hiring a writing agency is offset by the gains brands make.
Brands gain customers, boost revenue, and improve profitability with effective content campaigns.
Shrewd brands know that getting the right writing team on board can boost their content campaigns’ effectiveness exponentially.
Here is a final thought:
“The key is to set realistic customer expectations and then not just meet them but exceed them—preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.”
This quote by Virgin founder Richard Branson sums up this discussion. Fantastic content campaigns can help solve customer pain points in unexpected and helpful ways. It is all a matter of listening more than talking.
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