Anyone who has a dog will know that training him/her is an ongoing process. When I first got my cockapoo, Alba, it wasn’t a case of asking her to sit and her obliging on the first command; it took time for her to understand. The same goes for content marketing – you can’t expect your customers to understand or listen to you without spending time building a trusting, mutually beneficial relationship with them.
Content marketing is all about staying ‘front of mind’ with your audiences over the long term, in the most organic and natural way possible. So here are a few tips I learnt during Alba’s arduous training sessions:
Mix things up to stay interesting
If there’s one thing I love doing with Alba, it’s teaching her new tricks and games. If I throw her a stick over and over again, she quickly gets bored and moves on, which is exactly what your customers will do! One way you can keep things fresh is by sharing content you know your customers are talking about at that moment in time. If you look out for key calendar dates, trending conversations and awareness weeks, you’ll always find something new to say.
Don’t be afraid to go in a new direction
It may seem like a risky move, but venturing away from the pack and leading the way is much more beneficial for you if you play your cards right. It’s daunting at first but there really is no point in doing the exact same as your competitors, so you need to work out what the USP is that separates you from the rest. Becoming a thought leader in your industry will put your business on a pedestal and make you more attractive to your customers. However, as much as Alba likes to lead the way on walks, she will never go out of sight – so don’t try to change the world if it’s something your customers aren’t ready for.
Sharing = rewards
Alba has come to realise that if she shares her toys, she will get a reward (perhaps not every time, but it’s worth the gamble). We aren’t saying that you need to share your business model online ready for your competition to steal and replicate, but you do need to give away useful insights to your audiences if you want to get anything back. For our client Keighley Timber, we identified that their customers come to them because they offer a friendlier service and can provide more DIY advice in comparison to larger retailers. By using this knowledge, we know that creating informative content to share with their current audience is the way to attract more customers. So focus on what works for you.
Listen and adapt
I know that if I shout ‘biscuits!’ Alba will come running. So what makes your customers tick? What are they searching for and talking about? Social media is a fantastic research tool. Don’t fall into the trap of only using it to broadcast; have a look at who’s following and engaging with you and soak up the intelligence. Through listening, you can start to piece together what your ideal customers want – supply and demand! Once you have this information, you can use it tailor your content so you’re answering questions before customers ask them, one of the biggest tricks in search engine optimisation (SEO)!
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