Unfortunately, we are all awash in content. We have too much to see, to read, to process. The shiniest pieces get seen, which isn’t always a good thing.
So how do you create content that earns attention? For a brand, your job is doubly hard, because you are trying to connect with people (customers) that are purposely trying to avoid your content. Most of us have an internal switch that flips in whenever we encounter any content from a brand. Our brain immediately flips a switch and we view that content as ‘advertising’, and very few of us want to see more brand advertising. We trust content from other customers, but not from brands.
If your brand wants to create content that attracts customers, you need to focus on the following:
1 – Understand that most customers don’t trust content from brands. They are naturally suspicious of content from brands because they assume that the brand’s only desire is to sell them something. You need to understand your customer’s point of view before you can create content that they’ll pay attention to.
2 – Understand that you build trust by creating useful content for customers. That’s it. If you create content that customers find value in, then they will pay attention to your content because they will trust that it’s valuable.
3 – You have to consistently create valuable content. If you consistently create content that creates value for your customers, then they will trust your content. No longer will they go through an internal vetting process to decide if your content is worth paying attention to.
4 – Your desire to sell will have to take a backseat. This is the most important lesson to creating valuable content for customers, and the most difficult for most brands to grasp. The great thing about social media is that it makes things happen indirectly. What this means is that you have to stop thinking of social media and online content as a way to directly drive sales. Instead, view these tools as a way to directly create value for customers, with the understanding that doing so will indirectly lead to sales.
5 – Customers buy from brands they trust. Remember earlier when we talked about how customers don’t trust content from brands because they assume brands just want to sell to them? This is why it’s important to shift your thinking on the content you create. Because when you create valuable content for customers, then customers begin to trust that content. Which means that by extension, they will begin to trust your brand.
And customers buy from brands they trust.
Want to use social media to sell more stuff in 2014? Don’t focus on monetizing your customers, focus on creating valuable content for those customers, with the understanding that doing so, will lead to sales.