It’s really tough to create content that consistently connects with customers. Part of the problem is simply staffing; Most companies hand off content creation to mid or lower-level digital people. If they do a good job, they often get promoted into more marketing-oriented roles. So there can be a constant talent-drain happening for your content team.
One way to avoid this is to have good processes in place. Part of this is having a system for the type of content that you should be creating to connect with your customers. Today I wanted to talk about three different roles that your content can play. This will help you think about how you can quickly and easily create content that has value for your customers.
Be a teacher. Think about how you use search engines. If you have a problem, you’re searching for a solution, right? Here’s some of the basic search terms you’ve probably used before:
“What’s the best way to…”
“How do I get rid of…”
“Which (product) is best to solve (problem)?”
Often, when we use search engines, we are really searching for the answer to a question or the solution to a problem we are having. So apply this to your customers; What problems do they have, and what solutions do they need? Once you have those answers, then create content that answers those questions and provides those solutions! This not creates valuable content for your customers, but it also creates the content that search engines will serve up when other customers when they search for those same terms!
So how do you figure out what questions your customers have that they need answers to? First, look at any feedback you are already getting from your customers. This could be emails feedback on social media channels, or even letters. Next, talk to your customer support team, and see what are the common issues that customers are having. Is there a certain product feature that many customers are having trouble understanding how to use? Is there a common complaint that customers have, and maybe you can create a blog post that helps explain the issue to customers? Finally, look at product reviews, not just for your products, but also your competitors. For instance, if you see that reviews for a competitors product are constantly complaining that the competing product does not have a certain feature that your product does, then you should point that out in your content. But all of these types of customer feedback give you very valuable insights into how you can create content that helps your customers and which also helps address issues they are facing.
Be a storyteller. I am a sucker for case studies and ‘real-world’ examples. I love hearing how people ‘just like me’ are using a product or service and hearing how its helping them. This helps me understand how I could use the product or service as well, and its honestly a more effective way of selling and promotion than simply coming directly from the brand. The reality is, we tend to trust other customers more than we do brands. It is the central lesson behind my book Think Like a Rock Star.
So you can create content that showcases how your customers are using your products or services. This will help other potential customers better understand how your products work, and can also address concerns they have about your products. In fact, you can take customer feedback you get from creating content that teaches in the above example, and use it here. Let’s say you write a ‘teaching’ post that shows customers how to use your product in a particular way. Sarah leaves a comment on your Facebook page saying thank you, and says that your post solved a problem she was having and now she loves using your product. You could contact Sarah and learn more about how she uses your product, then use her experiences as a ‘case study’ post to show other customers how your product helped Sarah.
Be inspirational. So we’ve talked about creating content that teaches your customers how to better use your products, and content that showcases how current customers are benefiting from your products. These are great ways to create engaging content for your customers, but these methods are focused on what’s happening today. What if you wanted to create content that shows customers how their lives or daily routines could be changed for the better, by purchasing your product? What if you could create content that could paint a picture for customers of how their lives would be better, if they owned your product?
Here’s an example of how this could work. I have always been a car owner. I hate trucks and SUVs, simply because when I drive one, it feels like I’m driving a slow tank and I’m gonna run over everything and hit every car. I love driving cars because it feels like I’m more in control, like I have better vision and they are just more fun for me to drive.
So I’m not in the market today for an SUV. However, what if you could paint a picture for me of what my life could look like if I owned your SUV? Let’s say you have an SUV you want to tell me about. “Sorry, I don’t like SUVs, I drive cars.”
“Hear me out!” you say. “This SUV is different”.
You then tell me about how your SUV has a dedicated wifi router in place, so it is in effect a ‘rolling hotspot’. The SUV gives the driver a constant, high-speed internet connection. The center console comes with a laptop docking station and multiple USB ports. The back row of seats feature enough room to comfortably sit and the back of the driver and passenger seats have monitors for taking video calls. Finally, the roof has an attachment that allows you to install a green screen so you can create and record videos, with the included interior cameras. Basically, this SUV is a ‘mobile office’, that would allow me to do any of my normal business and content creation functions, no matter where I am.
Would that make me interested in your SUV? Well…it wouldn’t hurt! By showing me how your SUV could help me perform most or all of my daily business functions even while on the road, that adds a great deal of value for me. If you can paint a picture for the customer via your content of how the customer’s life can be changed for the better TOMORROW by owning your product today, that gets the customer’s attention.
So that’s three ways you can create content that will connect with your customers.