The beauty of Content Marketing is that it can be used to achieve so many goals at the same time, without depreciating any particular objective. You can use it to get your products and services out there, while also using it to build genuine trust and loyalty among customers.
The process of creating and marketing relevant, valuable content consistently is in itself a great way to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. Before we talk about how you can improve your capacity to build brand loyalty, it is important to understand why Content Marketing is so great for building customer loyalty.
Good Content Marketing Creates Value for Customers
People tend to go anywhere they feel they would gain excellent value and when Content Marketing provides that, it’s no surprise that audiences will be drawn to it. Any business that is serious with their Content Marketing efforts will be careful to create content that educates, inspires and provides excellent resources and ideas for their customers.
While it is true that brands should do their best to make Content Marketing profitable for them, it is crucial that they focus on providing the best possible value for their customers. The audience is smart and can sniff out a weak attempt to mask an ad under Content Marketing efforts.
It is genius when a brand is able to seamlessly combine excellent products/services with providing genuinely helpful resources. Excellent Content Marketing works because it is about solving the customers’ true needs.
Content Marketing lets Customers Talk
People naturally want to communicate with the brands that they use or love. This is why brand engagement is very important and works so well. With blogging, customers have the opportunity to engage in conversations via the comments section. This is not something they are able to do with traditional advertisements.
With an effective Content Marketing strategy that pays enough attention to making customer engagement easier, brands can go a long way to create customer loyalty. It is also very important that customers are made to feel that they can say anything they need to about your brand, to help it improve.
Content Marketing Helps Humanise Brands
Sometimes, it is easy to forget that brands are run by real people. Customers are more likely to trust a brand that sounds like a real person and actually has personality, more than they would trust one that doesn’t.
Brands can use Content Marketing to develop a consistent voice that will be easily recognisable anywhere. Companies should not hesitate to share the truth about themselves because customers appreciate transparency. Trust is a very crucial step towards building loyalty, so it is important that brands are able to make their customers trust them.
What you can do Build Trust?
If you have ever wondered why Influencer Marketing works so well, the simple reason is that influencers are perceived as authorities. That is exactly how you need to position yourself in the minds of your customers. You want to be the first person they will think of when they have certain problems and you want them to take your advice seriously.
Using the right strategy, you can create content that helps position you as an authority. One of the ways to do that is by getting an actual authority to share your content on social media. The message that conveys is that authorities consider your content good enough for them to not only read but also share for others to read. It is almost like getting your customers’ trust on a platter of gold.
Getting ‘Shares’ from the right people is not the easiest of tasks, as it requires a bit of investment in terms of time and resources. You need to build relationships with influencers who are socially active on different platforms.
You can start by liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts, reaching out to them via email or asking for their help or opinions on any issue. For example, when you are in the process of writing an article, be sure to let them know that you will be happy to quote them in your article if you will be reaching out to an influencer in that regard. Chances are you will get a low response rate at first, but the effort is absolutely worth it for every response that you do get.
You will also want to set up a face-to-face meeting or a phone call as a follow-up after a few exchanges. There is also the possibility of bumping into them at an event, deliberately of course. Clearly, this is a long-term strategy, but it works. If you want a faster way to get ‘Shares’, put together a quality post, quoting your target authority, before contacting them to confirm you have quoted them.
Maintain Honesty all the way
Some brands have adopted the practice of click-baiting to get customers to open their content, but this ultimately backfires. Your audience will definitely be disappointed you tricked them into opening a piece of content that is either unrelated to what you implied in the title, or is not as interesting as you made it seem.
Make a habit of it and you will end up destroying your credibility. Most people lie, but nobody likes being lied to. As much as you want to create exciting and interesting titles, you must never go down the route of lying or exaggerating anything if you want your customers to trust you. It is also very important that you make sure all the information and data you share is correct and up to date.
Being open is different from being honest, in the sense that openness implies that you share more. For example, readers are more likely to connect better to a blog post that is peppered with anecdotes from the experience and life of the writer.
No-one says that you should tell the world everything that goes on in your life, but it is important to be as personal as you can be. Statements backed up with personal experience are more believable and credible. This may be easier for certain kinds of businesses to achieve, but the general principle remains the same for everyone.
Genuinely Care About Your Audience
It is important to show your audience that you are loyal to them, as much as you want them to be loyal to you. What that means is that you show genuine interest in the comments, ideas and thoughts that are shared. You need to invest a bit of your time to respond to them appropriately and make it clear that you care about what they have to say. Customers will be encouraged to share even more if they feel that you appreciate their contributions. When they share ideas, show that you are receptive of them. When they share their problems, let them see that you are genuinely empathetic to them.
Always remember to talk to your customers as if they are your friends, rather than leads, though you also want to keep things professional of course. Even after responding to comments on your blog posts, take every step necessary to engage even more with your audience. You can do that via social media and every other channel you have at your disposal.
It is important to keep your brand story consistent across all your communication channels. If your company claims to be committed to customer service, then you must ensure that you don’t leave any messages unanswered on any platform. It is better if you don’t leave some communication channels open at all, than for you to open them up and leave them unattended.
The same applies when you claim that your prices are competitive, when in fact they are exorbitant compared to your competitors. From your blog and your website to your email messaging and social media channels, it is important that there are no inconsistencies, because little things like that can seriously dent your image. On the other hand, consistency is a great way to build trust.
Personalise all the way
A personalised customer experience has always worked and will continue to work. To personalise your Content Marketing efforts, you’ll need reliable customer data and detailed feedback. But to take it further and develop customer trust and loyalty, you will have to be personable too.
You can achieve that by simply signing off emails with your name, pictures – and if appropriate – a tiny bio of some of the people who run your brand. Create and maintain a consistent process for any of your staff who must communicate with customers via any channel. Sometimes, it is the simplest steps that make all the difference.
On a final note
Every business will do something unique that works for them, so don’t hesitate to experiment and do what’s right for your brand.