If you’re not making connections with clients or potential clients than what’s the point of creating content? There, I said it! And it’s true. If you’re in a service-based industry, your marketing should be every bit client service as it is marketing. Luckily, content marketing makes it easy to add value to your relationships and move people to take action. It’s a win-win!
If you’re already creating content for your audience or are just starting, you may be wondering how to capture their attention and keep it long enough to generate interest and real connections. With the supply of content rapidly outpacing people’s ability to consume it all, content creation can certainly feel like an impossible mountain to climb.
The good news is that you don’t need to produce epic content every time, nor do you even need the best content that ever existed. What you do need, however, is to transfer your client service model to your marketing. That is going to be your secret way of making amazing connections with an audience through your content.
Here’s what that looks like:
1. You’re going to personalize
If you’re using boiler-plate copy from a third-party distributor, please stop. Seriously, stop! Unless you’re taking that copy and rewriting it for your audience, it’s not going to serve you, and more importantly – it’s not going to serve them. Your clients have a lot of options when it comes to the content they consume. Why should they read some general, boring piece of an uninspired compilation of industry terms when they can read something better?
As customers, we hate it when we call into a customer service desk and get someone reading from a script. It feels cheap and frankly insulting. When you don’t personalize your content for your audience, that’s how it feels for them – bad. So next time you get ready to share a piece of content, produce it with an audience of one in mind. Create it as if you were creating it for your very best client. Even the simplest of emails that you send to your clients embody the type of care and personalization you should incorporate into your marketing content. That is what is going to help your potential clients feel a connection with you right away.
2. It’s going to have energy
Personalization is one thing and personality is something else. People are drawn to certain types of personalities and your content can exude that energy with the types of words and manner in which you present concepts, ideas, invitations, and advice. Even a blank white screen with type on it can have energy. If you are sharing an important idea, use important punctuation! If you want to persuade your audience to take action, use persuasive copy that communicates urgency and value beyond their wildest dreams. “go here” “click this” “read more” blah blah blah. Energy is absolutely contagious — and so is low energy. If you want to move people to action, energize them and demonstrate a force that is worth their time.
And let’s face it, some of the topics in your industry might be inherently boring to your clients. How do you interest your clients on such topics when you’re talking over the phone, in a meeting, or via email? Bottle that energy you use to keep their attention and use it with your content.
3. You’re going to educate or entertain
There are really only two reasons why someone will spend time with your content: it is either helping them learn something or it’s entertaining (hence why cat videos are all the rage on YouTube.) And better if your content can do both at the same time!
‘How To’ articles are wonderful to help teach your audience something. Visual content is ridiculously effective in capturing attention, engaging your audience, and increasing conversion rates. Why not write a blog post and then do a little video about the information you covered!? This will help you further personalize your content and demonstrate even more energy to your audience. This quote by Walt Disney is one of my favorites and one that I keep in mind any time I produce a new piece of content for my brand or for my clients:
I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something, than educate people and hope they were entertained.” – Walt Disney
You have to make your content worth your audience’s time. This is the value factor of your content — the same type of value you deliver to your clients. You let your clients know what they need to know, and when they need to know it. Abide by this very same principle in your content marketing.
4. It’s going to evoke an emotional response
How does someone feel after they consume a piece of your content? Better? Worse? Scared? Excited? Relieved? Hopeful? Empowered? I can cover all the emotions of the universe and yet so much content out there doesn’t evoke any sort of emotional response whatsoever. What a waste of your time and talents if people feel nothing after they consume your content. Nothing is the same as empty and empty is, well it’s empty.
In marketing, we like the “shock and awe” approach, though that doesn’t always work in every piece of content. The idea is that your content is really effective if it makes people go, “Oh!” or “Awww!” Figuratively speaking, you can get a lot of “Oh!’s” when you enlighten your audience with information that helps them. When you tell a heartfelt story (which I am sure you have plenty of), you increase your chances of evoking the “Awww” response. Both are powerful and both are insanely effective in helping a brand make an emotional connection with its audience.
In what ways will you improve your content so that you’re making a stronger connection with your clients and ideal clients? Try implementing these four methods and measure the change in response.