Customers want authenticity. With so much power in their hands to research products and services online, they have little tolerance for brands whose messages come off as cheap and inauthentic. They want sincerity and depth. They want brands with personalities and missions they can buy into.
How do they know which brands are a good fit? Great content.
With content marketing, whether delivered through direct mail like postcards or newsletters or digital channels like email, consumers learn more about a company than the products it sells or the services it provides. They learn about its personality, its commitments, and its mission. Consumers want brands that add genuine value to their lives. This is what not only engages them initially, but what maintains that engagement and brand loyalty over time.
According to the Content Marketing Institute:
Consumers are fed up with in-your-face advertising and sales tactics that feel cheap, slimy, or underhanded. Instead, they’re attracted to authenticity, transparency, and friendliness in a brand. The advent of the internet and social media has a lot to do with this. These channels help consumers pick and choose exactly which brands they interact with. If people don’t want to see your ads, they’ll [move on]—it’s as simple as that.
Here are five suggestions for providing content that engages your audience and keeps them engaged over time:
- Be real. When you speak to your audience, use natural language that they can relate to. Your messaging should sound like it was written by a human being.
- Be transparent. Be honest with your audience. You can’t be the best product to every person. Nobody can. Consumers appreciate honesty and a genuine approach to helping them select the best products for them.
- Use readers’ own content. Consumers trust user-generated content more than they do content generated by your brand. As much as possible, incorporate customers’ own images, reviews, and videos.
- Use humor. Brands that incorporate humor are seen as more authentic than those that don’t. Humor is relatable.
- Be original. Consumers can sniff out canned content and disingenuousness faster than a police investigator in a room full of con men, so when possible, use content that you’ve created yourself.
Does this require more effort? Yes, but the payoff can be huge. Content marketing has six times the power of traditional marketing for converting people into leads and leads into customers. So make the investment in authentic, relatable content, and your customers will reward you for it.
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