We tend to forget today that people love talking about themselves, and if we want them to like us, we need to talk about them- not about us. The development of the Internet, and particularly social media, made every brand a publisher.
But sadly, most companies fail to properly use this opportunity. Instead of providing quality content focused on their audience, which at the same time costs less, is more inspiring, and works better than the well-known interruptive marketing, they have one-way conversation with their readers by praising their own products and how good they are.
Mollie Chen, the content director in the beauty sample service Birchbox, which gained more than 100,000 subscribers (each paying $10 a month) in only two years, says quality and useful content, educational articles and how-to videos are the best way to communicate with your customers, gain their trust and keep them coming back to your website. This way differentiates your business and creates value in the long run. The American Express OPEN Forum is another example of how a small business news site with how-to videos, business stories and information about small business trends can become the reason Internet users like the company and build a network of more than 2 million Facebook fans.
The companies with a large network of fans, friends and followers all have great content in common that focuses on what we are looking for, as well as our own unique experiences. The secret of using content marketing to drive business is to communicate things your audience cares about, and not to be self-centered and speak only about your own achievements. Companies that are truly successful in expressing this care for their current and potential customers are making a killing in business. Useful and enticing articles the readers are interested in will convert the advertiser from an interruption to a search destination.
When they sit on their computer, at their office or at home, the customers aren’t looking for ads on 0 percent balance transfer credit cards or the latest deodorant that drives women crazy. What they want to see are interesting stories that will entertain them and enrich their knowledge. Companies that want to grab their attention must find ways they can approach the readers in a more subtle way by offering them the information they need and building the relationship naturally by making an unbreakable connection between their business and their customers.
Following the direction in which search engines are headed and keeping in mind the latest changes Google has made in the algorithms shows that in the near future, business that want to stay in the market will have to make their content more user-friendly, focused on the customers’ needs and satisfaction, and full of information customers find useful and would gladly share with their own network of friends and followers. Businesses should strive to teach their readers how to be successful on their own, and avoid talking about themselves as much as possible. The business network will naturally expand, and this small investment in creating and publishing quality content will not only yield goodwill and positive branding, but will also win satisfied and loyal customers at only a fraction of what is the cost per acquisition of traditional advertising.
About the Author
Austin Rinehart is the senior writer on PlagSpotter. He is married and has two lovely adult daughters. He writes about Internet trends, science research and life improvement strategies.