It’s not about you, it’s about the customer

By Lynn Manternach/Consulting

You know it’s all about the customers, right? So why is your marketing still all about you?

People care about themselves more than anything else. Unfortunately, that means they don’t really care about you, except when it comes to what you can offer them.

So how does your product or service help address the issues that keep them awake at night? How can you ease their pain? How can you help them? These are the questions on  consumers’ minds.

They are probably not wondering about your company’s collective years of experience. More than likely, they are not going to your website to check out the new photos of your corporate headquarters. And unless they are related to your employees, there’s a good chance they didn’t seek out your website to see all your employees waving to online visitors. That doesn’t mean you can’t include content about you. But it does mean you don’t start there.

It used to be so simple. The idea was that if you tell as many people as possible as many times as possible about your products and services, they will eventually buy from you.

Technology has dramatically changed consumer expectations and behavior and this approach does not work anymore. Consumers are bombarded with advertising and marketing and have become numb to it. They are actively tuning it out and avoiding it.

If you are still shouting from the rooftops, there’s a good chance you’re wasting your money.

Think about how you make purchase decisions for yourself. Do you start by driving from store to store to look at products and ask questions? Probably not. Do you look for opportunities to reward pushy salespeople with your hardearned money? Not likely. Do you ask friends and family and co-workers for recommendations, do online research and ask your online network what they think? That’s a pretty good bet. And chances are good your customers are doing the same thing.

Consumers are looking for unbiased information they can trust. They want insight and information to guide their decision-making process and to solve problems.

Is your brand positioned to connect with consumers when they start that buying process?

Content marketing is the creation and sharing of compelling and relevant content to build your brand. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer smarter and more informed.

People don’t want to know why they should buy from your business. They want “how to” information, success stories and expert interviews. They want free guidance and  assistance.

The idea behind content marketing is that if businesses deliver consistently valuable information to buyers, they will reward companies with their business, along with their loyalty and trust. They will “opt in” to allow you to communicate with them regularly over time. That means there is a long-term opportunity for conversation, relationship-building and ultimately, trust.

To build that trust, you have to remember that content marketing is not a sales pitch disguised as useful information. Content marketing is relevant, valuable information that  inspires and excites.

Once you’ve generated great content, you have to make sure it can be easily found by your targeted consumers. Distribute your content on multiple channels, and look for ways to get people to talk about it. Fortunately, great content is very sharable. And when people share
your content with others who might be interested, qualified traffic is pushed back to you.

You may need to experiment a bit to figure out what resonates most effectively with consumers. Create the content, measure your results, refine your approach and do it again.

Content marketing is about creating the right message for the right audience. Be prepared to adjust and fine tune until you figure out where the sweet spot is.

If you can make your communication all about the customers, ultimately they will be thinking about you.