Ah, February. The grocery store aisles are lined with pink and red heart-shaped everything, you can’t escape Kay Jeweler’s theme song every commercial break and there is an omnipresent “love is in the air” vibe (at least until the 14). Everyone, everywhere, from businesses to brands to influencers and more are grabbing the coattails of the heart-eyed holiday and holding tight. As a hopeless romantic and a marketer who is endlessly passionate about her chosen field, I couldn’t help but catch the romanticism bug myself. So in honor of falling in love and building a trusted, blossoming relationship from that first-sight heart-skips-a-beat moment, let’s talk about how engaging content can capture the hearts of your dreamiest clients and customers.
What Is Brand Loyalty?
Before we can dive into how engaging content makes your ideal customer fall in love with your brand, we need to talk a little bit about brand loyalty. It’s an endless buzzword in the marketing community and has been for years now, but what does it really mean? True brand loyalty is an enduring belief and trust in your brand – the kind that keeps them coming back as long as you keep providing the same level of value and authenticity that spurred the loyalty in the first place. That’s right – brand loyalty is perfectly capable of flitting away. I know, it flies in the face of what we imagine when we hear “loyalty,” but it’s important to remember that loyalty in a consumer-driven world is earned over and over again, not a one-time win you can cash in on for the remainder of your existence as a business.
You Can’t Fake It
So about that loyalty – it can’t be bought, and you can’t fake your way into it. Just like falling in love with your partner in life, you can’t present one face to them at the start and expect them to stick around when you end up being entirely different later. You can’t fake the authenticity (and vulnerability) required to build loyalty and trust, and you can’t fake the skill and attention it takes to create an engaged audience.
The pieces of the puzzle you need to put together to build that necessary foundation of trust that will blossom into serious brand love and commitment will differ depending on your key metrics and measurable goals. But you can count on needing engaging content to help. There is still so much value in being a thought leader – a thought innovator, even, in today’s world. People are looking for experts, but more than that, they are looking for experts with vision. Mastery of your chosen subject matter is one thing, but the true trust comes when you can take that mastery and expertise and use it to project into the future, see trends before they arrive, and, through that vision, help your ideal customers better prepare for upcoming trends and stay ahead of the curve themselves.
When you become a thought innovator in your space, when you help your ideal customers and your entire audience stay ahead of the curve with high quality content, you are adding value to their lives. The supply of content continues to grow daily, while the demand for it remains finite. That means there’s a lot of noise out there in the content-scape of the internet. To be heard, and more importantly remembered, you’re going to have to get out of your own way and stop wondering what this content can do for you. Instead, focus on what value your content will add to your audience’s lives. If you’re targeting your content correctly, that means considering what you have to offer to your ideal customer, and offering it freely. Valuable content will make their lives easier on a consistent basis, and when you make their lives easier, you become an asset. Focusing on adding value to your ideal customer’s daily life makes you highly shareable, easy to recommend, and a simple choice when they realize the need they have for what you offer.
Give It Away
In a relationship, you look forward to finding the perfect gift for the person you love. You scour the internet, browse Etsy stores for hours and think about what they want, what they need, and who they are to uncover that thing that will make their eyes light up and earn you major brownie points. You do this, without the expectation of anything in return. You give it away. You should do the same in your business.
No, I’m not asking you to do work for free. But if you’re afraid of giving the good stuff away, it’s time to put that fear to bed. Trust that educating and empowering your ideal customer will only make them want to hire you more rather than giving them the idea that they can do it on their own now. There are smart ways to “give it away” while still getting something in return, of course. For example, you can create in-depth pieces of quality content like “How-to” guides, “Best Practices” ebooks, checklists, etc. and gate them so that you get an email address in return and can continue communicating with them. But be careful with this strategy – if you gate all the good stuff, you’ll start to seem selfish despite your best intentions.
Gate some of your best pieces that you know your audience will love and use regularly, and give the rest away for free. Publish content that solves their problems and helps them be better before they buy from you. Give it away, and you’ll be surprised at the returns you didn’t even ask for.
Put Your Audience First, Always
When you love someone, you put them first. When you’re trying to get people to fall in love with your brand, you should put them first, too. Pay attention to what your audience is asking for. Use research, surveys, keyword planning, and trend monitoring to inform your content decisions. Pay attention to the intent behind the keywords you’re targeting. A high-volume keyword may have very low purchasing intent, making it less valuable to you and your business (and your content’s engagement) than a lower-volume term with higher purchase intent. When you’re planning your content, terms with high purchase intent are likely to give you more direct questions and pain points that your ideal customer or client need answered, which can be goldmines for your content strategy. If your audience is giving you exactly what they need, focus on answering their questions and solving their pain points with content that doesn’t outwardly sell your product or services. Focus on helping them genuinely – create content that solves their problems in an intuitive, helpful way that no one else has managed to do so far and the sales will follow.
Engaging content is about putting the needs of your people before your bottom line needs as a business. It feels uncomfortable at first, to shift away from a sell, sell, sell mindset, but if you’re willing to step outside that comfort zone and take a little risk, you may just find that the reward is a thriving audience of ideal customers willing to sing your praises from the mountaintops and who don’t think twice before going to you the second they realize they need what you offer (which they will, sooner than you think if you’re regularly producing content that engages them and educates them), and that’s some everlasting love right there. You know, the kind money can’t buy, and all that.
At Webolutions, we work with our clients to develop brands customers love. Our passion is working with visionary organizations who want to something amazing in the world. We help by providing the insights and systems which enable them to thrive. Feel free to give us a call if you’d like see how we can help your business grow at 303.300.2640.