Have you ever tried to converse with someone while you’re at a rock concert? The music is awesome and you just want to share a thought with your friend but the minute you open your mouth, you realize you won’t be heard until the music stops.
Similarly, the amount of content that’s being published on the web is deafening. Content marketing on the web is exploding. By 2020, the amount of web-based information (most of it consumer-driven) is expected to increase by 600%. Think about that for a moment: Imagine the vastness of the Internet today, in six years we’ll have six of those.
Sellers who’ve done their homework know that providing quality information to prospects during the research and buying process increases their chances at closing the sale. But things are getting so noisy that many businesses won’t be heard until the sale is over and your competitor beat you to the finish line.
With so much content available, one might think that’s a positive for the average consumer. But when you sit down and crunch the numbers, there’s a finite amount of content that can be consumed by any one human. Today, an average American spends about 10 hours a day consuming content, a number that has risen steadily year over year. There’s a threshold to the amount of attention we can to devote to content, which will further challenge a marketer’s ability to get messages seen and heard by their target audience.
While content is the new currency with which we establish our business’ trustworthiness, the question now is…How will our content marketing messages get seen and heard above the noise?
Content marketing, customer appreciation and community.
Every time I sit down to write a blog post, I think about the words I want to write and my goal of building a community around my business. I want to build trust with my community because trusts leads to loyalty. Whether you’re a car dealership, a salesperson, a service writer or even another business entirely, being human trumps any site traffic stat you can muster.
Yes, still do SEO to drive traffic to your site. Yes, still attract new customers with well-placed Social ads. But spend an equal amount of your time building loyalty and showing appreciation for your current customers. People buy from people they know, like and trust. That’s been the case since the first widget was sold. Today, you develop that knowing, liking and eventually trusting with content marketing, customer appreciation and community.
It all starts with content. Quality content you create and publish establishes your business as a trusted resource. Content marketing starring your employees and customers goes one step further to illustrate how awesome it is to do business with you. Syndicating your content on social media, newsletters and ebooks helps “get the word out” and increases your influence and visibility on search engines. Work with a content strategist if your not sure what you should be publishing or how you’ll execute it. Content is your biggest asset on the web.
When I managed car dealerships, we always had some form of customer appreciation. Today, with the social web, we can use technology to help us launch programs, track our success and with finesse, others share our results. Customer appreciation doesn’t always have to come in monetary form. Spotlight a loyal customer (ie: “Raving Fan”) with your blog. Tell their story. If they own a business, talk about it. Memorialize a milestone they’ve reached in their life. Tell your customers’ stories so prospects can see how much you appreciate their business.
Community members buy from community members. Community members refer to others because they have established relationships. This is nothing new – it’s word-of-mouth. Take time to build a community around your business or your personal brand – a community that mirrors your real life community – using social media.
The future of the web is noisy. Leverage your greatest asset – content – to attract prospects, improve customer loyalty and watch your business proper within your community.