We’ve already discussed how content should start with your brand strategy and speak to your personas, and how to develop high-level content themes to guide your content planning and editorial calendar. We’ve also talked how powerful it is to use storytelling to communicate your message and why it’s so important to stay focused. Now, we’re going to talk about something often overlooked in content creation: how to write content on a deeper level that makes customers feel more connected to your brand, and more likely to be loyal to it.
Staying Anchored to Business Goals
It’s important to start with overall business objectives and align your marketing goals with your business objectives. It’s important to create content that drives users to take action – whether that’s in terms of engaging with your brand, signing up for email communications, or making a purchase. After all, you don’t want to create content willy-nilly; your purpose is to drive meaningful results for the business, not rack up likes for the sake of likes. With all this focus on driving bottom-line goals, it’s easy to get regimented about content creation and forget you’re talking to real people who lead real lives in the real world.
Connecting with Real People
If you want to talk to real people in a way that’s relevant, meaningful, and adds value, then you must exist beyond serving your own brand and serve your audience. It’s important to consider the entire 360-degree experience around your brand. If you want your brand to win, you have to enable the consumer to win. If you want to connect with your consumer about your product, you have to connect with them based on everything leading up to where your product comes in and everything after.
What People Are Really After
People don’t fall in love with products; they fall in love with experiences. They don’t fall in love with brands; they fall in love with what they stand for and what they do to enable self-expression of their own values. This means that instead of pushing your own product, you have to create an experience around your product. Instead of pushing your brand, communicate your values and what it’s like to live the lifestyle your brand stands for.
Now, we’re talking about life in 360 degrees. Zoom out from the moment a customer purchases your product and start thinking about the entire buyer journey. When you connect over shared values and an appreciation for a way of life, you can make a much more meaningful connection and become a bigger part of consumers’ lives.
Just as in real life, you can’t expect to meet a new friend and jump right into asking them to help you move, crying on their shoulder, or asking for a ride when your car breaks down. In the same way, we must invest in IRL (in real life) friendships we must invest in relationships with consumers across brand touch points. Relationships are give and take and people sense when someone is in it only for their own sake.
Addressing All Touch Points
Since your company most likely does not create products and services that hit every single touch point in this journey, it’s likely you will need to talk beyond your own products. Guess what? This is perfectly okay. It’s actually necessary if you want to have an authentic relationship with your consumers.
Successful content is aligned to business objectives. Acquisition aids business growth, but retention is critical. Content should address all aspects of the buyer journey, even moments not necessarily directly related to your product. More meaningful brand interactions occur when content connects a brand’s values with a consumer’s values. Strong bonds of loyalty are forged when a customer feels a brand helps them express their own values.
Stay tuned for next week’s article where we’ll walk you through how this works for an example company.