We’re dealing with stressors such as:
- Constantly changing and conflicting information
- Opinions and emotions passing as facts
- Shortages of everything from products to labor
- Widening divisions across socio-economic, political, racial, and geographic lines
- General market uncertainty
The result is a loss of trust across the board, personally and professionally. This chasm that has opened poses a serious problem for your strategic content strategy because without a foundation of trust, your content will fail. Whether the goal is brand awareness, new sales, upselling, customer retention, recruiting, or anything else, your content needs to be trusted. Without trustworthiness and believability, content simply cannot succeed.
Find out how to develop a content strategy these days:
People are weary of hearing carefully crafted messages right now, especially those that seem to push an agenda. Avoid being overtly salesy or too polished. Instead, be authentic. Give people the information they’re looking for and let them make their own decisions. If your offerings are up to par, they’ll do most of the talking on their own without needing fluffy content to boost their perceived value.
There’s power (and credibility!) in numbers. Let our customers sell for you. Recruit your best customers to act as brand advocates and tell others why they love your products or services. Encourage honest reviews and use any criticism you receive to drive innovation.
Prioritize transparency, even when it’s bad news. Let’s face it, we’re all used to hearing bad news right now. So, you’re not going to shake anyone with whatever news you need to deliver. Rising prices? Shipping delays? Limited availability? Quantity restrictions? We’ve heard it all at this point, and it’s all commonplace. Just give it to us straight!
For example, whether you tell your customers that the cost of your raw materials is up 40% or not doesn’t change the fact that their price has increased, and so will yours. Help them understand that your prices will be increasing. It will be easier to stomach if they understand what’s driving the decision and will mitigate the knee jerk reaction to look elsewhere.
Reduce Purchase Anxiety
Do not just create static content that shoppers need to find and utilize themselves. Things like blog articles, whitepapers, and case studies can be extremely helpful resources. But they are not the be all end all. Go a step further with your content strategy by reaching out and grabbing prospective customers by their hands (figuratively, of course). Address purchase hesitancy head on with videos, live demos, webinars, and any other direct content that connects you with prospects while allaying their concerns.
Serve your Audience
Create content that aims to serve. Listen to what your audience wants and give it to them instead of creating what you want them to know. Use what your sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support teams are telling you that they’re hearing. Then, develop content around their concerns, complaints, confusions, and other issues.
And once you’ve created the content, close the loop by giving it to them. There’s nothing more endearing to a customer than hearing, “You asked for this, so we did it/made it/fixed it/found it. Here it is, just for you.” This is one area most companies overlook because they don’t see the value in doing something for a small audience. Instead, they only fix the most common issues for the widest audiences because they think these will have the biggest payoff. And while keeping the majority of your customers happy is certainly important, taking the time to care about the little things or reach a limited audience is even more important the more fractured your audience base becomes.
Don’t People Please
Be everything to someone instead of trying to be everything to everyone. Serve one audience segment and invest everything you have in straying true to doing so. There’s more credibility in standing for something that matters to your brand (even if some people may disagree) than pandering to every new thing that others say you should care about or chasing the latest fad.
This advice doesn’t just apply to content either. It’s also a better revenue strategy to do something well and focus on evolving to improve it than jumping to new things constantly.
Give It Your All
Don’t create content because “you have to” or “you should.” Create content because it’s the right thing to do – because a video will help a potential customer make an informed purchase decision or an eBook will help a new customer get onboarded. Don’t just check the box. Give it your all to develop content that genuinely makes someone’s life better or puts a smile on their face. Remind yourself who it’s for and then deliver what that specific person wants or needs.
If you’re wondering how to develop or update your content strategy amid these recent challenges, please reach out to us. We develop content for some of today’s most trustworthy brands to attract leads and close deals.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging, and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and two children and enjoys cooking and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!