February is the month of love, so get your customers to love you, too
By Jessica Alex
Well, with February being the month of love, it’s only fitting that I talk about getting that second date. Wait, this is a marketing blog, so, perhaps, I should explain why I am talking about dating!
I recently came across this funny but spot-on quote by Brand Storyteller and Speaker, David Beebe, where he says, “Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.”
Then I posted about it on Instagram, where I added, “[T]his quote sums up what we’ve talked about before: the importance of mixing it up, giving your customers (and potential customers) the type of content they want, and not making it all about sales-sales-sales.” And then I ended my caption with the all-important question: “Do you feel your content marketing strategy offers a good mix of content?”
All of this inspired me to write this here blog post, because quite frankly, there are still businesses out there that aren’t giving their audience what they want. If you feel your business falls into this category, don’t fret. I am going to give you some tips on how to get that proverbial second date.
And since we are talking about dating, eHarmony featured a blog post entitled “What not to do on a first date: 10 things to avoid” by Charly Lester. Some of those tips can come in handy for your business, too.
Here are five of the 10 items on that list that I think can be related to your digital business relationships:
1. Don’t forget your manners.
This is first on my list, too. Be friendly, be polite and professional. Treat your fellow man how you want to be treated. These are all ways to show that you have manners. Know what else can be seen as rude? Talking about yourself the whole time (a la the David Beebe quote above). So if you want to increase your chance of that “second date” with your audience, find out more about them and what they like.
“Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” – David Beebe
2. Don’t forget to ask questions.
Check in with your audience. For instance, you can create polls or ask questions via your content piece to get feedback. You can also check your insights to see what content does the best, because this can be an indicator of what your audience wants more of from you.
3. Don’t talk over or for your date, or ahem, your audience.
Some marketing campaigns and initiatives can be so loud, it feels like companies aren’t hearing what their customers are saying and what it is they actually want. It's very important to listen to your audience.
4. Don’t get too drunk — on your power, that this.
It’s your business, so you can control literally all the content that you put out there. But if you want people to stick around, you have to relinquish some of that power. You can do that by allowing others to get involved with the content that you are publishing. For example, you can include user-generated content with what you publish or you can host live video discussions with your followers to get their input on certain topics. Remember: don’t make your content all about you.
5. Don’t get too awkward or confrontational.
This one is probably a no-brainer for you. However, if you ever get into a negative situation with someone online, remember that how you respond can affect your business or professional reputation, so stay away from the “Twitter beef.” And don’t be awkward. Even silence can be awkward. And I see this a lot. For example, a great post is on an Instagram page that’s received a lot of traction. Someone posts a comment below, asking a question like, “Wow, this is great! Where can I buy this product?” And weeks later, the business that posted the image still hasn’t replied. Yikes. I also see awkward moments when a client tweets about an upsetting experience, and the response from the company is flat. When you do address your audience, be genuine. People don’t want to read generic, robotic answers. Show that you genuinely care about their concerns.
Here are some other things to remember for your digital business relationships:
6. First impressions matter.
People have so much choice these days, if you turn them off from the get-go, the chances of them returning for more of your content diminish. I believe in doing your research. This is why it’s important to know your audience. If you know your audience, you can have a better chance of knowing what it is that your customers or potential customers want to see. If you don’t know your audience, you may be throwing things out there into the content marketing wind — and nobody may catch them. Second impressions matter, too. We all have bad days, but if you recognize your flub and promise to do better next time, well, you may just have a chance of saving that relationship. But remember: a second chance may also be your last chance.
7. Don’t forget the social part of social media.
It’s important to socialize and show interest in others as well. This applies to additional forms of your content marketing such as blog posts, e-newsletters, podcasts and so forth. Don’t make every blog post or e-newsletter about your company’s sale or new product. It’s about balance. You can include content that is informative, inspirational, helpful, funny — whatever it may be that speaks to your company’s language, but more importantly, what speaks to your customers’ interests directly.
You may not find your stride right away; sometimes, you have to experience trials and errors until you find what truly works for you. Planning ahead by creating a content calendar is very helpful, but along the way, pay attention to what your audience is saying. Why? You may find that you will have to make adjustments to your plan. In time, you will also find that if you are listening to your audience, they will be around a lot longer than just a second date.
In time, you will also find that if you are listening to your audience, they will be around a lot longer than just a second date.
Is there a marketing topic that you would like us to cover? Email us at hello[at]jessicaalexmarketing[dot]com!
Links were updated on March 4, 2019