Content marketing is a great way to use your skills and knowledge to help customers overcome their objections to your product or service. Potential customers and clients naturally have their radar up to try and sift through your message and learn what’s really important. Get that? Your customers want to learn.
You’re going to teach them
I have a great quote taped to my desk:
Amateurs complain, professionals educate.
As professionals, we have a responsibility now to educate our customers on best practices, industry secrets, and more. We’re able to tell the story of why we are in business, how we work, and what our work looks like on a daily basis. The opportunity to show and tell offers a definitive market advantage. You’re able to connect with them in a way that was unthinkable ten years ago.
Content Marketing helps you accomplish this
Take a summer camp for example. Their sales goal is to get campers and new families to register for a session. Some of their objections may be:
What if he’s homesick?
What activities will they do?
How will camp help them grow?
These are all great questions, and unfortunately they wouldn’t all be voiced in an information setting. Your website plays a big role in answering these questions, especially in a single-answer setting e.g. “your son would play these games”. A video would be fantastic, because families are able to see what the games are, and what the environment is like. Social media is a good opportunity to post pictures or gauge feedback through polls.
Blogs are the engine of content marketing, because a blog is where you build your established authority. Going back to the camp example, while I could answer questions and overcome objections to some questions through static content, a consistent voice on child development and growth is key. Here are five examples of posts a summer camp could use:
- How Rites of Passage Jump-Start Your Child’s Development
- The 3 Most Important Interview Questions We Ask Our Staff
- Our Unique Twist on Staff Training
- What We Talk About When We Talk About Camp
- The 7 Critical Character Traits of Growing Children
In each post, you’re overcoming a specific obstacle or question a parent may have. The first and fifth posts are best, because you’re helping them solve a problem that’s not necessarily related to your camp (though it is). These posts provide content that any parent would want to know, and they are more likely to share it with friends.
Real life example: HelpScout
HelpScout is a customer service and support software for businesses. They provide an incredible product with great support that has tangible benefits for their clients. HelpScout also produces the web’s best customer service content, and it converts like crazy. Here are a couple examples of their posts:
Recognize the beauty of content marketing. These articles are crammed with value for any business owner or manager. Creating loyal customers? Heck yeah I want to know more! Getting more customers? You know it!
HelpScout has built an email list of 30,000 in just one year. Customer service isn’t an underserved niche either, they have plenty of competition. But through being generous with their expertise, they have built a loyal following. Not all of their readers are paying customers, including me. Whenever I need to use customer service software though, HelpScout will be the first place I click.
I want to be clear that content marketing may or may not drive direct traffic and registrations to your business. What it does accomplish is to place your business in the customer’s mind as an authority in the subject. When they are wondering about a question related to your topic, and need an answer, where do you think they will look? You. In HelpScout’s case, thousands of their readers have no intention of using their service. But by creating valuable, shareable content, they are extending their reach and building their influence every day.
People will realize that you have the customer’s best interest at heart, and are willing to share information regardless of immediate sale. Indirectly, this promotes brand loyalty precisely because of the inherent truth that you must care about the well-being of the customer or client. If you don’t, content marketing isn’t for you. Content marketing is about storytelling, transparency, and customer care.
People gather as much information as they can before making a decision. You should be the one giving it to them.
photo credit Eric R.