Over the last 10 years the web has changed significantly, especially with regards to how customers make purchase decisions. Back then if a customer was in the early stages of a purchase decision, and they needed more information, they would have happily called your office or even ventured into your bricks and mortar store to ask a bunch of questions. These days a phone call or a physical visit is seen as a last resort. It’s well known that millennials absolutely detest taking and making phone calls.
Today, before a customer is ready to make a purchase decision they will hunt for answers on Google like a bloodhound and they are increasingly doing this on their mobiles. They are also a lot better at information hunting than they were 10 years ago. These days a potential customer will find out everything they need to know about your business by doing a couple of lightning quick searches on their tablet while binging on Stranger Things.
Marketing 101 tells us that the bigger the customer’s purchase decision is, the more questions they will have. Customers find answers in content. Therefore, if you are selling an expensive product or service, you need a lot of content.
With this in mind, it’s important that you:
- Do research to determine what questions your target audience will want answers to;
- Invest in producing quality content that answers those questions;
- Present that content in a format that is easy for your target audience to digest;
- Share that content in places where your target audience frequents on the web.
If you do this effectively, customers will be drawn to your business like bees to honey. This is what marketers call ‘inbound marketing’. However, it’s important to understand that doing this effectively requires a combination of creativity, commitment and a significant investment of resources. You can’t just pump a few hundred dollars into making a few pieces of content and then give up because you didn’t achieve success. I will not sugar coat it, creating effective content is an expensive uphill slog.
On top of that, the key to achieving success is ensuring that your content is relevant and relatable, i.e. timing is everything. You could create the best piece of content in the world, but if your timing is off, nobody will ever see it. Sanne Aagaard made the comment earlier this year that if “content is king, relevance is queen” and this is absolutely true. To create relevant content you need to constantly monitor your industry and marketplace to ensure you are aware of any trends, strike while the iron is hot and strive to be original + unique. If that sounds exhausting to you, that’s because it is.
In my opinion, creating effective and engaging content is not easy and if you’ve got a digital marketing agency telling you that it’s all a piece of cake or “we guarantee you will go viral”, they are trying to take advantage of you. By following my advice above, you’ll be putting yourself in the best possible position to attract lots of customers to your business, but nothing is ever guaranteed in the content game and there is always an element of luck that plays a role.
Keep in mind that some of the most successful and viral pieces of content have come about completely by accident. James Corden did everything I mentioned above when it came to creating content, but even he had no idea he would strike gold when his team came up with Carpool Karaoke and now it’s a viral global phenomenon.
My next blog post will provide you with a number of helpful tips when it comes to creating effective and engaging content. These tips certainly won’t guarantee success, but they will put you on the right track.