In my next blog I aim to answer a question that came in from a local business owner, Laura, who wants to know what type of content she should be posting to enhance engagement from her target audience.
“I’ve read everywhere that I should publish content that is valuable for my target audience. But it seems that what is valuable to my target audience is not really connected with services offered by my company. So, what should I publish on the company’s page?” – Says Laura, a start-up business owner.
If content is conducted correctly, you not only create high-quality and relevant content, you also attract your audience and keep them coming back for more, at the same time. Relevance and consistency is the key (as mentioned in my previous blogs) for retaining a loyal customer base on your social media pages.
It is important to note that although you may post something that isn’t necessarily connected to your brand, services or products, you may be able to share something that can connect and relate to your customer that shows the personality behind the business. Creating connections is also important, rather than just trying to promote or sell your products and services.
For me, a lot of my content is valuable for people ranging from start-up business owners, managing directors, up to company directors. I recognise that although this is the majority of my audience on my social media pages, these people may not necessarily be the customers or clients for my personal brand or my agency. However, by understanding my audience and their online behaviour, I know that although they may not directly be associated with my businesses, they may watch my content and find value in the type of content I produce. It is important to understand that although someone may not directly be a customer, these people may also act as advocates for your personal brand or business. There have been instances where I have had clients come to me and say “Hey, I saw this really great video you did about 6 months ago and it really resonated with me, I’d love to have a chat”, or “Hey, my friend follows your content on LinkedIn and gave me your details as he feels you could help me with my business endeavours”. And this is where you realise that consistency and relevance is the key to a successful, ongoing business. And that by constantly providing value, the opportunities that may arise from it are endless.
The content that I share is obviously around the marketing, digital and social media space. So, in this instance, what I would try and do is establish how I can draw parallels between what I may do or what my business does and how I can offer value. And this is what I would recommend for Laura, or anyone for that matter.
Let’s take an accounting firm as an example. Have you read a lifestyle article that was posted by an accounting firm? Sounds unlikely? Yes, but not impossible. You might have read one or two lifestyle articles but haven’t taken the time to check that the source was an accounting firm. In this instance, whilst lifestyle isn’t necessarily directly correlated with your tax or your accounts, being able to help your audience or your followers understand the value in managing a healthy lifestyle is still important because you want your clients to live long, prosperous lives. And, whilst eating well, exercising, being happy, enjoying yourself is not directly related to the numbers, it still can be of value to that target audience. And also help display the type of personality you have as an accounting firm and your philosophies around how you want people to live their lives well, which at some point will tie into their wealth and their personal finances.
That’s my analogy to illustrate the connection of accounting firms to lifestyle blogs and how they make customer-worthy content out of that connection.
One tip I can give is if you are really uncertain on what type of content to publish, is to take the time out and directly ask your customers what things they’d love to hear about. It’s always best to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Then, if it’s something that you’re comfortable talking about or comfortable creating content around, then congratulations — you now have a content worthy of your audience’s attention! The content will give you more reason to interact with them, to build a relationship with them, to engage with them.
Remember the point of content is to give and give before you receive. When you listen to the greats like the Gary Vaynerchuk of this world and have contemplated on the jab, jab, right hook methodology of his business philosophy, it basically sums up that the point of content is to be able to give, give, before you take. Give value to your customers by creating a remarkable content that they will be delighted with, give or do things that conveys your appreciation, before you go in for the kill.
And that’s the insight that I think a lot of people lose with their content. They create content thinking it’s a sales pitch. They create content with the intent to sell straight off the bat. Give people a reason to understand you, to want to do business with you, to relate to you. Give them something that means something to them first, they’ll then remember you for what you’ve given them and the snippets or the insight or the little bits of gold that you might share with them. And if you can give without expecting anything in return, that will come back to you ten-fold.
My own personal experiences are testaments of this methodology and it does surprise me. I get surprised when people say things such as “I really liked the video that you did, that really helped me with such and such” or, “You know, thanks very much for that bit you wrote in your book and you spoke about it in this other video” or, “Thank you for sharing that content in your post on Facebook or Instagram.”
And it blows me away how people remember that stuff. I’m not asking anything of them. I just genuinely want them to learn, and to understand my belief that education, especially in the marketing, digital and social space, is paramount when it comes to business owners, managers and marketers making the best decisions for their businesses.
So, the by-product of sharing my philosophy in educating an audience without expecting anything in return through content, is me having better relationships and engagement with my customers and building a much stronger business that’s built around those foundations of like-minded people, progressive business owners, managers and marketers who actually want to make a difference with their businesses.