This post was contributed to VENTUREAPP by Kristin Dziadul, founder of KDMedia, a marketing firm specializing in startup marketing strategy, content marketing, social media and more.
True story: More often than not, marketers forget that there are actual humans behind other brands, behind that email address and tweeting from that Twitter account. We hate to admit it, but it’s true guys. We’re stuck in a vicious circle of robotic communications and not addressing our audience for who they are: people just like us.
Consumers (read: people) are smarter than ever now at tuning out mainstream marketing tactics and are seeking deeper, more meaningful connections with brands and individuals alike. But how can a brand connect with a customer on a deeper level, especially online when it feels so impersonal? And how do you develop a multi-channel marketing plan that reflects their needs? The answer lies in many of the basics of psychology and every-day human-to-human (H2H) relationships that many of us already know but still need a gentle reminder.
Here are 3 ways you can bring your brand to life across any marketing channel to connect on a human level with your audience.
Before I even type a word in a tweet, blog post, eBook or email, I take a moment to actually picture who the person, or persona, is on the other end.
I ask myself questions such as:
- Are they funny or serious?
- Do they need a lot of details or want straightforward information?
- What are they doing right now?
- What pressures/issues/challenges are they facing?
Many of these questions help me frame how I craft each message and without this approach I’d be a failure to each and every one of my clients for not putting this into consideration.
Target Content By Stage in the Funnel
It’s equally important to target your content to people in various stages of the funnel (aka different steps in the decision process). If you’re a startup with a small team and limited time, it may be hard to imagine having enough content to fill various steps in the funnel, but it’s actually pretty straightforward.
Here’s how to do it:
- Top of Funnel / Awareness: What content will drive people to know of you in the first place as the solution to their problem? Do keyword research to find out how people are searching and finding solutions like yours (the words they use) and develop content around the high level problem you’re solving.
- Middle of the Funnel / Nurturing: Now that you’ve captured their attention and possibly even their contact information, how can you further explain to them what you do? This can be diving into particular parts of your product functionality, new feature announcements, other cases studies to show how other people use you, etc. This is still very much an educational phase, though, so don’t jump the gun and try to sell to them too fast as you may lose them altogether.
- Bottom of the Funnel / Convert: At this point, send out offers to get them to buy and give them a sense of urgency. Hold product demo webinars, make sure salespeople are in touch with them, explain how your pricing or features are better than anyone else in the industry, etc. This is definitely the sales stage of content creation where you need to show them why they need to choose you over anyone else they’re considering.
Once you’ve bucketed your audience in these 3 stages and are able to define what each stage entails (it’s different for each company) you can easily start brainstorming different content topics and types to develop.
Think, Then Write
We’re multitasking. We have non-stop alerts coming in from social media. Our inboxes are literally out of control. So it becomes very easy to just fire off an impersonal response on Twitter to a potentially very valuable customer, or half-ass an email blast meant to nurture your leads just because you didn’t have the time.
We all have a list of brands in our minds that we admire and wish to be. Day in and day out they seem handle every response on Twitter, every customer support email and every other interaction perfectly. Why? Because they’ve dedicated time and thought into the process. Two very basic, simple processes that seem to get overlooked far too often in our busy world.
Think of it this way: If a friend asked you if your company does a certain thing, you’d respond more thoughtfully than just sending them the URL to your features page, right? I hope so. Think of your customers and leads the same way. They’re taking the time to reach out to you with some type of interest, so treat them with the same care — if not more — and it will be noticed.
Thankfully companies today are moving away from just shouting their marketing messages at customers and are quickly realizing that they need to instead have these real conversations with them. I encourage you and your team to establish a customer-first approach to everything you do in marketing — from website copy to tweets to blog posts and beyond — and show you how it all works in action.