Maybe you haven’t noticed, but humans are a social and passionate species.
If you can create a content strategy that connects with your customers based on their passions, fears, and dreams, you win.
But can you really do that using Twitter and Instagram?
I learned from Randy Hlavac and his book Social IMC that there are deeper connections you can make on other parts of the internet.
When I combined his advice with my own experience as a buyer, not as a content writer, I realized he was right.
For me, even Facebook and its groups lack the depth to connect with my audience on a deeper level.
So what do you do? Where do you go and what can you post to intice trust in your customers.
Let’s tackle that. Here are four tips on how to connect with your audience.
1. Give Them Value and Build Trust
Brian Clark from Copyblogger taught me to give value to my audience.
Value can take many forms, it can be educational, inspirational, and even entertaining, but it has to be something your customers need to read.
Not want to read, need to read.
When you can tackle their problems, when they come back to read your content because they feel you care about who they are, you incite trust.
Trust builds relationships, trust is the foundation of any meaningful connection, and trust is what turns people from readers and viewers to buyers.
How to Give Value to Your Customers
I am a writer, so the only way I know how to give value is to write.
But I don’t write about anything. I write about what they need.
My business is about creating content solutions for my clients. This means analyzing their content (if they have it) and improving it.
Does that mean I share with them how to improve their content?
They are coming to me because they want to improve their content, what I need to do is show them that my business is the right choice.
How do I do that?
I write blog posts, articles, and tweets that show my customers I understand their other problems.
My audience is business owners, specifically new and small business owners. What are their problems?
They need to reduce their costs, expand their services, automate their tasks, handle accounting, and finally, they need help in reaching their audience.
I can post content, ideally from my own business experience on how to reduce costs. Maybe I can share posts from their industry experts on how to expand.
Naturally, I also share how they can benefit from my services, but I let them find that advice, and I actively give them the advice they need.
Do you see the difference?
2. Find The Right Social Platform
As I mentioned above, the usual social media is too shallow to create deep relationships. The conversation is only scratching the surface of their problems. You don’t have to believe me, just analyze how you and most people interact with available information.
I will give you two examples, and you tell me which is stronger, which one has a better chance of resulting in a purchase.
Let’s say you are vegan but your significant other isn’t. You are trying to find an exceptional restaurant for your anniversary.
There are many great vegan restaurants, but there aren’t many restaurants offering great food for both vegans and non-vegans.
You go online and find recommendations in two ways:
- By checking reviews and information on the restaurant’s pages, you find a restaurant that has tasty food and seems to care for its vegan visitors.
- You go to your vegan forum, a place that knows the struggles of eating out as a vegan, especially when you have a non-vegan partner. The people there, some of whom you know better than your relatives, recommend to you where to go.
Which has more value?
Obiously, the second one, why? Because it came from a place of trust, a community of people sharing the same interests and problems.
That community is bound by passion, passion for food, for animals, for a better environment.
You need to find that.
Find blogs, forums, posts on Reddit and Quora, groups, and communities where your customers discuss their lives and problems. Become a member of those communities and find ways to solve their problems using your content.
You have to be smart how you post there, these communities are not a place where you just share mindless ads hoping someone clicks on your links.
But if you give them value, they will remember that. Give them value and you will build trust, build trust and you will make meaningful connections.
3. You Still Need Facebook, Twitter, Insta, etc.
The fact that you can find your perfect customers on forums and blogs doesn’t erase the need for posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the likes.
Actually, that is how you find the forums.
But the times are different, if you are constantly yelling how your product is the best and everyone loves it, no one will care about you or your product.
Build relationships with your audience, provide them with ideas, content, and solutions to their problems. Show them you care, and that if they need you, you can solve their issues.
Here is another example.
Let’s say now you are a restaurant owner. Maybe you are vegan, but even if you are not, you care about their problems and you truly care to have tasty food for both groups.
You can use the first layer of social media to distinguish your audience, to learn about their issues, and connect with them on a basic level. Just let them know you exist and you care.
Then you dive deeper, you find their real problems, and you solve those.
Show them you understand the frustration when a restaurant says they are vegan-friendly but only have two vegan dishes on the menu. Pasta with vegetables and a vegan tortilla.
Tell them you know what it’s like eating out when only one partner is vegan.
Share with them your care for veganism, share your passion for food, your professionalism in preparing meals, and your carefully picked ingredients.
Naturally, all of that needs to be true.
4. You Need to Understand Your Customers
If you want to have content that resonates with your audience, you need to know everything about them.
Knowing their age, sex, and education is not enough. You need to know their problems and how to solve them.
Try to answer why would someone come to your restaurant. Why a customer, out of all the choices in their city, knocks on your doors for a nice evening meal.
When you understand who your customers are, you can tailor your offer, content, products, and everything else to their needs.
You want them to think about your restaurant every time they are thinking about eating out. This means you are tailoring your offer to suit their needs, and your product is truly magnificent.
How To Understand Your Audience
This part bothered me the most when I created my website and wrote content for it. I didn’t know how to find out everything about my possible clients.
And I wasn’t an educated marketer (still ain’t), everything I know is self-taught, so I make many mistakes.
But that might be exactly what you need.
Advice coming from just another business owner trying to understand the market.
Who are your clients?
If you could choose to work with anyone in the world, who would that be?
For me, they are new business owners who care about their work and about making the world a better place.
Ask yourself the same question, and start widening your approach from the answer.
How to find them and their problems?
Again, I can only share from experience.
When I decided I will focus on small businesses, I searched for owners of social media.
You can do the same. Find hashtags your audience uses (for me it was #smallBiz #businessowners) and read about their lives, their problems, and their solutions.
Now you know who they truly are. You can learn about their business, find solutions, or even better, find how your service solves those solutions, but don’t shove it down their throats.
Give them value, show them you care, and let them come for more.
A Few More Words
In content marketing, you have to grab the reader’s or viewer’s attention and give them value or a hint of that value as quickly as possible. They say this is because today’s audience has a short attention span.
I don’t believe that.
I find myself reading long articles and watching videos because they are interesting, because they provide value to me, and because I trust the writer or the business behind it.
In other words, the audience’s tolerance for low-quality content has never been lower. And for a good reason, the internet is full of articles, videos, even books that promise a lot and underdeliver.
So, give your audience value on every step, with every sentence, and every second of a video, and they will love you.