Take a second to consider the many ways people get their caffeine fix. Some may brew the old-fashioned way — using a coffee pot or a French press to get the job done. Others may use a Keurig.
And no smart coffee shop barista will assume that every person in line wants a black cup of java. Not when there are thousands of possibilities.
And that’s just coffee.
Developing a content strategy also requires that type of consideration for the different experiences customers want from your brand. Customers are increasingly demanding more — highly relevant experiences delivered in a way that shows you understand them.
Accomplishing that type of relevancy is essential for building brand loyalty. And, consequently, it’s the key to building and securing the future of your brand.
While it’s a bit more challenging than making an espresso, creating a customer-focused content strategy that builds brand loyalty is possible if developed strategically. It must be designed with close attention to customer’s individual preferences for messaging, content type, delivery, format and channels. And, to solidify brand loyalty, your content strategy also must convey how your brand is different from your competitors.
Take the following steps to start developing a customer-focused content strategy that generates brand loyalty.
Create content with true value. Whether a prospect is coming to your site for the first time — or the sixth or seventh time, they should be able to discover quality content that has meaningful value.
In a recent brand trust survey conducted by Vennli, the majority of 100 senior-level marketers agreed that brand content — owned content — is important at all stages of the customer’s journey, but particularly for the Awareness stage. Using owned content when creating awareness contributes to the overall first impression customers have about your company.
Respondents also said that the most effective way to make a brand impression is through original research, testimonials from customers and quotes from industry experts.
These types of content provide an additional layer of validation as part of a brand trust strategy.
Original research demonstrates the commitment you have to being an industry leader, while customer testimonials, such as those provided in case studies, can lend credibility to your claims about your products and services.
Differentiate based on personas. A deeper dive into customer data gives you the ability to more clearly define the major differences among your personas, particularly the top pains each of them are experiencing.
Use that information to guide the development of content that addresses the problems and challenges facing different customers.
For example, one audience segment may primarily consist of senior-level engineering executives — those who are able to quickly gain an understanding of the benefits of your product or service. And, if they are primary decision-makers, they also are capable of making a quick decision as to whether to buy from you. Their customer journey will be significantly different from that of a manager who needs to get buy-in from six other stakeholders.
Make sure your content strategy reflects the major differences among your different audiences, demonstrating that you understand their challenges as well as giving them the confidence that your company has the right answers.
Develop creative briefs that generate empathy. A creative brief is among the most important tools in your marketing department. To ensure that your creative team is leveraging your findings about your audiences, populate it with information that generates empathy for what each of your personas are experiencing — their pains, their challenges and the questions they may have at different stages of the buyer journey.
Also, keep in mind that the creative brief must first inspire your creative team. Keep it engaging and concise. They should be able to get a clear image of who they’re addressing when developing content that fit each of your persona’s preferences.
Identify preferences for content format, channels. Other aspects of your content strategy may require updates, especially since customers’ media consumption habits evolve with time.
Depending upon your target audience, your customers may find it more convenient to consume video on their mobile phones to gain a better understanding of your solution. And customers may be more willing to download a white paper or ebook or sign up for a webinar at the Consideration stage — long after you have shown them value through a series of blogs.
Use customer analytics to guide you to the right mix of content formats for each of your primary personas.
In the same way, use customer data to guide you on the right channels for content promotion. For instance, customers under 29 are engaging in Instagram in greater numbers than Facebook. And LinkedIn may be a better option for the B2B industry.
Anticipate customers’ needs. Another way to get into the hearts of prospective customers is to anticipate their needs before they ever express them. This may not be as difficult as it sounds if you’re using the experiences of current customers — those who are similar to your target audiences — to better determine how you can over perform in addressing needs prospective customers may not have yet considered.
Measure performance more frequently. To understand how well you’re engaging your customers, regularly measure the performance of your content — perhaps more frequently than you are now.
Keep tabs on how well you’re doing by checking the performance of your content on a regular basis. Use those insights to make changes to your strategy, content or promotion to get closer to the ideal experience your customer wants from you.
Developing a customer-focused content strategy demands that you regularly focus on the needs and desires of your primary customers. With the right actionable insights from customer data, you will be able to create content and engagements that win your customers over — for the long haul.
With Vennli’s content intelligence solution, it’s possible to gain the actionable insights you need to understand what your customers want — at every stage of their buyer journey. Contact us for a demo. We’ll show you how it can work for you.