Creating regular, quality content is one of the most effective ways to market your business. And it’s even truer now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. People are in need of connection these days—to their friends, their co-workers, and yes, their brands too. Which is why providing your customers with smart, relevant content is a great way for you to stay in touch, provide value, and grow your business.
But not all content is created equal. So how do you create the good stuff? The kind of quality content that reinforces your status as an authentic brand and an industry expert, while giving your customers what they want? Here are some suggestions.
Step into your customers’ shoes.
If you want to create content that’s relevant to your audience, you need to know what interests them. Start paying attention to what they care about—things like trends, current challenges, and industry news. Even better, talk to them. Ask questions. Pay attention to their feedback. Check in with your salespeople and CSRs to find out what types of questions your customers are asking—especially now. Life has certainly changed in the past couple months. What do your customers care about in the current climate? It’s also a good time to think ahead to what your customers may want later, once things go back to “normal.”
Communicate industry insights and trends.
Another way to generate quality content is by leveraging your expertise as an industry leader who is looking forward within the context of the new normal. Customers are looking to you for ideas, guidance, and advice. Educating them is a great way to provide value. Is there insider information you could share that might give your customers a unique perspective on your industry? Let them in on what industry thought leaders are predicting for the future. Be a primary source your customers can go to for answers and insights.
Share company news and information.
Once you’ve considered your customers and your industry, it’s time to think about your company. Give the outside world a look behind the curtain. Could you create content around things your company is doing to keep things moving during the pandemic, both internally and externally? How are current events changing the way you do business? Are you connecting more through virtual events or offering educational webinars, or additional digital experiences like apps or online tools? How are company employees being affected? Sharing behind-the-scenes information helps customers get to know you better. In addition to delivering news about your company, it helps creates a personal connection that can strengthen the relationship between you and your customers. They want to connect with brands they can relate to.
Repurpose your existing content.
Struggling to come up with new ideas? Consider putting a fresh spin on some of your existing content. Is anything still relevant? Could you start with something you created in the past and either enhance it, change it, or adapt it for the current situation? If so, this can be an easy way to publish more content pretty quickly and efficiently.
Get people talking.
People like to interact with the companies they support. To facilitate things, give customers an easy way to get in touch. Share info and ask for feedback. Instead of your content being a one-way street, encourage discussion, user-generated content, and open dialogue. Customers like to know they’re being listened to. They like to know their opinions and ideas are valued. As you create your content, consider the ways you can keep the communication channels open. Increasing customer engagement is always good for business. In the process, you’ll learn more about who your customers are and what they’re interested in.
Be a savvy curator.
When producing content, quantity and quality are both important. Creating a lot is great. But don’t just put any old thing out there. Make sure the content you put out into the world is smart, relevant, and on brand. Especially now, think about the tone and messaging. If your brand uses a lot of humor, tread carefully, but still be true to your brand tenets. It’s great to try some new things and engage customers in fresh ways. But be careful not to veer too far away from your core values. And it goes without saying that you should edit and proofread your materials carefully. Like it or not, your brand will be judged by every bit of content you create.
Which brings us to a final point. Remember, as you create content for your audience, everything you do is part of the larger whole that comprises your brand’s message, position, and character. So make sure it’s an accurate reflection of your brand and how you want to be perceived. Now go forth and create some sparkling content. Your customers want to hear from you.