People love to talk. They love to talk about their kids, their alma mater, their favorite sports teams, the last episode from Suits or their last meal. Does that sound familiar? People talk about themselves about 40% of the time and this study shows that there is actually a chemical reaction that takes place in our brain when we talk about ourselves that makes us feel better.To summarize, people love to talk about things that they like, use or care about the most, it's just human nature. Knowing this, let me ask you two questions:
Your customers will champion your business if you allow them to. Giving them opportunities to voice their opinions will make them feel valued and help generate that brand loyalty that you've been dying to create through your content marketing strategy. Several powerful things that come from letting your customers talk about your business is that they can provide you with free marketing, improve your leads and help you generate sales. These things will improve your ROI. People are more likely to respond to a message from a peer because they are received as a reccomendations and not sales pitches.
Here's a quick example of how peer reccomendations can fuel a purchasing decision when deciding on whether or not to see a movie, we will use Pacific Rim for example. By placing a consumer named Andrew in the Customer Engagement Cycle it will help you better conceptualize how this may or may not affect your business and your content marketing plan.
The Awareness Stage-Engaging Content
Andrew first became aware of the movie from the awesome trailer he saw on Youtube or TV. The trailer probably grabbed his attention because everything about it screamed "EPIC", but really you can just call it engaging content. Tip: You should always be in the business of engaging your potential customers to become interested in the product or service you're selling.
The Inquiry Stage-Search Optimized
After watching the trailer, Andrew search for reviews on Google, IMDB and RottenTomatoes to get a feel for the general attitude towards the movie. He was able to find relevant information about the movie because "Pacific Rim" was optimized to show up when you searched via Google. It had high ratings but he still wasn't ready to buy a ticket just yet. Tip: You should have a clear understanding of what people are searching for and apply those keywords to your content.
The Consideration Stage-The Most Important
This is the most important stage and this is where companies are missing a huge opportunity to let their customers bring them business. Even though Andrew gathered great information about the movie online and he saw the awesome trailer, he didn't actually make the decision to buy a ticket until he asked a couple of friends whether or not they had seen it and liked it. It turned out that they LOVED IT! Their opinion effected his purchasing behavior greater than any other touch points he had with Pacific Rim and I believe that is true for most businesses. Tip: People don't just want to see what you have to say, they want to hear about other customer's experiences with your product/service.
After you get them in the door, your Product/Service, not your current customers, should be doing the talking. If you aren't providing them with the tools to help engage other potential buyers of your business, then you are missing a great opportunity to increase your footprint via social channels and improve your ROI. Your customers can help you acheive your content marketing goals because by letting them talk, they are actually generating content for you!
Hear how Compendium helped Gymboree acheive greater marketing success with the Customer Story Capture Tool on this blog post.