Content marketing allows you to put a message out into the world, in the hopes that consumers will embrace it. Relationship marketing is different – it allows you get to know people, both customers and potential customers, so you can offer and tailor messages to effectively meet their needs.
Why should content marketers focus on long-term customer engagement?
Relationship marketing fuels content. If you create content that people want, it will be simpler for you to build a loyal audience around your brand and products. If you’re not building solid relationships with people in your community, there is a missing piece in your strategy.
According to Meaghan Moraes from HubSpot, “relationship marketing is focused on long-term customer engagement rather than short-term customer acquisition and individual sales.”
Build affinity with your customers
By focusing on developing meaningful relationship, you create brand affinity and as a result, customers are more likely to return to your website, purchase products and tell others about it. Forget the old 4 P’s of marketing, says Kimberly Whitler from Forbes – marketers need to focus on engaging customers and increasing sales with the 3 E’s:
– Engage with consumers by listening to their needs, and being part of the conversation.
– Equip consumers with information they can use and giving them a reason to talk and engage with your company.
– Empower consumers by facilitating conversation by giving consumers different ways to talk and share.
These three processes will help align consumers’ interests with your own.
Don’t get too caught up with conversions
The key to creating content that will convert is to use your marketing to nurture the relationship with the consumer, rather engineer a conversion. Consumers are becoming smarter when presented with marketing material. Theyknow when you’re not being genuine.
“If you’re not thinking of the customer first and providing them with the things they need, it won’t matter if you have an email address”, says Mackenzie Fogelson from Moz. “You won’t build a connection or earn the opportunity of a relationship”.
Being transparent and honest, and providing value to your consumers can help to establish a lasting connection with them that will ultimately result in leads and conversions anyway. So don’t lose sight of the wood for the trees.
Appeal to their hopes (and fears)
Using emotion in your content can help you to strengthen your bond with the consumer. Steve Olenski from Forbes says emotion is the “holy grail of marketers around the world. The word emotion speaks of a rarefied place where few brands and marketers reside.”
But how do you create an emotional connection with a brand through content? Why not try humanising your brand?
Emphasising the human element of your organisation – by featuring your employees and their relationships with customers in your marketing – helps consumers relate to your brand.
It’s rare, but if you are able to make a sincere connection with a consumer, something incredibly powerful happens. Beyond a fleeting impression, the moment of emotion and connection provides the basis for long-term advocacy and engagement. And that’s invaluable for sustaining your bottom line.
Invest in the business of creating brand advocates
When people truly love what you offer them and believe in what you stand for, they’re happy to spread the good word, becoming brand advocates.
According to a recent Nielsen survey, 83 percent of respondent said that they were more likely to believe and act upon recommendations from family and friends over all other forms of advertising.
Developing consumer relationships by instilling meaningfulness, brand trust and affinity into your marketing will make it much simpler for you to build loyalty and long-term engagement with your customer base.
So, how will you go above and beyond in the relationships you’ve built with your customers?