5 steps to effective communication
As a business, your end goal should never be just about selling a service or product, but also about making and maintaining a connection with your customers from which loyalty and trust can grow.
Many of the same principles that guide effective communication in our everyday lives can be applied to how we engage with customers via content marketing. Good listening, authenticity and clarity will trump impatience, deceit and avoidance in both settings. Loyalty and trust is built when customers feel that you care about them, not just their money. From that strong basis, they can become co-creators in your journey. We look at five key elements of effective communication to consider for your content marketing strategy.
#1 Know your customer
Creating customer personas is an excellent tool for planning effective communication by helping you understand your core customer groups. Start your research by conducting interviews and surveys. Once you know who you’re talking to, you can create compelling content your audience can’t help but respond to. It also enables you to deduce which media is most effective for delivering your message, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, mailers, SMS or a blog post.
#2 Let them know you
Embrace transparency by building a brand persona your customers can relate to. You can maintain authority but also be flexible and relatable in your communication. Making a connection is better than simply sharing information, but when you do speak about your brand, be authentic and positive. Have a conversation, tell a story, take time to connect.
Effective communication is not a one-way activity. We all know how frustrating it can be when we’re not heard, or given a chance to state our case. Be the business that listens to what your customers are saying and asking. And then take the time to craft content that addresses those needs. By listening properly and answering concerns patiently and sincerely, you are meeting your customers where they are, which shows your commitment. Here quality, rather than quantity, is key.
#4 Have fun
Create balance by offering content that isn’t necessarily selling something or overly informative; but rather that will help enrich and empower your customers lives while at the same time entertaining them. Think ‘show’ not ‘tell’.
#5 Keep the goal in mind
Formulating a successful content marketing strategy starts with a clear goal that answers a few key questions. What do you want to achieve? How do you want your audience to react or feel? What must they get out of your communication? How do you want your business to be seen? As a thought expert? A leader in the field? Intentionally creating content that speaks to those goals will make it much more effective.
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