The best content strategies start with trust
Rachel Klaver explains how to create a successful trust-building content strategy by looking after the five main stages in a customer journey. As a marketing strategist and trainer for small businesses I have taught everything from how to change the colour on a Canva design, write a caption, or create a Tiktok. These are all […]
Rachel Klaver explains how to create a successful trust-building content strategy by looking after the five main stages in a customer journey.
These are all skills we all need to magically know to market our own small businesses (or at least know enough to be able to brief someone else), and often they are far easier to do once you’ve been given a few tips here and there.
The hardest part of creating content is to trust. Trust that you will attract your ideal customers and they will want to buy from you, even if you don’t tell them to buy from you in every single post. And this is the hardest marketing skill to teach, because for you to change, you need to trust me when I tell you that!
When we turn off our “buy my thing now” impulse our content can start to build out an effective content web that attracts the right people to our brand, and then engage them enough so they don’t want to ever leave. We let them find their way to us in their own time, and then continue to provide content that helps them eliminate barriers to buying.
They will buy, and they’ll tell others to buy too if we trust them.
Part of the reason so many of us find it hard to trust our readers is we often undervalue how interested people are in what we do and how we do it. Things that we do all the time are easy for us, and often boring. I call this the “goat-in-a-tree” moment. I’m not sure if you’ve seen the goats who climb trees in Morocco, (some are now placed there by tourist-loving farmers, but let’s not have that spoil the image!) but while I find the idea of a goat-in-a-tree magical and enchanting, for that goat it’s just a normal everyday activity.
That goat isn’t talking to itself about how it’s going to get people looking at it today. It’s not thinking, “I need to look cool and aloof here in this tree eating my lunch.” No, it’s just doing what it always does. It is just climbing that tree, and doing its thing, and still we’re entertained.
If you start to share some of your ‘everyday’ behind the scenes – things you do all the time, ways of using your products, or how you’ve figured something out – you’ll be that goat-in-a-tree, and people will come and watch. If it’s really good they’ll ‘like’ and ‘comment’, and if they see a few of your goat-in-a-tree moments, they’ll decide to follow your account. They may even go check out your links, download your lead generation and get closer to making a purchase.
When we shift to creating content that’s ‘audience focused’ and not ‘us focused’, we find our people. This is the secret to content marketing that’s worth learning all those skills for.
Along with the type of content we share, we need to think of the stage we’re talking to. There are five main stages in a customer journey, and we need to look after each stage. These are Noticed, Connected, Nurtured, Yours and Community.
As we create our content, we need to create a mix of content that talks to each stage.
The Noticed Stage
The huge upsurge of short-form video has been both the biggest bane of most small business owners’ lives, and the best thing that ever happened to organic growth on social media. Short videos (under 15 seconds) with trending audio, or a quick tip, or light entertainment value helps new people find you and notice you. If they connect well with you, they will choose to follow. This stage can also be assisted with content such as memes, humor, or sharable quotes and images.
The Connected Stage
We attract them with the cool stuff, they stay for the good stuff. When we’re talking to people at this stage, we give them tips, advice and help. Our content is the ‘How we get up the tree” and “What I like to eat up there” information of our day. This helps people get value from you, along with building a relationship with you that’s not too committed.
The Nurtured Stage
When people know we know stuff, they’re more open to hearing from us in a more personal way. This could include sharing your own breakthroughs, asking for advice around a decision, or sharing a win in your joy. This is where we move past a transactional relationship and people start to feel connected with us, and/or our business. If you’ve got a team that’s all customer facing, this is a place where we share the company culture, and your day at work.
The Yours Stage
While I suggest you turn off your impulse to sell in your marketing, there is definitely a space for it. We encourage people to move closer, and let them know how we can help them, with between ten to 20 percent of our content. This is where we’ll have strong calls to actions, and perhaps even reply to a private message with more information, beginning a sales process. This is where your audience is ready to buy, and they trust you with your recommendations.
The Community Stage
If you’ve had sales before today, you already have people in this stage, but may not be talking to them. These are people who already made it to the ‘Yours’ stage, purchased from you, and stuck around. We talk best to these people through our email marketing, but we can also connect with them on posts that indicate they are special (with others wanting to find a way to join them).
Before you sit down next to write a few posts, have a think. Are you writing to your ideal customer? Or are you really just writing about yourself? And what stage of the journey are you aiming your marketing at?
Once you work that out, you’ll have a trust-building content strategy that helps people find their way to you to buy.
Rachel Klaver is a content marketing strategist and coach (www.identifymarketing.co.nz). Her insights and personality shine through her weekly MAP IT Marketing Podcast, and she is the author of ‘Be a Spider, Build a Web: Sticky Content Marketing for Small Businesses’. To go in the draw to win a copy, email [email protected] before August 8th, 2022.