Today’s consumer is a lot more pessimistic than in previous generations. Indeed, ethical consumerism is on the rise, and the market is beginning to take notice, especially in the current economic landscape and the dominance of millennials.
Consumers don’t want to be told what to want nor do they want their intelligence insulted. This is why a growing number of companies and independent professionals are considering incorporating education into their marketing campaigns.
Sponsored content, content marketing, and white papers are all vital extensions of this marketing process.
Because consumers value being informed instead of being talked down to or “sold.” Unfortunately, the latter approach has produced an abundance of distrust and perceptions of unscrupulous intentions. If a brand doesn’t have the trust of the consumer, then it could very well be the bane of their corporate existence.
The solution to this problem is by teaching your way into your customers’ lives, hearts, and pocketbooks. Here are six steps to guide you:
- Identify their need
- Bring their fear to life
- Create a valuable solution
- Drive traffic to your solution
- Follow-up with personal contact
1. Identify their need
In any industry, getting into your customers’ hearts and pocketbooks takes more than just telling them to use your company’s services, or worse, pontificating that your brand is the best. Instead, you need to identify specific problem you can solve.
Let’s use an example of an accountant. You can’t just say you have to use an accountant for tax purposes. A far more effective approach would be to educate potential clients about the five common mistakes when filing their taxes.
Another example is a website design firm. Rather than simply presenting an array of services, your agency should tell the customer that it has a complimentary, in-depth white paper warning prospects about the top 10 conversion rate killers. Or, the business can guide them to a blog post on the search engine optimization errors websites regularly incur.
Whatever your niche or service, begin with their needs and build free resources that clearly positions that need as the starting point for your conversation.
2. Bring that fear to life
When customers are brought to these important points of information, you have to then intensify those needs by highlighting the real-world consequences of not doing anything about them. This can be done by bringing their attention to a wide spectrum of data that pinpoints with gruesome clarity those fears and concerns.
Again, the accountant can cite data highlighting audit rates that a person can receive if they make certain mistakes on their tax returns. Or, a web designer can cite statistics that show visitors ignore specific elements of their webpages, which makes advertising ineffective or destroys their buying rates.
After the data, focus on the emotional side of these fears. Does this lead to embarrassment, insecurity, helplessness, or frustration? What specific pain does not dealing with their needs produce?
3. Create a valuable solution
Once those needs are addressed and the fear intensified, it’s time to generate a valuable solution … free of charge.