Customer-centric content—you hear about it everywhere. All the content gurus are talking about how you need customer-centric content to engage your target audience.
But what is “customer-centric content?”
This article will dive into the following questions.
- What is customer-centric content?
- What are the benefits of customer-centric content?
- How do you create customer-centric content?
Let’s get started.
What Is Customer-Centric Content?
Simply put, customer-centric content marketing focuses on the needs of your customers. So, rather than talking about how great your product or service is, you focus on how your product or service can help improve the lives of your target audience.
On a more broad scale, being customer-centric means putting the customer at the center of everything. This means that you understand their needs, worries, interests, expectations, what they enjoy, and what they reject.
You might think that you’re already customer-centric. A Capgemini report found that 75% of businesses believe they’re customer-centric. However, only 30% of consumers agree with that statement. So clearly, there is more work to do.
“The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be the earth’s most customer-centric company.” Jeff Bezos
What Are The Benefits Of Customer-Centric Content?
The global marketplace is crowded. This is true whether you’re a B2C or B2B company. To successfully compete, you need content that not only differentiates you from your competitors but that resonates on a personal level with your target audience. Otherwise, your audience is likely to tune you out.
Today’s digital-savvy consumers go online to find what they need. Of course, they use Google, but the statistics show that they are more likely to use social channels to access information. Customers ask questions in social communities and read product reviews. They’re looking for products or services that meet their needs. And in most cases, those needs are very specific.
For example, two consumers are looking for a dress. The first consumer wants to buy a dress for her daughter’s end-of-year celebration. She’s looking for an affordable dress, but something trendy and fun that will be a hit with her daughter’s friends.
The second consumer needs a dress for her first day at her new job. She just graduated college, and she wants to make a good impression on her boss and co-workers. She needs a dress that is professional and conveys the message that she’s serious about her new job.
If your content is product-centered, you’ll focus on your dresses’ design and price value. You might even touch on the speed of delivery and the excellent return policy. But that content won’t speak to the needs of these consumers.
If your competitor is publishing consumer-centric content, these consumers will see dresses that help them achieve their personal goals. As a result, your competitor will gain those consumers and develop a long-term relationship with them.
Customer-centric content creates trust in your brand, resulting in increased customer loyalty.
How Do You Create Customer-Centric Content?
Customer-centric content marketing requires that you pivot from traditional marketing strategies that focus on conversions. It also means that you need to embrace data-driven tools that provide you with the insight to create content that speaks to your consumers’ pain points.
Today, the top-down focus on your product or service doesn’t resonate with consumers. In the digital-first ecosystem, your consumers control their interactions with your brand. So, if you want to connect, you need to first invest in discovering who your audience is. If you don’t understand them, you can’t connect with them.
You’ll need to drill down deeper than ease of purchase, price, convenience, and customer satisfaction. To succeed with customer-centric content marketing, you need to understand their values.
Andy Hines described values as “about what is most important in life that in turn guides decision-making and behavior.”
Who Are You Talking To?
Customer-centric marketing requires the same strategic planning that you use for all your marketing campaigns. Begin by identifying your consumer audience. Then, develop customer personas based on psychographic data. Everyone is not your customer, so a part of your brand strategy needs to be creating messages for different segments of your audience. How do you build customer personas?
- Surveys, polls, and interviews
- Google analytics
- Social stats
- Customer behavior tracking
- Sales records
Use Social Listening Tools
Social listening tools can provide valuable insights into your potential customers’ needs, concerns, opinions, and passions. Begin by tracking conversations about your brand and your competitors. But, also follow the conversations your audience is having about trending issues, such as health, economy, climate change, etc.
Answer Your Consumers’ Questions
Once you’ve identified your consumers’ values, concerns, needs, and questions, create content that speaks to those pain points. Publish high-quality content such as blog articles and white papers that provide social proof for your service or product. For instance, user-generated content (USG) can be a powerful vehicle for personalizing messages to your consumers. However, USG content should not focus on product or service descriptions. Instead, it should focus on how their lives have been impacted by using your service or purchasing your product.
Create visually appealing, interactive, and emotive content that provides an experience for your readers. Your content should focus on how your service or products can positively impact their lives and the world.
Talk about what your consumers love. Toms Shoes, for example, although they sell shoes, their content messaging is about the power of giving back. Starbucks sells the concept of connecting with friends. Many big tech companies don’t focus on their hardware or software but instead on knowledge, global connectivity, beliefs, and values.
Connect In Non-Selling Dialogue
One of the most effective ways to build customer loyalty and trust in your brand is to engage in authentic conversations with your customers that have nothing to do with your product or service. Allow for free and safe engagement in those conversations. Brand communities are an excellent forum for these kinds of dialogues.
Create Mission-Focused, Customer-Centric Content
Today’s consumers want to buy from businesses that align with their values. They seek out mission-driven brands that are about more than the bottom line. Once you’ve identified the values that are important to your consumer audience, you’ll be able to create customer-centric content that resonates. Your messaging needs to be authentic because consumers will notice the inconsistencies. You’ll quickly lose their trust.
Look At Your Website Content
Customer-centric content marketing is not focused on driving more traffic to your website or turning leads into buyers. Instead, you’re focused on how you can help your customers. Audit your website pages—are you talking about yourself, or are you providing solutions for your customers?
Publish Storytelling Content
Everyone loves a story, and your consumers are no different. Storytelling content engages your customers, drawing them into your brand in a deeply connected way. Consumers are more likely to share storytelling content with their social network, expanding your brand reach. Focus on creating storytelling content that is
Mix Up Your Content Formats
Consumers have different tastes—some love to read, others like video, and others prefer to listen to content. Current data indicates that video performs best across all social channels. But podcast episodes have grown tremendously, and the number of listeners is skyrocketing. So mix up your customer-centric content to appeal to a variety of tastes.
- Consumers are tired of ads, promos and businesses focused on profit.
- Times are tumultuous, and people have multiple concerns.
- Speak to your audience in a way that shows you want to help them solve their problems or pursue their passions. Create customer-centric content that demonstrates how they will benefit from your products or services.
- When consumers believe that you care about them, they’ll be drawn to your brand and become long-term brand ambassadors.
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