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Why You Should Serve, and Not Sell!

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If you’re a consumer, would you do these?

You’re watching a program on television and there’s a commercial break.  You switch to the other channel or go for a quick break.

You’re reading a magazine and usually flip through the advertisement pages.

You’re surfing the internet and you would rarely or never click on the online banner advertisements or pop-ups.

If your answers are in the affirmative to the above then you are that smart consumer who’s no longer impressed by the traditional marketing of products and services. You’re looking for ideas that could help you make better future purchase decisions, based on your individual preferences.

But if you’re a marketer, this is certainly bad news for you!

This means that today’s smart consumers need something else, something more relevant to their obvious needs. This also means that you need to push your company and its products to the next level of marketing. But what’s that awesome technique which helps you achieve this?

It’s content marketing.

“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” [Content Marketing Institute]

Whether you’re a large company or a small firm, top quality content is the fuel with which you can quickly repel your business beyond the competition. Big brands like Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Kraft, Colgate, General Mills, Ben & Jerry’s and Expedia that are doing an excellent job to engage audiences (or consumers) through useful content creation. But it’s not just the biggies, even smaller companies like Good Greens, Dollar Shave Club, Foiled Cupcakes and Orabrush have set excellent examples content marketing.
There are many more similar success stories.

The reason is quite simple – content marketing is awesome. It’s because effective content marketing translates to serving. Or simply answering – What’s in it for the customer?

So, as an online marketer or small business owner, you need to shift your focus from selling to serving. When you sell a product to the customer, you may win them once. But when you serve a customer, you have won them for life! This is the magic of helping customers or prospects with value-added, relevant content.

Here’s how content marketing helps you serve customers –

•    When content builds awareness : This content shows your company as an expert in your field and creates awareness about its various facets and not necessarily about the specific products or services.
•    When content educates: This content addresses the issues the customers might face and provides solutions to the problems.
•    When content helps make better decisions: This content helps the customer to make an informed decision about your product or service.
•    When content helps build relationships: An existing customer needs continuous reading material that adds value to their purchase. User tips, suggestions, tutorials, FAQs, problem solving self-help guides, diagnostic and troubleshooting guides help create long-term bonds with the brand or the company.

An effective content marketing campaign makes the customer read, think, ponder and respond in a way which helps build long-term customer relationships. With useful information and suggestions and the core issues addressed, content marketing helps you build credibility and establishes trust with customers while helping your business grow along the way.

So, start answering – how does my content serve my target audience? Win them over and get ready to drive profitable customer actions.

Please feel free to share your own views.

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