Everyone knows that biting is bad. This is hard to remember when you’re teething, but I would never do anything to intentionally hurt my humans. Barking is more acceptable. Right now, my bark is not very scary, but when I get bigger, my woof will be very intimidating. This is fine for dogs, but when it comes to effective content marketing, a little bite is a good thing. Let me explain.
If all you’re doing is barking to make noise – that is, producing content to get attention, but not create a specific reaction or cause an action, then you’re not making the most of your efforts. Here are a few tips for creating content that your audience can sink their teeth into (without getting in trouble):
- Make your customers smarter. Humans are smart when it comes to some things (not so great at picking up scents, though). Yet, they always want to learn more, especially prior to making a purchase. If you publish content that educates your customers, you’re helping them make an informed decision, which they’ll appreciate. For instance, let’s say you sell refrigerators. There a lot of different types with a myriad of features. How do you decide which one is best for you? A guide that compares models and features, along with a cross reference to customers’ needs, would be extremely helpful. And, statistics show that customers are more likely to buy from a company that provides helpful information to guide their purchase decision.
- Know what your customers want. If you want me to sit or stay, you could offer me a treat. But, if you want me to rollover, you better offer me my favorite treat! Customers are the same way. If you want them to provide information, you need to entice them with things they crave, such as white papers or e-books that solve problems, or a blog that offers ongoing educational material (see above). Find out what motivates your audience and then offer it up. (If all else fails, try bacon.)
- Manage your online reputation. As a canine, the worst thing you can do is get a reputation as a bad dog. If that happens, people will avoid you – no pets, no treats, no cuddles. This also applies to your brand/company reputation. If you’re a smaller, regional business, it’s hard to compete with the “big dogs” who can outspend you on advertising. But, digital content can give you a bigger paw, . . . I mean, footprint. But, you must work at it. Great reviews on sites like Yelp or Angie’s List are like pats on the head, they feel good – but more importantly, they can give you a leg up (no pun intended) on the competition. Also, be sure to handle customer complaints in a timely and thorough manner.
- Be an expert in your industry. If you’re a good rabbit hunter or squirrel chaser, you should embrace it and make the most of your skills! Share your expertise in your content, as well as your professional connections. If your audience perceives you as a valuable resource in your niche, they are more likely to come to you for advice. And, studies show that customers are more likely to make a purchase from a company they perceive as experts.
So, while I would never suggest gnawing on your customers, putting a little bite into your content can be very effective. Now, when it comes to actual chewing, I prefer sticks to rubber bones. What do your customers prefer?