Of all of the benefits that content has to offer, being able to help build better relationships with customers has to be one of the best. That’s because content creation isn’t just a way to relate information about your products and services. It’s also an opportunity to show your personality, establish trust, be helpful, and demonstrate expertise. All of these things lead to better audience engagement. And that, ultimately, is good for your bottom line.

Let’s look at five tips on how to use content to build rock star relationships with your customers.

Tip #1: Create high-quality content that’s personalized for your audience.

Let’s start with the basics. Who are your customers? What do they need? What are their pain points and how can you address them? You need to think very carefully about every aspect of the people you’re targeting. Understand what matters to them and what they need to know. Then, arm them with ideas that help them solve their problems.

When you establish yourself as an expert who understands and anticipates your customers’ needs, you can build trusting and mutually beneficial relationships. All the more so, when your content is so well written that it’s a pleasure to read.

Tip #2: Instead of selling products, tell stories.

In content marketing, it’s crucial not to sell to an audience. Instead, try to use storytelling to show that you understand what your audience needs and can offer strong solutions. Don’t ever straight up sell unless you’re confident your buyers are ready to be sold to.

Storytelling can be hard, but it’s worth doing. Consumers are much more clever these days, and they appreciate brands that are honestly trying to help them, without constantly pushing their own agenda. When brands deliver useful and relevant information that directly feeds into customers’ interests and needs, they build trust and authority. Good content doesn’t just flog products and services, it offers solutions.

Tip #3: Enable two-way communication.

Communication is a two-way street. Customers expect to be equal partners in that conversation. They need to be able to communicate with you easily, whether that’s through instant chat, a bot, email, or through social media. Brands need to be constantly turned on. That means responsive, friendly, polite, and helpful at all times. Most important of all, you’ve got to be able to help solve problems in real time.

You need to let your customers know they matter — to you and to your brand. Nothing hurts worse than radio silence. So engage, engage, engage. Relationships between brands and customers aren’t always easy to manage, but just like personal ones, good communication is the key to success.

Tip #4: Be transparent, authentic, and reliable.

When a brand breaks its audience’s trust, it can be disastrous for the company’s reputation and bottom line. Today’s consumers place a lot of emphasis on honesty and integrity. That means content creators should strive to create content that’s as transparent and authentic as possible. With so many communication channels at their fingertips, consumers can easily catch a company in a lie, or even just fudging the truth. If you want to build a brand with integrity, your content must always be honest and reliable.

You need to supply valuable content day in and day out, and always demonstrate your commitment to your customers and to helping them achieve their goals.

Tip #5: Focus on both the long and short game.

Successful content does much more than offer a solution, tell a story, or sell a product. It can establish your company as an expert in your field. When you build up a knowledge-base and are seen as the go-to source for advice and information, you’re building relationships with people who could one day become your future customers. Down the road, they may remember your expertise, the knowledge you shared, and even your distinctive brand voice. When they’re ready to buy, that’s a great way of ensuring your company comes to mind.

Good content marketing doesn’t just attract and engage current customers. It patiently ushers potential customers into a long-term pipeline.

Keep your content customer-focused.

Smart content marketing puts the customer front and center, and builds relationships that attract and retain loyalty, as well as sales. Admittedly, it’s a constant challenge to nurture these relationships. But, by leading with great content, you can go a long way toward creating the kind of meaningful connections that ultimately drive sales.

Personalization & privacy How content can bridge the gap

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