5 ways to use customer-focused marketing in your content strategy
Are you struggling to sell to your audience? Let’s set the scene. You tell people about your product - what it is - specs, features, cost, how to order. Covered all the bases there? But you’ve forgotten the customer!
How does the customer recognise themselves in your messages? Good marketing communications put the customer at the centre - solves problems, fulfils a need or (let’s Kondo things up a bit) will spark joy. Features are secondary, pinpointing problems, needs or emotions give your product a purpose.
To inspire you to use customer-focused messaging we’ve gathered examples of how brands do this well. The customer focus - problem solving, centred on needs and designed to provoke emotion - hooks people in like nothing else. Read and learn…
(You’ll spot that the intro was customer-focused! Focusing on your need to sell more and communicate better!)
Solving a worry
Google don’t sell their photo service by describing how it works and how much storage you receive, but instead by focusing on data security.
Many people are worried that if they store cherished photos digitally that they could instantly be lost. Google Photos and the Pixel phone solves this issue. Your memories are kept safe, and this is why you should buy this product. As you go through the buying process it will explain how much storage you get, how it works and how much it costs.
2. Creating an opportunity
Airbnb show this to anyone browsing the website for homes to stay in, you may not have been considering hosting but this strong message makes it feel like an opportunity for you. This is a great way to solve a problem - someone wanting to earn extra money.
It also makes it seem simple - you already have your home and you live in an area that’s in demand - Airbnb is ready for you to take the next step.
What kind of opportunities does your product or service open up for people? For example, if you’re providing online courses for freelancers, your service opens up the opportunity for someone to launch their new career or break free from the 9 to 5.
3. Offering clear results
This tweet, from our client Cambridge Econometrics, uses the word ‘need’ to compel the reader into reading the report in question - the 7 key points are a need to know instead of a nice to know.
The New Climate Economy report by @WRIClimate is making an impact worldwide.— Cambridge Econometrics (@CambridgeEcon) February 4, 2019
Our modelling input played a key role in the study.
Here are 7 things you need to know about the technical detail: https://t.co/mwHTXG5sya @fadorcsi @lordstern1 @FelipeCalderon #UnlockingGrowth pic.twitter.com/abUctKSAsP
The reader also knows that the information will be digestible and easy to understand, which solves the problem of being confused by complex climate change science.
4. Understand the customer problem
This ad from Hootsuite is a prime example of how to sell the purpose of a product while also highlighting the features. Social media managers have more advanced goals nowadays and they need powerful software to help them do their job properly.
This ad does highlight features - channel-based attribution and response time tracking - but it also gives you a reason for using these features - reach your 2019 goals. The link preview text also drills down further - you can find prospects and serve customers. The free trial is the icing on the cake, allowing you to give the tool a test run before you commit.
5. Sell experiences, not features
It’s been said that consumers now value experiences over physical products, especially millennials. This shift in customer behaviour has seen a new type of content marketing emerge, and guess what? It’s customer-focused!
Selling experiences mean you need to spark joy in a customer, instead of specifications and details. This tweet from the National Trust is a beautiful example.
They could talk about where the property is, how old it is and the cost of admission, but they don’t. That’s not important, people can find that out later once they’ve made the decision to become a member, or make a visit.
What has a stronger pull is evoking a sense of what it is like to be there. Irresistible isn’t it?
Customer-focused marketing - how to lay the groundwork
To do customer-focused marketing well you need to really analyse two things – your customer and your product.
Your customer. Think about who they are. Their demographics first of all, and then what kind of channels do they use? Why are they going to be your customer? What prompts decision-making?
Creating audience personas can be really useful here – you can really pinpoint who your customer is that way. Everything from their age and location, to their specific interests and the channels where they’ll discover your products. Buffer have a simple template to get you started.
Your product. What problems does it solve?
For example, Deliveroo isn’t just a takeaway delivery service. It solves the problem of takeaway ordering on the phone being difficult and inaccurate. It also solves the problem of restaurants wanting to offer delivery, but without them having to hire their own drivers.
A fresh perspective
Customer-focused marketing helps you see clearly, and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn once you flip your communications towards your customer.
It’s all too common to see businesses focus inward, because they are so close to their product. Looking outward gives you a brand new perspective and makes writing for your brand much easier.
Refine your communications
For more expert content marketing support, take a look at the range of content services we offer which will delight your audience and get customers beating a path to your door.