Being innovative and creative is a big part of marketing, but campaigns based on customer-centric content topics are game changing. It’s like taking the highlight reel of all your customer’s desires and showing how your business can meet needs easily; it’s akin to a magical partner that doesn’t mind doing all the housework, so you can relax.
For B2B marketers, customer-centric content marketing shows your organization is listening, relating to specific customer needs and that the business cares about innovating on their behalf, rewarding loyalty.
Using this marketing approach to connect with customers provides a balance of awareness, understanding, and offerings to demonstrate value while also saving them time and effort. And what could be more powerful than giving customers what they really want instead of what you kinda, maybe think they want?
This is why leveraging tools to generate fresh, customer-centric content and topics regularly is such a powerful approach to content marketing.
First, Get Clear on the Quality of Customer-Centric Data and How It’s Collected
First and foremost, it’s important to understand where your customer data comes from, how current it is, and how it’s being collected. These details reflect how reliable your customer insights are and where improvements can or need to be made.
Is there a daily review of online stats for key social channels? Are lead generation forms bringing in spam or customers with real needs? Is the buyer’s journey clear, smooth sailing, or are people getting hung up at certain points?
These are only a few aspects of marketing intel gathering, but paint a picture of what customers really need in order to complete a successful sale with your business. What tools are you using to gather and leverage customer insights? Are internal teams taking time to review and leverage stats to develop a customer-centric content strategy?
5 Tips for Zeroing in on Customer-Centric Topics
Marketers and writers alike want to make the content development phase of marketing faster and more fruitful. It helps to develop a few go-to tools to use consistently as the foundation for building persona-based marketing for each unique campaign.
1. Define key sources used for marketing research and ensure they are providing reliable intel.
Look at where teams get insights on upcoming trends and ustomer questions, or you can collect “scoops” from internal and external subject matter experts. What are common and consistent questions coming through to customer service? Are there new trends you can educate customers about related to their area of specific interest? Do you host a quarterly meeting with internal teams to conduct a Q&A, sharing insights on what they notice in customer behaviors? Creating a reliable, broad range of sources helps narrow down hot topics and provide fresh ones that fit in nicely with a customer-centric content strategy.
2. Host a webinar to connect with customers more intimately and get insights from them directly.
If you are curious about what customers think, ask them. Provide a way to intimately connect with them about a product or service and ask what’s on their mind. All online webinar software has a question feature that allows participants to write in questions and concerns, so use this insight after the meeting to build more meaningful content.
3. Leverage social media in a targeted way.
Social media is a great free tool. It can also become a big bear to manage when it’s unfocused. Select a few social media channels where you know customers spend time; post in those consistently. Note: For B2B, that’s most often LinkedIn and Twitter. Ask questions, provide educational tips, maybe create a game or incentive for participation geared towards rewards. Even as a corporation, it’s important to engage in a human way and to post timely responses.
Each week, review what topics were “hot” or what types of interactions got the most traction. For example, Twitter chats that leverage a Q&A format allow space for B2B organizations to connect with potential and current customers, while also learning more about what interests them. Once you know what social media tools work best, invest in ways to build a connection on those platforms. Notice the word “connections,” here not “followers.”
4. Take customer reviews seriously, and follow up in a timely way.
Any feedback from customers helps pinpoint great topics to include in customer-centric content. Do the comments reveal specific ways customers were pleased or dissatisfied? Are there things you noticed customer’s like that aren’t even a focus for the product or service? Is there a feature that’s missing in your offerings but is mentioned often in customer comments? These little windows of customer feedback paint a picture individually and collectively, so collect and review them at least once a quarter.
5. Connect with the community in-person through events, trade shows or volunteering.
One way to generate customer-centric content topics is to focus on something timely. Attending industry related events and trade shows offers a way to connect 1on1 with customers and talk to them in an in environment targeted at common interests. It’s also a chance to research what topics are hot with attendees and meet industry experts to interview for an event wrap-up piece.
In contrast, volunteering as an organization for a cause or charity demonstrates good will and interest in something outside of making money, and provides a way for you to connect with customers on a personal level. Philanthropic efforts are important to customers, and demonstrating them as a B2B organization can give you a new angle to connect with customers who appreciate similar efforts.
These approaches to tapping into customer-centric content topics help in two key ways. It provides the marketing team with clear and reliable sources of persona-based topics and enables organizations to focus on what customers want to know in a personal way that’s not invasive or pushy. When marketing generates organic interest and engagement, it’s easy to see why it’s worth the extra effort to tap into ways to create more targeted, customer-centric content.