This Valentine’s Day, lovers around the world will be busy trying to win hearts: 141 million cards will be exchanged around the world, more than 110 million roses will be delivered, and 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold.
But relationships are hard—including in marketing. Just when you think you’ve finally figured your partner (or buyer) out, something shifts. She won’t pick up the phone or return your emails. Communicating with him is suddenly difficult. The two of you grow apart until, finally, the relationship ends.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Especially not for you, the modern marketer, and the buyers you hold dear.
The best way to build meaningful—and lasting—relationships with your buyer is by delivering relevant, targeted content. Here are 10 great ways to win your buyer’s heart during this season of love.
1. Know Yourself
If you don’t understand who you are, what you’re offering, and what makes that offering stand out from the pack, you won’t be able to develop a lasting relationship with your buyer. Take the time to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Get started by building a content board made up of stakeholders from across your organization. Ask this group questions like:
- Where does our company excel?
- What are our main points of expertise?
- What are our goals as an organization
The answers to these questions will help you identify the themes that will guide your content marketing strategy
2. Know Your Buyer
Once you’ve gotten in touch with the real “you,” it’s time to find people with needs compatible with your brand’s expertise.
Identify the key characteristics and concerns of your target buyers and compare them to the strengths of your organization. You’ll soon discover common interests from which meaningful conversations (and content) can develop.
Building buyer personas is a great way to distill this information.
3. Build Your Game Plan
Once you understand your strengths, your buyer needs, and the themes you want to tackle with content, you’re ready to build your game plan.
Often, marketers feel overwhelmed by the amount of content they need to create to fuel their marketing campaigns. But creating enough content doesn’t have to be a struggle.
The content pillar approach allows you to develop one piece of meaty content, like an eBook or whitepaper, that tackles a particular theme. Then, you can break it down into many derivative assets that serve all of your marketing channels, personas, and buying stages. For templates and exercises on how to build a content pillar, click here.
4. Get Internal Buy-In
No matter how great the game plan, if you don’t have executive buy-in, it will fall flat.
By bringing members of the company—beyond marketing—into the content ideation and decision-making process, key stakeholders can see firsthand the value buyer-centric content brings to their roles and the organization as a whole.
5. Communicate Across Your Organization
Regular communication about marketing efforts throughout your organization is a must. Without it, you risk providing an inconsistent, irrelevant, or inaccurate content experience for your buyers—which leads to mistrust, not love.
Make sure teams from sales to product understand your big initiatives for every quarter, and can find the content you develop for these initiatives. You can’t foster healthy buyer relationships if you’re experiencing turmoil internally.
6. Reach Your Buyers Where They Are
It doesn’t matter how relevant the message might be if the right people don’t hear it.
Be strategic about your distribution strategy. Make sure you’re serving buyers at all stages of the funnel—from awareness through social channels and your blog to the middle and bottom of the funnel through your sales and customer support teams.
7. Leverage Your Influencers
A great way to improve your chances with love is to get some third-party support. The same holds true with your buyer relationships. If people your buyers follow and respect sing your praises, they’re much more likely to look your way.
Leverage your influencer network. Reach out with content that’s relevant to both your buyer and your influencer’s audience. Engage with them regularly on social media, via email, and on the phone to nurture the relationship. Always be sure to frame your request in a way that provides value for your influencers, not just your product.
8. Track What’s Working
You’ll never be able to improve if you don’t know what’s working—and what’s not. Make sure you’re tracking not only vanity metrics like unique visitors and social engagement, but also how your content is driving revenue and conversions in the later stages of your buyer’s journey.
9. Optimize Your Experience
Building lasting relationships isn’t rocket science. You expand on what works; you cut out what doesn’t. Sometimes that even means cutting the cord with buyers who aren’t the right fit for your products and services. Use your analytics to get a holistic picture of your marketing efforts and optimize accordingly: update your buyer personas, refine processes, revamp your messaging.
10. Foster Commitment
There’s no “set it and forget it” solution for maintaining buyer relationships. It’s imperative to check in with your buyers frequently to understand if, and how, their motivations, needs, and questions have shifted. Monitor activity and listen periodically to ensure your messaging and content stays relevant and meaningful throughout their path to purchase.