In the fight for customer attention and engagement, useful content has now become king. Back in the old school pre-web days, it was advertising that was the mainstay of connecting with customers. But now in the new world of social media interconnectivity, it is useful content that is winning.
Why Useful Content?
The 'useful content' approach to connecting (and staying connected) to customers is based on providing an on-going, relevant stream of information that is helpful to customers. This approach is highly customer-focused, in contrast to advertising, which is more company-focused for telling the customer about how great you and your product and services are for them. Here are some of the advantages of the 'useful content' approach:
Provides Value: By definition, the useful content approach gives potential and current customers information that is valuable to them. It could help them to save money, avoid problems, remain safe . . . anything that gives them information that they consider useful. Providing useful content is a great way to earn customers' attention.
Promotes Trust: A powerful element of the useful content approach is that by being seen as a provider of helpful information it creates a strong step towards building a trust relationship between your customers and your business. It helps show that you have their best interests in mind, rather than always just trying to reach into their pocket for what they can pay you. As a result, when you do include advertising in your messaging, it is much better received.
Creates an On-Going Channel of Communication: Providing a regular stream of useful content keeps you top-of-mind with your customers, which translates into both referrals and repeat business. In addition, having a dynamic on-going presence serves to attract visitors absolutely better than just a stream of advertising.
Compliments Expertise: Customers, of course, want to do business with people who know what they are doing. Providing useful content related to your business helps to support and reinforce the expertise that you and your business embody.
Enhances Brand: Providing on-going useful content sends a strong brand message to customers that you really care about helping them.
Differentiates Versus Competitors: Picture a customer visiting your social media and then a bunch of your competitors'. Yours gives your customers an on-going stream of helpful information, and your competitors' show just what's for sale and office party videos. Useful content enables your business to stand out.
Introduces Your Business as Vibrant and Professional: And lastly, having an on-going stream of useful content showcases your company as being vibrant and professional to potential customers who are exploring your business for the first time. This is in contrast to if they had come to your social media, and had seen no postings for months, looking like an 'abandoned amusement park.'