5 Content Marketing Hacks to Entice Your Customers in 2017

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Search engines have evolved dramatically through the years and Google has certainly been on the cutting edge of radical technology that has led the revolution of how websites are ranked, and all this with the user in mind. This led to websites moving away from unhelpful content stuffed with keywords to more meaningful content that provides value to the reader. It’s also pushed content writers to create more powerful headlines to increase click-through rates from the Google search results.

Brands are now attracting loyal customers through content marketing that includes creating high quality and helpful content and distributing it on various platforms. Content is no longer restricted to written text, but has expanded its scope to include visual (videos, images, infographics) and audio (podcasts) content as well.

Creating quality content and its proper distribution on the right channels to effectively reach the target audience is the key to creating a credible and robust digital presence. Let us take a look at 5 content marketing hacks that you can use to delight your customers in 2017.

Video is the “new black”

According to a study by Cisco, by 2017, 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be driven by videos. By 2019, a million minutes of video content will cross the network every second. That people love consuming video content is a gross understatement.

To satiate this hunger for video consumption, it is advisable for brands to create high quality video content. Contrary to popular notion, creating high quality videos isn’t necessarily a resource intensive activity. You can actually use some of your best performing content assets and re-purpose them into videos.

For instance, you have written a guide and it has gotten a lot of traction – Likes, Shares and Comments. Take the guide, split it into “episodes” and create short tutorial videos out of them, a la Jay Baer, digital marketing expert and New York Times Bestseller, and his hugely popular short videos that are filled with gems of information and knowledge.
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Old Wine, New Bottle

Consistently creating high quality content costs, both time and money. Although content creation is an activity worth spending resources on, considering its value to the brand marketing efforts, the pace at which you create new content might be less than the pace at which you are expected to publish content regularly. To fill this gap, you can re-purpose old content.

To select the most popular posts that have been offering the most value to your customers, measure your content metrics – likes, shares, reader engagement, etc. Once you have selected the post, you can update it for freshness and relevancy and re-publish it.

You can rewrite the meta description and refresh links. You can create newer formats out of old blog posts – create infographics, a “to-do” list, newsletters or tweets. Re-posting and re-promoting a single post multiple times can increase user engagement by as much as 75%.

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The above post about seaweed is a great example of updating an old post for relevancy and freshness. The post garnered a lot of interest because vacationers naturally gather info prior to booking their trip. This strategy can be very useful for Playadelcarmen.com to collect visitor emails and use them for long term promotion for vacation packages and other value-added services that they offer.

Answering to Readers’ Comments

A surefire way to delight your customers is to participate in conversations that your blog posts elicit. All blog posts have a “Comments” section below. While many authors try to answer to a few readers’ comments, they eventually stop. We often see many unanswered comments, many of which might have an important question that the reader might have posed expecting the author to answer.

Let’s take the seaweed article mentioned earlier as an example for responding to reader comments and being genuinely extra helpful about it. The above featured article was written in December 2015, it was updated sometime in 2016 and the author had answered every single comment from the time of original publication till September 2016. And it’s not just “Thanks for your comments…” kind of replies, but she has gone the extra distance in giving valuable information (links to other posts and relevant information, wherever necessary). Now that’s engagement!

Bite-sized content, easy to digest!

In an attention-deficit digital world, people love information that has been served in small, easily digestible, bite-sized servings. There are many exciting ways to create such content. One of them that is sure to delight your customers is Q&As.

With the popularity of social media, the amount of engagement between brands and customers has kept on increasing. Today, customers take to social media to raise queries and ask questions about products and services. You can collect a list of the most or recently asked questions by your customers on different platforms and create a Q&A type of article that you can regularly publish. In time, your customers will look forward to these Q&A posts. You can also create a podcast or a video and post it on your YouTube channel for a more personalized experience.

This article is a great example of a Q&A well done. Although the questions are asked by Sean Czarnecki, of PRWeek.com to Verizon Wireless EVP and Group President Ronan Dunne, the questions themselves are reflections of queries by lot of Verizon customers and stakeholders. There are many other such Q&As on PRWeek’s website.

Pat yourself on the back!

Customers love when brands don’t simply harp about the features of their products and services. They don’t care about them. All customers care about is whether you understand their problems and how your products and services will help them solve their problems and make their lives better.

Apart from the fact that your content should reflect this thinking and should be customer-centric, you can use real life examples of how your products and services helped Tom, Dick or Harry solve their unique problems and made their lives better. Enter case studies.

Contrary to what most people think, case studies are not boring renditions of product features and success stories. They can be made dynamic by creative storytelling. The story will have a definite plot – Tom, the hero, your customer; Tom’s unique problem that has been troubling him for a long time; the solution, your product or service; how it solved Tom’s problem; the happy ending. Your customer needs to relate to Tom and see himself in Tom’s shoes. Such kind of content is sure to delight your customers and bring them closer to your brand.

With more customers relying on other customer’s feedback, reviews and testimonials to judge a product or a service, you can leverage the power of these important pieces of user-generated content to build trust and authenticity. If you find a glowing testimonial on your social networking account, you might want to contact that customer personally and ask to hear his story so that you can write a post featuring how your products/services helped him.

A brilliant example of a brand using case studies for maximum benefit is IBM. Its case studies showcase how their technologies help clients in diverse industries and segments.

So what hacks have you planned for delighting your customers in 2017? I’d love to know.

Dipti Parmar
Dipti Parmar Consulting
Dipti Parmar is a blogger and business consultant. She has been featured on sites like Inc., CIO, CMO, Entrepreneur and more. In her free time, she enjoys cycling.

1 COMMENT

  1. Great post! I strongly believe that influencer marketing is the best way to businesses to go if they want to grow their business quicker and faster. Riding the wave of popularity of these influencers will expose your businesses to your audience to ensure increase traffic and brand visiblity.

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