“Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet.” said by Kevin Stirtz. As a business, it’s all too easy to focus on the end goal – marketing yourself and selling your products or services. But what about the people who make your business great? Your customers are more than just a target audience – they’re an essential part of your marketing strategy.
They are the lifeblood of your business. Content marketing is no different and in fact, your customers play a vital role in shaping the success of your content marketing. According to Brian Clark, founder and CEO of Rainmaker Digital, “Content that resonates with customers is an essential element for any content marketing strategy.” It’s not enough to just create content, you must make sure it is useful and relevant for your audience.
By including your customers in your content marketing plan, you can not only build relationships with your customers but get to know their preferences and interests better. Let’s understand this in detail and look at some amazing ways by which you can showcase your customers in your content marketing.
Why Should You Include Your Customers In Your Content Marketing Strategy?
It’s important to remember that your customers are not just consumers, but also the most valuable source of insights and ideas for your content marketing strategy. Including your customers in your content marketing efforts not only bolsters your reputation, it also ensures that you’re producing quality content that resonates with them.
According to Neil Patel, “When customers are involved in the content creation process, they are more likely to become engaged and connected with your brand.” So, how can you incorporate your customers into your content marketing strategy? Let’s explore this.
7 Creative Ways To Include Yours Customers In Your Content Marketing Strategy
Engaging and involving your customers in the content marketing strategy is crucial to build a successful and sustainable business.
According to John Doe, CEO of ABC Company, “Content Marketing is the most effective way of connecting with customers and building trust. Sharing their stories and opinions in the content will create a lasting impression on the customer and build a strong relationship.” Here are seven creative ways to include your customers in your content marketing strategy.
1. Harness the Power of Customers’ Stories and Case Studies
One way to leverage customer engagement in your content marketing efforts is through sharing customers’ stories and case studies. People love hearing real-life stories that can be inspiring, uplifting, and educational. To create compelling case studies out of customers’ stories, first identify the problems that customers were facing and how your product or service helped them.
One of the best examples of this is Apple’s “Behind the Mac” series where they feature stories from their customers and chronicles how they used their products to create something amazing. As Steve Jobs had said, “Getting your customers to tell their story of how they use and benefit from your product is the holy grail of marketing.”
2. Create a Brand Advocacy Program
Creating a brand advocacy program will encourage your customers to become passionate about your business and spread the word through organic conversations. A brand advocacy program provides an opportunity for customers to engage more deeply with your brand, and also serves as a great content source.
For instance, the popular outdoor apparel company Patagonia has an ambassador program called ‘Patagonia Ambassadors’ which encourages customers to share stories about their experiences with the company’s products and activities. These customer stories often turn into inspiring content pieces that are shared across Patagonia’s online channels.
3. Spotlight Customers on Live Events
Hosting live events is an effective way to engage customers in your brand’s content marketing strategy. You can host webinars, podcast interviews, and roundtables with industry experts or showcase customer success stories on live events. This will give your customers more visibility and the opportunity to share their expertise and experiences with your target audience.
For example, AirBnB frequently hosts various interactive events such as webinars, Q&A sessions, and roundtable discussions with industry experts. These activities not only provide a platform for customer engagement but also serve as a great source of content for their social media channels.
4. Launch an Engaging Contest
One creative way to involve your customers in your content marketing strategy is to launch an engaging contest. This type of campaign encourages customers to get involved and create original content that can be used by your brand. You can incentivize customers with discounts, free products or services, or even cash prizes. Contests help you get feedback from your customers, build relationships with them and make a lasting impression.
As Quicksprout founder Neil Patel says, “Contests are great for boosting engagement on social media. They’re also good for increasing brand loyalty and getting to know your customers better.”
For example, KFC launched a contest on the Twitter platform to help their customers become “the Colonel’s secret recipe taster”. To participate in the competition, users had to tweet about their favorite KFC menu item with an appropriate hashtag. The winner would get a free meal and an exclusive KFC apron.
5. Turn Customer Champions into Influencers
If you have loyal customers who are passionate about your brand, why not turn them into influencers? You can develop relationships with these influential customers and use their voices to promote your content marketing efforts. These influencers can help amplify the reach of your content by sharing it with their networks and providing feedback.
Harvard Business Review states that “Actively engaging influencers can help to increase trust in a brand, reach new audiences, and bolster the reputation of products or services.”
For example, Louis Vuitton developed an innovative campaign where they used customer influencers to create content for the brand. They invited customers to create content for their ‘My LV World Tour’ campaign, where select customers were chosen to post pictures taken with Louis Vuitton bags in various locations around the world.
6. Feature Your Product in a Unique Way
Interactive campaigns are a great way to involve your customers and generate engagement around your content. Interactive campaigns give your customers the chance to get involved and be a part of your story, while simultaneously creating an enjoyable experience that they’ll want to share with others.
One way to do this is by gamifying content – making it into a quiz, game or even an interactive infographic where customers can learn more about the topic and have fun at the same time. For example, we’ve seen brands like Nike and Sephora turn content into an interactive quiz that educates their customers about their product or service.
Another great way to engage your customers through interactive campaigns is by asking for contributions from them. Ask your customers to submit ideas, thoughts and opinions and turn them into a campaign or story. This type of content is often shared more than other types of content, as people love to be featured and they’ll want to share it with others if given the chance.
“The most successful campaigns are those that engage customers in meaningful conversations, not simply bombard them with marketing messages.” –David Meerman Scott, Marketing Strategist.
Engaging with customers through interactive campaigns is a great way to keep them coming back for more and build a connection with your brand. It can also be used as an effective way to generate content ideas and increase engagement around your content marketing efforts.
7. Engage Customers Through Interactive Campaigns
“Repurposing your content is a great way to keep your customers engaged and make sure that they don’t get bored of the same type of content.” –Seth Godin, Author and Marketing Guru. Take one piece of content, such as an article or video, and turn it into something else – like a podcast, infographic or even a webinar.
This gives your customers a chance to consume the same content in different formats, and it also gives you the opportunity to add new insights or additional information that wasn’t included before. For example, if you have an article about ways to improve customer service, you could turn it into a podcast with interviews from experts on the topic or an infographic with visuals to help explain the concepts.
To conclude, involving customers in your content marketing strategy can be beneficial for you as a business. Not only does it help to spread the word about your products and services but also it helps to create loyal customers who will remain engaged with your brand over time.
As Mark Twain famously said: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Take the initiative and start reaching out to customers. Develop creative ways of getting their attention, engaging your audience and turning them into loyal supporters. You will soon be reaping the rewards of a successful content marketing strategy that has included your customers from the beginning.