Strategic content is the beginning of a relationship online. Content is a connection point because it provides a person who is seeking information, education and knowledge with insight into your expertise. This is the thinking part that initiates a relationship. Without meaningful content that connects intelligently, all you have is a click or wasted, passing attention from a person who is busy and distracted.
Come, Let Us Think Together
If your content provides insight into how your industry works or some tips that affect a person’s work and life positively such as their health, wealth and children then you have created a connection. You are helping someone who is looking to understand something get on your side of the table.
Your content should be about sharing knowledge that helps frame how a person should look at something or ask the right questions. Noone wants to feel dumb about a topic that they are seeking answers to. They want to feel intelligent. If your content can break down the mystique of something that is confusing or cryptic to outsiders, then you become a trusted resource.
Having information available in the form of white papers, infographics and articles creates value in your interchange between someone who is a total stranger to you and your industry and your company. You are helping someone who is at an information disadvantage come up to par and feel comfortable about it while your authority and expertise on a topic is self-evident. The thinking part is what creates engagement and starts the trust process.
Turning Strangers Into Friends
If you and I can think together, then it starts an exchange of value. If the logic and knowledge bring value then trust grows. The next part of the trust process is likability. If you are not liked but you have great information, then there is no sale. Your prospective customer is asking, either overtly or subconsciously, whether they like you.
Likability is interpersonal. What you stand for and whether you can click together needs to come across. This is why it is important to pay attention to your branding elements and the messages you put out consistently. If you are a green building company that takes a stand against wastefulness then an activist reader will resonate. There is a natural alignment.
NASCAR fans are a tight bunch of people. They have a passion around the sport and brand and the likability factor is high. In your own positioning, be clear about what you stand for. It may be divisive or stand out compared to anything on the market, but this is all the better. You will attract the audience that truly gets you and wants what you have to offer.
Gotta Have It
If a person is studying you after getting to know you, there comes a point where they want what you have to offer. You may have experienced this when you have moved through the stages of thinking, liking and then wanting. My son learned about lacrosse from some friends and then started researching it online. He read up on the sport and got to know the terminology, origins and rules of the game. Next he moved into player profiles and learning about equipment manufacturers. He loved the Warrior sport brand and started to look at the equipment that stood out on the sports field.
He was a fanatic and kept researching what he wanted. He found a way to pull the money together and bought hundreds of dollars of equipment. He had to have it and his mind was locked in.
You may have zero interest in lacrosse, but the obsession with something that you gotta have is quite common. Your mind starts to focus on what you want and you see the company, brand or person who you can buy from with a high regard. You trust the brand and you have to have it. That tipping point happened because you already bought in and now it is a formality to fulfill the desire.
Your Content Is The Cornerstone
For someone to move through the stages of desire for what you have to offer, your content has to be engaging. It cannot be merely acceptable. What you write about and what others write about you has to build a picture that makes someone want to engage deeply with you.
The emotion comes from crafting stories and telling them with passion and precision. We live in a world of immense choice and people will relate to the story that resonates with who they are and what they want. Your job in this world is to continually be a hub within your industry and stand out by helping people think, getting them to like you and then become irresistible to the point that their overwhelming desire causes them to act.
Put all this together consistently and continuously and you will have ongoing business. A referral engine starts to develop as people not only experience what you offer but have to tell others because of the social currency you create from a world-class experience.
So how are you doing in creating the content that connects continuously?