We are now living in a world where instant gratification is common currency. If you want Ben and Jerry’s at 5am in the morning, go to the 24/7 supermarket. Need a new iPhone? eBay delivers. What’s on TV tonight? Ask Alexa. With advancements in AI, IoT and new technologies, customers can now find solutions to their problems at the touch of their fingertips, or with a simple “Hey Siri”. However, at the core of these technologies is solution-driven content that transforms everyday customers into loyal brand users.
Believe it or not, your products or services don’t actually generate leads. What potential customers truly care about is whether or not you can provide a solution to their problem. If what you say about your brand doesn’t present a solution to customers, it’s about time you applied these three problem-solving principles to your content.
1. Become a thought leader
As more companies start to increase their content marketing spend, many are facing the difficulties of getting lost in a cacophony of content noise. The ones who succeed are providing customers with uniquely valuable and personalized content experiences through the power of thought leadership. Tapping into the wider community, thought leadership is an influential and provocative way to provide insights of substance about your industry that audiences are eager to consume, believe and share.
A 2017 study by Edelman and LinkedIn claims that nearly half of business decision makers believe that thought leadership helps companies command a premium for their products and services, while 30% remove companies from consideration after engaging with poor thought leadership content.
Multinational sports brand Nike understands the power of thought leadership as a tool to share knowledge in a way that will help people to feel better and live their lives to the full. Which is why they worked with Creative Content Agency Plus to develop a series of thought leadership films including stories from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Charles Adler - Co-founder of Kickstarter, and Francis Lam, Founder of DB-DB. These short films focused on possibilities that are influencing our future, and explored how companies like Nike could go the extra mile to solve customers’ problems and create a better world.
2. Share knowledge through email newsletters
Email is the third most influential source of information for audiences, after personal recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders. However, with as many as 105 billion emails sent each day, it’s understandable that 80% of people merely scan their emails. Recipients are unlikely to open an email from a company unless there is a clear benefit to doing so – such as a promise of knowledge, insight, or at least a major discount. As such, marketing emails must have a captivating title that communicates a solution to their problem – or else it’ll likely be deleted without ever being read.
Have you ever considered emailing weekly newsletters to help your customers make a better use of your product, or benefit from your service? It’s important to be customer-centric, and to construct your emails so they directly focus on your prospects. Who are they? What unique problems do they have? Are you addressing these problems in your email? Try to avoid solely talking about your product or features, and instead produce creative newsletters, eye-popping videos, useful tips or exclusive deals that show audiences you can solve their problems better than anybody else.
Instead of leaving customers to take their queries to a Google search, many companies are now using email to proactively share their knowledge and address customers’ problems. Sending targeted niche emails with relevant content to selected customers on your email list can improve awareness, boost customer engagement and dramatically enhance overall customer acquisition. However, remember to keep it simple – emails with a single call-to-action can increase clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%!
Digital design agency InVision sends tailored email filled with creative blog posts and design tips that customers truly find useful. By creating a mix of content, InVision keeps their subscribers consistently engaged on a weekly basis. The email design is simple, with relevant videos and snappy content to keep readers hooked. With calls to action like “Cat GIFs on Every Page” and “Behind Every Great Design”, their emails appeal to readers with relevant content that helps increase their click through rates.
3. Create how-to blogs
How-to blogs are a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with prospects and customers. To give your content credibility and authority, ensure your readers are able to walk away with at least one thing they can do better as a direct result of your content.
How-to blogs can also be considered as evergreen content that remains relevant no matter how much time has passed. If you can create a collection of ‘evergreen solutions’ to problems that your customers will always face, Google will reward your content with a higher search ranking – so make sure to include long tail key phrases (even better if they start with “how to”) that will point Google towards your carefully crafted content.
Julia McCoy, Search Engine Journal writer and entrepreneur claims that, “The biggest challenge small business owners face these days is creating quality content that is highly rated by both humans and machines.” However, it’s not completely unattainable. Founder of Beardbrand, Eric Bandholz listened to his community and built a $40K per month ecommerce business in under a year by creating unique branded content that he published himself.
Bandholz explains that his bearded audiences “don’t fit the traditional stereotype of a biker, woodsman or lumberjack. It is someone who is passionate about their style, career, family and building independence." Labelled “the Steve Jobs of face fuzz”, Bandholz created a blog that tells you everything you could ever want to learn about achieving that perfect faded beard. The blog heavily features how-to articles and videos, product demos, weekly grooming guides and other related topics.
To meet your customers’ expectations, you need to successfully show how your product or service is the solution they’ve been looking for. Establishing a solid problem-solving content foundation across all marketing collateral such as reports, tutorials, how-to blogs, newsletters, eBooks and even thought leadership speeches can help drive your business’s innovation, by transforming prospects into satisfied, loyal customers.