The first half of 2020 has been a rollercoaster of upheaval that’s had a significant impact on creators, businesses, and customers. If you want to stay connected with your customers throughout these times, content is a great way to do it.
Outlined below are some of the best ways to use content to engage with customers for the rest of 2020. (Boost your community engagement with our latest ebook)
Company news and updates
During the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses of all sizes have taken to updating customers with messages from their CEOs.
The pandemic has made significant changes to customer behavior, but these regular updates via email, social media, and website content, have kept customers up to date about how businesses are dealing with the pandemic. They’ve outlined what measures they’ve put in place to continue operating safely, and what changes are likely to happen in the near future as the world reopens.
While this level of communication between customers and the head of a business is unusual — it has brought in new expectations about what information and updates customers can expect. And it’s also created more engagement and community for brands that should be maintained and developed.
Regular company updates are great for engaging with your customers, reminding them that you’re still open and available. As the world continues to reel from lockdowns and the pandemic, customers will continue to expect regular updates from businesses for the rest of 2020.
The craze for video content just keeps on growing with 54% of consumers saying they want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. Video is far more memorable than any other content, which is why most businesses are at least thinking about using it in their marketing already. And in 2020 with widespread lockdowns and even more people shopping online, video content is more engaging and valuable than ever before.
Video content is an important tool to bridge the gap between real life and online shopping. It’s proven to build trust and product videos will give customers a better understanding of the products they’re purchasing. Plus, videos are more likely to be shared than any other content, and they’re great for SEO. With so much else going on, customers are more likely to watch a quick video.
Live social videos for behind-the-scenes
While polished product videos or tours won’t be possible for all businesses, social media channels like Instagram and community platforms like Disciple, enable more ad hoc, live videos. This kind of content doesn’t take too much planning, and using a smartphone would be fine. Plus it does even better than other video content — viewers watch live videos for three times longer. It’s a much more direct form of content, with no opportunity to edit so the customers get a real, genuine experience of the brand.
Live videos are a great way to engage customers by sharing new products that have just arrived. Or it can be used to give customers behind the scenes access to see how a business is run and get to see some of the faces behind the brand. Social videos provide more engaging, accessible content that can make a business seem more relatable.
High-quality blog posts
While there’s a definite increase in more visual content such as videos, a blog can still be a great way to engage with loyal customers. To see real engagement though, it needs to be high quality and valuable to customers — blog posts need to capture their attention and make it worth their time to read.
If you’ve been publishing content to your blog for a few years with little results, then it might feel a little stale. Try updating the layout or design of your blog (or even your whole website) and improve the content that you’re publishing. Relaunching your blog is something you can share with your current customers, and draw attention from potential customers. Use a prototyping tool to play around with the design and test them out before you commit, to ensure that it’s usable and effective.
The blogs that are most engaging for customers will answer their questions or solve problems — they’re full of useful information and advice. If they can be entertaining as well then that’s even better for connecting with customers. Focus on producing one or two longer, well-written blog posts per month; these will engage customers, be shared more widely, and help to improve search engine rankings.
Putting together step-by-step or video tutorials to go alongside a product or service, or to cover problems and questions relating to the industry, is another way to engage customers. Tutorials provide added value to customers, keeping them engaged with the brand and allow them to fully understand the topic.
No matter how great the content might be, if it’s not relevant to the reader in some way they’ll lose interest.
In fact, 72% of consumers only engage with marketing messages that are customized to their specific interests. Customers are being bombarded with emails, content, and social media posts, so it’s really important that your content is relevant to them to capture their attention.
Personalization can also help move customers and potential customers through the sales funnel with targeted content that familiarizes them with the brand and products and convinces them to make a purchase.
The first step is to separate customers that receive emails based on whether they’ve made a purchase or just signed up to a mailing list. Beyond that, content can be tailored based on what they’ve purchased, how often they order, where they live. Receiving emails and content that’s specifically relevant to them will keep them fully engaged.
With so much uncertainty about the rest of 2020, it’s more important than ever to create content that connects with customers, keeps them well informed, and provides them with real value. A well-balanced mix of these content types will keep customers engaged with your brand throughout 2020.
Rodney Laws is an ecommerce platform specialist and online business consultant. He’s worked in the ecommerce industry for nearly two decades, helping brands big and small achieve their business goals. For more tips and advice, reach out to Rodney on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio