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In the content marketing/launch coaching work I do with clients, I’ve been noticing that our most effective content campaigns are those that demonstrate empathy for the clients we want to attract. I first noticed this as we were delving deeper into our client’s individual profiles- who they were, what they wanted, and where in the buying cycle they likely were. A lot has been written about ‘putting yourself in the customer’s shoes’- and I believe many successful businesses do this well.
Aside from the basics of recognizing the demographics of your customers- how old they are, what they like, what they earn, and so on, the most effective content marketing campaigns I’ve helped launch recently (I’m talking about ones where sales doubled from this offering compared to last)- these are the ones that have created and offered content to address multiple facets of the customer’s psychography- what they want, what they are afraid of, and what is likely to move them to action.
Now, as a psychologist, I have some greater expertise in this idea of customer psychography- after all, understanding what influences people and how they change their behavior is something I have formally studied for many years. What I can offer, though, is a model that I use when helping build Customer Empathic Content Marketing Campaigns.
First, we understand who the ideal client is for the program we are launching. We define this client deeply- looking at both their psychographics and their demographics. This is the start of most good marketing, so nothing too new here.
Second, we note our timeline to launch and how many touchpoints we will have with the clients prior to that.
Third, we work backwards from what we believe would drive decision to buy. We seek to build a pathway from wherever the client is now to where we want them to be by the end of the series, with the ultimate goal being decision to buy. These messages are penciled into our timeline from step two.
Fourth, we build our content marketing messages, adhering to the key principles of good content marketing- relevant, timely, focused, and worthwhile. We also try to mix up the format of messages, sometimes text, sometimes audio, sometimes video, and then combinations of these formats.
Fifth, we begin the campaign, and keep track of our metrics.
Sixth, we adjust our future messages in the sequence based on what we are seeing as far as sales, questions, and objections. Our goal is to make our clients feel that we are talking directly to them- that we intuitively understand them, and are offering a solution which will be beneficial to them.
What we have seen in these campaigns is that there is a slow, steady build up of sales through the campaign, with an notable “POP!” just as the campaign comes to a close. The key to making this process work, from a psychological perspective, is continually offering more information, gathered into story, and making use of persuasion. The narrative of the story cuts through the noise and distraction, and the adaptation of future messages makes it feel like the business is very in sync and very empathic to the customer on the journey. And, actually, they really are.
Yes, content marketing is a long term approach, and one that does involve an investment of time. However, what I’m seeing is that this investment is paying back handsomely, and engendering greater engagement and trust from clients at the same time.
I’ll be helping my clients build more programs using this CECMC model- and we’ll keep using it as long as it keeps working!