As a content marketer, you are always trying to get inside of your customers’ head to know what they want and need. You search analytics, take surveys and monitor comments to see what content is connecting with your readers.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just take a potential customer and read their mind?
For those of you that are mind readers, you can go back to what you were doing. (You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?)
The good news for the rest of us is that someone read the minds of our customers for us!
Modern neuroscience has developed amazing technology to conduct studies that assist marketers in understanding the brains of their customers. In his book Brainfluence, author and marketing consultant Roger Dooley uses the findings from a multitude of studies to give you 100 actionable techniques to build your brand.
You’ll have to buy the book for all 100 techniques but here are a few that will help your content marketing efforts immediately.
Tell Stories To Engage Their Brains
According to research, good stories reach parts of our memories that statistics cannot. When you hear a good story, your brain connects to the vivid details.
As a content marketer, it’s important to remember that you are a storyteller (or you can hire one). You have the opportunity to tell stories in blog posts, your about page, case studies, white papers, videos and squeeze pages.
One of the best storytelling sales letters ever, written by copywriter John Caples, was a very short story that triggered familiar emotions of fear, embarrassment and triumph. Even though it was written in the 1920’s, it was so effective that it still made a contemporary list of the top 100 advertising campaigns of the century.
Remember that you not only have the story of your company, but stories for each of your products that have yet to be invented. They are the vivid descriptions that allow your customer to imagine what their life would be like with your product.
Use Customer Success Stories
Customer success stories add an element of trust to your storytelling as well. Although a rating of 3 out of 4 stars on a review site can make a difference, a story by a real person explaining how your product improved their business makes the story relevant and accessible.
Don’t Create Negative Stories
And, as you can imagine, a disgruntled customer success story can make an even larger impression. When a friend tells you an airline is terrible, it stands out much more than an anonymous review. When that friend makes a video about his terrible flight experience, it might impact millions. Make sure you are creating beautiful stories and satisfying your few disgruntled customers before they create their own.
You Need An Enemy
People develop group loyalty very quickly. If you can show your customers that you are part of a group with them, loyalty can grow.
Being a part of the same LinkedIn group is probably not enough. It’s much more powerful if it is an us vs. them scenario.
Apple creating the PC versus Mac campaign is a perfect example. But you don’t have to be a huge brand. You could be battling alongside your prospects to fight greedy high-commission competitors or unethical industry counterparts.
You can go too far with this so don’t bash your competition specifically. Refer to ideals (like fair commission rates or no ATM fees) and avoid having too much content with this slant. You still want to build on features and benefits of your product and should often bolster this idea subtly.
Time Builds Trust
Brainfluence has a chapter titled “Time Builds Trust and Loyalty”. The concept of content marketing is that, over time, you provide valuable resources to your potential customers and become a trusted resource. The theory is that when a buying decision is made, a prospective customer will choose the company they trust.
Trust does more than just influence a buying decision. Here are a few more ways building trust helps your business:
Trust elevates fairness - If your customers trust you, they are more likely to assume that you are being fair. Something like a price increase might not be met with the same kind of resistance if your customers trust that you wouldn’t raise prices without a good reason.
Trust buys you time - Sometimes a misunderstanding can cause a customer to assume they are getting the shaft. When trust is built, customers are more likely to give you time to clear-up a misunderstanding rather than jumping to the conclusion that you are out only to get their money.
Trust gives you grace - In business, you are going to make mistakes. Having a trusting relationship with your customers allows you to apologize and be forgiven. They will view you as human and move forward rather than waiting for a mistake to give them a reason to sever the relationship.
Now that your interest is piqued, head over to Mr. Dooley’s blog Neuromarketing for more great information and be sure to buy the book. You won’t just be reading a great book, you’ll be studying the brain of your customer.