Today, we’re going to discuss a subject I love talking about because it’s so important to marketing today and that’s Value Content.
In days past, in the long long ago, there was a handful of stations, newspapers and magazines. With the right budget, you could literally force your audience to consume your message, ending with “call today!” There were less brands, less confusion, less choices. The social contract was simple. Businesses paid the bills for unrelated entertainment content, what the audience actually wanted to read or watch, and then suffered through your message because they didn’t have much choice.
Times have changed. People are actually paying to avoid your message. And the content being consumed is everywhere. It is now very difficult to bully your audience into watching your message. And even if you do so successfully, if the message does not bring value to them, they will tune you mentally or even worse, resent you for harassing them.
The solution, value content. The audience has renegotiated the social contract. They will hear your message, even actively engage with your message, but you have to do it on their terms. You have to bring them value. Not only value, but personalized value talking directly to them.
So what is value content? Simply, it is content that provides entertainment and/or utility to your ideal consumer.
This could be a witty twitter post, a fascinating documentary about how about how you make wine, an emotional story about your nonprofit, a funny viral video, or even an alluring clickbait article with a great pay-off. Although the content is related to your product or service, it is created to entertain and engage, not to brag about yourself or list services.
This could be an article or a video about 5 ways to grow fescue in your state, a free app that notifies you when a hailstorm is about to strike your area, a free analysis of your website, or an energy efficiency checklist for your home.
By establishing your ideal consumers Needs, Desires and Fears you have hopefully figured out what they want. What they are interested in and entertained by. And you have created custom tailored content that holds value to them.
Through market research you have hopefully learned where to find them. Digital mediums like Social Media, Mobile Apps, Forums, and keyword searches. Or traditional mediums such as television, radio, and print.
So great! You have found out what your ideal consumer wants and where to find them and you have provided them with free valuable content. How does this grow your revenue? Every piece of Value Content should have an Ask. A call to action. Implied or asked directly. The Ask could be to buy your product or service right now, but it doesn’t have to be and it probably shouldn’t be. Most ideal consumers are not ready to buy right now and they don’t want to be pressured into doing so.
You’re Ask instead, should be for a continued relationship. To bookmark your website, follow your social media, sign up for your newsletter, visit your booth, get a free consultation or attend your webinar. With value content, you have positioned yourself as a helpful friend and/or expert. You have built a database of potential customers who are open to your offers and specials and are interested in your product or services. You have engaged your ideal customer and built a relationship of trust and value.
Now that you have done so, the next and last step is to maintain that relationship. Do not abuse it with spam or hard sales. Instead, nurture and grow the relationship. They will come to you when they know they are ready to buy or you will go to them when you think they are ready to buy. You will make offers that are helpful, well timed, and occasional. And instead of being perceived as an annoyance to be tolerated or ignored, you will be perceived as a welcomed guest who addresses their Needs, Desires and Fears.