15 Tips For Creating Marketing Content The Resonates With Customers

Image result for 15 Tips For Creating Marketing Content The Resonates With Customers

Developing your company’s marketing content takes a special skill that builds trust and positions your brand as an authority while avoiding a sales pitch.

Your company blog is often the flagship of your marketing content efforts. And as the fifth most trusted source of information on the internet, blog posts can influence a consumer to buy your products or services without inherently persuading them that they need it. 

By informing your customers about the problems your company solves and creating stories that are authentic in nature, you can provide consumers value without going over the top to sell your audience on your products and services. 

Fifteen members of the Forbes Agency Council share several useful tips with business owners and marketers who want to create marketing content that is not “salesy.” Here is what they recommend:

Images courtesy of FAC members.

FAC members provide their best tips.

 1. Write What Your Customer Wants To Read

Do your research to find out what your customers want, how they’re talking and what they’re engaging with. Dive deep into search trends and social conversations, then let the findings guide you to create content that resonates and is not all about you. For example, if you work for a fitness apparel retailer, you should find out what your consumers are saying about fitness rather than apparel. – Nina Hale,Nina Hale, Inc

2. Answer Top Questions From Your Personas

Creating blog content is not always easy. But a great way to start creating authentic content is to think about what questions your target personas have and how can you help them. By strategically targeting your blog content to focus on helping solve problems, give advice and point people in the right direction, you will make your content authentic, relatable and shareable. – Elyse Flynn Meyer, Prism Global Marketing Solutions

3. Establish Thought Leadership

Content marketing is most effective when it is approached as thought leadership, not blatant self-promotion. Show how much you know about a topic, offer insights, react to the current news/environment and engage in discussions that move a topic forward. If you do this well, your audience will build trust in you and your products and services, all without “selling” them. – Brian Sullivan, Sullivan Branding

4. Talk About Trends

Everyone wants to understand what is going to happen in the future. However, many are too focused on their day-to-day responsibilities to step back and look at the bigger picture. Build content that talks about trends in the industry and how they may impact your target customers. -Lisa Allocca, Red Javelin Communications

5. Treat Content As Branding, Not Sales

People search for content because they want answers. Since they are not in a buying mood, sales pitches are unwelcome. In coaching clients about content, I always remind them they are experts in their field and someone somewhere is searching for their knowledge. Extend your brand by acting like an expert in your field. It’s good karma to share your knowledge. – Dave McIndoe, Netwave Interactive Marketing

6. Use The Authority Principle

Educate. In this hyper-communicative world, our “breathing brain,” or unconscious, is making decisions forus in order to cope. Without thinking about it, people respond really well to people who are seen as an authority. This is why ads put people in lab coats and Apple calls its employees “geniuses.” Messages get lost too easily, so make yours stand out by teaching your audience something new. -Elizabeth Edwards, Volume Public Relations

7. Just Think, “Would I Want To Read That?”

No one likes to be sold to — at least not blatantly. Think of your blog as an opportunity to engage, entertain and educate. Don’t talk about yourself or products unless it’s in the context of a customer story. Create the content so that it showcases what you can do better than anyone else. After all, if you’re pretty, you don’t need to tell everyone. They will probably figure it out on their own. – Rebekah Iliff,AirPR

8. Focus Your Blog

Writing a mission statement for your blog will help you in many ways. Your readers will likely become loyal followers when they know what to expect from your blog. More importantly, your blog will earn credibility and maintain authenticity when you focus your writing on a specific theme and stick to a subject that’s appealing to your readers.  – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing

9. Share Authentic Case Studies

Highlighting case studies is an authentic way to showcase your products or services without taking a direct sales approach. By working a regular cadence of case studies into your editorial calendar, your customers and prospects can better understand how you can help improve their lives and business. – Megan Shroy, Approach Marketing

10. Tell A Great Story

I find the most engaging and authentic blog posts are the ones based on a real story, inspiring people to learn more, ask questions and share. When an exceptional story is integrated with powerful data, images and testimonials, it makes a blog post feel like an engaging conversation. Share how your product is solving a problem to inspire an “aha” moment. – Alannah Tsimis Sandehl, IDM Brand

11. Be Yourself

My biggest recommendation for blogging in a non-salesy way is to take the time to simply be yourself. Be transparent. Be inviting. And most of all, be yourself. The time and energy you spend on your voice (and your company’s) is precious, so instead of trying to sell with that content, build trust and pull back the curtain a little bit. Readers will begin enjoying your voice and want to hear more from you. – Loren Baker, Foundation Digital

12. Solve Your Customers’ Problems

Focus on creating content that answers questions or solves problems your customers might have. Think about how you can help your readers. Coming from the perspective of providing value and service is the best way to be authentic with blogs and any other form of content. – Chad Recchia, Awlogy

13. Scrap The Jargon

Phrases like “bleeding-edge” and “value-added” are dead giveaways that a company is trying to sell something. Blog content should be clear, educational and insightful. And it should sound like it’s coming directly from a company thought leader, not an entire marketing department. Try running it by someone outside the organization who can pinpoint any off-putting marketing jargon before you post. -Jade Faugno, Intermarket

14. Build Engagement

To get readers to engage with your blog, the content itself must be engaging. A successful content strategy does not have to focus on the brand to create brand awareness. Create brand awareness by telling a story that entertains without having to be product-centric. Create organic excitement versus driving home calls to action. People will remember you if you entertain and engage them. – Bryan Shetsky, Lamark Media

15. Think Locally

While not always applicable, most businesses have a primary local footprint where they can offer value in many forms: employee polls of top restaurants, things to do or events; answering local questions from sources like Quora or Reddit and more. It’s also a great way to talk about giving back to the area, which is a soft sell at best. Local content can also increase local organic SEO relevance. – Jon Clark,Fuze SEO, LLC

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?