We’ve reached the 6th of 7 reasons why we do content marketing: building business relationships and getting sales. Of course, that’s the whole point of any marketing effort, but content marketing, and especially the social media side of things, make it easier because through them you can start having real, and real-time, conversations with people.
Prospects can ask specific questions about your products or services before they buy, and they can come back to you for customer service afterwards. Increasingly businesses are using Twitter for customer service – but that’s another story for a different blog.
It doesn’t matter whether you think you do business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B). You’re actually doing B2P: business-to-people. To people who want their questions answered, their problems sorted, their pain cured. People who know what they want and those who don’t, or don’t yet know that what they want exists. Real flesh-and-blood people, with all their foibles, interests, stories and desires, their intelligence, knowledge and passions.
People with whom you could have a really interesting conversation, if you could only get it started. And the best ways to start it are either to ask them questions or to say something that makes them ask you questions.
So it’s good to be a bit outrageous, over the top, controversial or, like a QI elf, myth-busting. Or weird… Did you know that today is Upside-Down Unicyclists’ Day? Or that tomorrow’s the 394th Anniversary of the Battle of the Lunan Water? [No, it’s all right, I did just make them both up. Though I quite like the idea of the Upside-Down Unicyclists…]
As a small aside, today (December 11th) really is the 19th anniversary of the day fans of Gillingham football club were warned they risked a life-time ban if they brought celery to the ground*. Celery?!? I’m sure the authorities had their reasons, but I cannot for the life of me think what they might have been. Did they crunch it too loudly? Hit people over the head with it? Throw it at the opposing team’s supporters? Was it some sort of insult? The mind really does boggle. If you, or anyone you know, can enlighten me, I promise to share the answer.
It doesn’t really matter if the subject’s irrelevant to your business, from time to time. Many bloggers report that they get more engagement after a personal post than after a “regular” one. The point of content marketing, after all, is to show you as a real person; it’s hard to “know, like and trust” an automaton, despite recent developments in robotics. (Did you see that there’s a robot “actress” now in Japan? Mind you, I’ve seen a few of those in my time – and they were supposedly human!)
So let your hair down, show people your personality as well as your expertise. Have a conversation and build your relationship, person to person. Then you’ll find yourself, naturally, doing B2P.
P.S. Remember: if you haven’t time to do all that yourself, get in touch and we can have a chat about my Blog and Newsletter monthly packages.
* From “Odd Dates Only” by William Hartston (Souvenir Press, London, 1998).