When it comes to marketing, most businesses feel like they need to create ideas and write about them. Or constantly be promoting the latest sale. Or worse, running ads to stay in the face of their ideal customer. These examples are all business-focused marketing.
However, there is a simple change you can make that will change your marketing and your business. That change is to focus all your marketing on your customer. So, what do I mean by that?
Customer-focused marketing means speaking their language. Answer questions. To actually listen to their concerns and address them. And not just in your market fluff. Answer them with your offering.
Sometimes this can even involve changing your product or offering so that it addresses the real need they have. A perfect business is the meeting place of your business needs to your customer’s life needs and solving them in a way that both parties feel they got great value from it.
It is important to remember that the customer avatar you create should not be the only guide for your business. Customer interactions give you a ton of data and help you evolve your business.
So, let’s get down to it. Here are five ways to shift your marketing efforts to revolve around your customer, not sales.
#1 – Listen to your customer
As a business owner, often easy to get caught up in the sale and not truly listen to what your customer is saying. Sure, after a couple of words you might know exactly what the problem is because you solved it a hundred times. However sometimes for their satisfaction, they need to get it all out.
Let your customer do the talking. Let them describe the problem and you can guide them to the correct solution. Not only will they feel like you took the time to help them, but they will also feel like you did not pressure them into a sale.
Sometimes they might go off on a tangent. That’s ok. Note down those tangents too. Later, when you present your solution, you can make sure to address each concern. And they might even describe their problem in a way that you had not thought of but could be resonating with all your customers. Use these in your marketing.
In our candle business, this act of listening has led us to change fragrances, and even entire product lines to better address the concerns we were hearing.
#2 – Ask questions
Often when we are marketing on social media, it’s all outwards focused. Buy this product. Listen to this tip. Learn about me. We keep the focus on ourselves and our business.
But social media is also a great spot to learn more about your ideal customers and their wants, needs, and desires. Ask questions that spark a conversation. Start a poll. Post a statement and ask them what they feel about it.
Your customers are often more than happy to interact with you. Especially when you are asking for their opinion to improve your business. People love sharing their opinion or view and can even get excited when they get to drive the change in the businesses they interact with.
This is exactly why you see big companies doing contests for the wackiest chip flavor. You need to show interest in not just a sale, but what your customers think and discuss. Plus, you become more memorable because the human side shows through in your discussions with them.
#3 – Promote your most popular content
Over time you will no doubt build up a huge library of content. Some social posts may get a hundred likes, and others may only see two. Algorithm aside, this is a huge indicator of what your audience is looking for.
Those pieces that you create that do really well should be shared again. They should be built upon to create even more content around the same topic. Track your results and share what is resonating with people.
You can promote good content through paid ads to reach a wide audience. But only spend money for ads on things that you know work. Your ad dollars will go a lot farther when you share posts that already have a large amount of engagement.
Think of it as swinging a hammer. The nail only goes in straight when you hit it square on the head. Sure, you can hit it sideways, and it might go in some. But it won’t be nearly as effective.
Your marketing should be the same way.
#4 – Feature your customer stories
Your customers are looking for proof. They want to know you can do the job. They want to see your product work.
And what better way to show them it does what you say than to showcase your other customer’s stories. When you share the experiences that others have had with your business, you build trust with your future customers.
It may seem hard at first to ask for a story from your past clients. But all too often they are more than happy to share the experience they had working with you.
Believe it or not, your customers really do want you to succeed. When you succeed, your business will be around for them should they need you again.
They say that bad news travels faster than good. Really both travel at the same speed, but people often forget a good experience and remember the bad. When you ask and then share the stories from your customers, you help the good news travel.
#5 – Create more
We all know that we should be creating new content. But when you create more good content it shows. Creating content that answers the questions, that tells the stories, that is like the things they are engaging with shows your customers that you are listening to them.
When you create content that shows you are paying attention to them, it builds more trust in your business.
And don’t just create content around your business. Listen and learn what other topics they are interested in. Share posts about those topics too.
For example, if your business is targeting overworked moms, you could share a weekend tip that helps them do something fun. Sure, that fun tip will probably not get you a phone call. But it shows you care for them and want them to succeed. In turn, you become more memorable.
By creating content around their interests, you can even build a stronger following. If your audience likes science fiction books, and you just read a really good one, share that out. This allows you to connect on a different level than just business all day long.
When you listen to your customers, you turn a faceless company into a human business that cares for and interacts with its customers. As a small business, we have this amazing power to connect with our audience and customers in a way that makes each interaction special.
You need to leverage that connection in your marketing. Focus more on the connection and person and less on the sale. Sure, you can share a buy now post from time to time. But take the time to become a human towards your customers and they will not only start seeing the buy now, but they will also probably be more compelled to engage with it.