Why does generic content marketing leave us cold? What are the solutions? VKN Digital gets up close and personal
Personalised content matters, right? The correct answer is “yes!”
Mind you, we don’t mean personal because a first name appears at the top of a subject line or as a salutation. Many marketers often get this confused.
Names are easy to find and mean nothing in the easy access information world today. And technically in polite society, you should ask ‘permission’ to call someone by their first name. You know, for formality’s sake.
But then again, we all know the awkwardness that accompanies someone who asks your name then overuses it, and some people don’t even make the effort to go that far.
As you can see, personalised content is somewhat of a gray area – so let’s dig in!
So why should you take time to personalise your offering?
Think about ads or emails that you’ve responded to, was it exactly what you were looking for at that time? Odds are that yes, it was. This is the exact sensation that marketers are looking for.
Think about what a potential customer is searching out, regardless of the demographic or audience you consider. You are trying to provide a specific solution to their specific problem. It may be a leaky tap or faucet, or it may be a really tedious problem that hardly registers on your professional radar.
Good marketers take a moment to think about the inconvenience that the new potential customer is facing, and then think of ways that YOU can solve it. For example, take the leak scenario which has been troubling me of late.
Welcome to the shower from hell
I moved into a new house a couple of months back. It had just been completely renovated, and I thought there would be little to do. However, the very first time I took a shower this fantasy vanished.
Not only was the shower not temperature controlled, it leaked everywhere. So I had struggled with alternately burning, freezing and flooding the bathroom with water. I left the shower feeling somewhat disgruntled and made my way downstairs. I soon learned that the problem had spread. Two new stools next to my beautiful breakfast bar were covered in splashes of water. WTF? I looked up. Not only had I flooded the bathroom, but water had cascaded into the kitchen. Oh lovely… I needed a solution.
Have you considered the 3Cs?
This a tedious tale and not a very exciting repair job for a plumber. So what did I do? First, I asked another tradesman I had met for a recommendation. He suggested a good plumber. I called Lee and he arranged to come around within 24 hours. He even sent a text to say he was caught in traffic and would be about an hour late.
Upon arrival he was extremely professional, remembered my name and said he would get to the job the following morning. Over coffee, we started talking about the bathroom problem and suddenly the leaking seal became a full redesign. My small leak had become an entire bathroom refit.
Now pay attention because this is the good part. Care, consideration and conversation can add up to a lot more of a sales opportunity than originally imagined. Lee brought me a personalised solution to my specific problem, and in the end I was much more satisfied than if we had simply patched a hole. It was a win-win situation for both of us.
Marketers have an opportunity to make people feel that their problems really do matter when approaching a sale. It takes very little time and money for people to become advocates for your business, if the extra care, consideration and conversation are present. This is crucial in a time when word of mouth has never been so important.
Who knows what might happen next?
You may be pitching for a job that doesn’t look like much of a victory, but you really never know what people might ask for next. Personalisation underpins the task you should accomplish.
If you are writing a newsletter, try and make as many as your can highly personalised. Take the time to send a very specific newsletters to your various audiences. Talk to them. Empathise with them. Ask questions. Learn more about their problems. It may not lead to an immediate sale, but people don’t forget the personal connection. Before you know it, when your services become a solution to a problem you’ll be top of mind.
For example, we often look for freelancers within the agency when we get high profile clients. In this instance, the client is an artist and her work very specific and highly individual. We were looking for a freelancer to run Facebook campaigns and increase the exposure. Potential suppliers were asked to take a look at her Facebook page and suggest how they might design a campaign. We were shocked when we received generic, boring video promotions and proposals. We threw them in the bin.
What are you looking for in a supplier?
Yes, the video was lovely. And yes, the freelancer told me she was capable of achieving more. However, she wasn’t solving my personalized issue. She rolled out the video she uses for everyone. Marketing is not ‘one size fits all’, and I didn’t feel that my client would be impressed.
Successful pitches get up close and personal. If you can achieve this coveted status, then customers will listen. If you can prove your service is bespoke and thoughtful, they’ll listen even harder. People are looking for suppliers that understand them, that see their problems and know just what consumers need – while communicating simply and effectively. In a big box world, customers want craftsmen and women who can tailor their skills to solve problems.
Let’s face it, if you find a content marketer who gets your brand, knows how content marketing fits into the marketing mix and writes well, why would you look elsewhere?
Remember, being personal, professional and taking the time to research and empathise reaps rewards. People you impress may well be the person who recommends you to a friend or colleague. The leaky tap scenario may well turn into a full bathroom installation. What I’m saying is that personalisation can really impact positively on ROI.
Personalised Marketing – Some top questions to ask:
- Target your content to individuals and base it on who and where they are. Think about when, how and why they access your kind of content.
- What device do they use?
- What can this tell you about how they might and do behave? Remember your personalisation only works when you really know your customers.
- Consider how you might stand out from the crowd.
- Is humour appropriate?
- Can you empathise and show that you ‘get’ your target audience?
- Can you become relied upon to give people great information in a genuine way and not as a profiling, profiting exercise?
- Can you curate information in such a way that you become very useful?
- Avoid trying to get right under your target audience’s skin or other shock tactics. It may get you attention, but it won’t last.
- Is your content respectful and work to build your brand?
Try these categories when you are creating assets for your content marketing campaign:
- Base your plans on your audience
- Be industry specific
- Focus on events
- Catering for very specific needs.
- Focused on quality – publish and/or create less.
Spend more time creating high quality offerings that people will remember. After all, genuine experiences are usually very personal. If not, then it’s likely your content will just be background noise.
So, if you’re looking for content marketers you can trust to help you with personalisation, then look no further. VKN Digital listens, and we will base our advice around your niche, your needs and your business problems. Our experience and knowledge becomes your tool to craft meaningful, personalised messages for business growth and promotion.
Don’t let your unique problems escape without a brilliant solution. Let’s get started creating a custom campaign to meet your goals today.