By Bryan Orr
Marketing is all about building trust and presenting value. People can like you, they can even like your product and service, but if they don’t trust you or they don’t see what you have to offer as valuable, they won’t buy from you.
Many brands focus on being understood. They run ads and commercials explaining their offerings and value propositions hoping that the customer will see what they are presenting, take the time to understand it, and then see enough value in it to spend their money.
Newsflash: Most customers don’t want to spend time “understanding” unless they already know they need what you are offering.
What people do want, almost universally, is to be UNDERSTOOD and VALUED. This is what makes this particular strategy so powerful:
Instead of creating content that points your customers to you, create content that seeks to highlight and understand your customer.
Let’s say you work as a service provider in the commercial real estate market. If your customers are commercial real estate property managers, you can create content that is tailored to, and highlights commercial property managers. The key is, you are targeting your customers based on highlighting them, not selling to them. Quick caveat, while you can use this strategy in some form in all businesses, it works best in B2B businesses. Especially service businesses.
Here’s how this works.
Create a website or blog that is designed NOT to talk about you and your company, but rather to highlight people and businesses in your target audience. If you sell medical supplies to assisted living facilities, make a website called “Assisted Living Weekly” or “Assisted Living Spotlight” or something like that.
Then reach out to your customers and potential customers to see if they would want to be featured on your new website, blog or E-magazine. You can then use the connections you make to the industry to drive trust and understanding as you develop the relationships to the people you feature.
If you are targeting horse trainers you don’t ask them to sign up for an email list on your products site. Instead you create a valuable resource for trainers that provides profiles and advice from other trainers and you ask them to sign up for THAT. You can then add in your product spotlights in the monthly E-Magazine or newsletter that you send to that list.
Not only are you targeting those you feature, but you are also creating a future demand for others who may want to get involved.
I will admit it, podcasting is the strategy I have been leading up to. I am an unashamed podcast enthusiast and this strategy just works.
- Create a podcast for your target customer with a title and artwork that they will identify with.
- Invite them to come on your podcast and talk about their experience and expertise.
- Use a simple service like the RINGR app or Zencastr.com to do the recording.
- Half way through the recording tell them you are going to pause quickly to do your sponsor spot. Talk about your business and what it offers their industry AS THE SPONSOR SPOT.
- Complete the interview.
- At the end ask the guest if they have ever heard of your product or service.
- Produce the interview into a podcast and publish.
- Send a link to your guest in case they want to share it with friends / family and colleagues.
- Follow up later.
This strategy is a tried and true method of building relationships with your ideal customer by showing an interest in them and allowing them to promote themselves, and THEN making them aware of your offering.
The old saying is that “People buy from people they know, like, and trust.” I will make a small amendment “People buy from people who have them on their podcast.”
A small amendment? That was like, totally different.