Content marketing is a vessel in which campaigns are delivered and strategies are aligned with their target audiences. We're using it to enhance SEO efforts, amplify brand awareness and create meaningful content that users want to share. While we're focusing heavily on getting our content out there and making it user friendly and divine, there's a chance we're not continuing the cycle by moving onto the next step in the process: following up with relationship marketing to maintain longevity, inspire interaction and fully optimize the seeded content.
Building a relationship online is much like any human interaction in that it requires patience, time, effort and attention. While you're listening to your online audience and offering them the content they want, the relationship doesn't just end there with your content marketing efforts. The connection between brand and user can continue long after the content has gone live and it's maintained by a thorough, attentive relationship marketing strategy.
User satisfaction with online brands has become heavily reliant on engagement. Brands aren't just standing on their soapboxes anymore; they're getting down onto the ground and in touch with the masses. User to brand engagement accounts for a vast number of positive sentiment on the web because brands are simply responding to their consumers and dealing with complaints, issues or compliments on a first hand basis. Users aren't being fobbed off to an FAQ page; they're getting tangible answers from a trusted source and they're developing relationships with brands in the process.
People want to converse online, they want to have their say and they want others to notice. If you're the brand that notices, because you've had your finger on the pulse, you'll always be remembered as "that brand" that actually spent some time finding out what users wanted, listening to how they felt about it and then acting upon any direction gained from the interaction.
Evolution of Relationship Marketing
Used primarily after acquisitions in traditional marketing, relationship marketing used to take place via email or telephone - depending on how far back we want to track. Generally speaking, the first port of call for a relationship marketer would have been to call or email a consumer post them buying their product or using their service. It was a means to ensure that everything was in order and that the customer was happy. Simple.
Nothing has changed, except now we have easier access to our consumers, and a number of different points of contact. We can correspond via tweets or Facebook messages, or right on the brand page for all consumers to see. Provided we are engaging the user, nurturing them and ensuring they're satisfied with what's been delivered to them... we're winning! It's all too easy to fall into the cycle of churning, where everything is on a schedule and the next week's worth of content is ready to go live, so there's no time to develop relationships or get involved in the online chatter. But is this to your detriment?
What are your thoughts on using relationship marketing as a part of your content marketing strategies?
Image courtesy of: http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/02/08/12-relationship-truths-we-often-forget/