The Essence of Content Marketing
The perfect customer is like a beautiful woman, distant and desirable and pursued by countless competitors. An appropriate metaphor, don't you think?
Most advertisers want ads that equate to a magical pickup line. "Tell me what to say to this beautiful woman so that she'll rip off her clothes and jump into bed with me."
Some advertisers get downright self-righteous as they demand these magical lines. They lift their chins and sniff, "I want to hold my ads accountable." In other words, "I want it to work immediately. Tell me how to make this beautiful woman give me what I want. Tell me what to say. I'll say anything."
Advertising people know how to craft these "direct response" messages. And the lines we tell you to say to the woman very often work! Not surprisingly, the "beautiful women" who can be won in a single conversation are mostly interested in money. It's usually about the price.
And they tend not to be loyal.
Courtship takes a longer path.
According to behavioral psychologist Desmond Morris, the strength of a relationship is usually determined by the process that formed it. Relationships that are quickly formed are quickly broken. True courtship is an adventure and adventures take time. You've got to let the woman of your affections get to know you.
You do remember that we're talking about business, don't you? All this stuff about beautiful women was just a metaphor for building long-term relationships with customers.
If your website or blog provides valuable, insightful content, you're likely to become a sustaining resource that your prospective customer will grow to depend upon. This form of customer courtship is called "content marketing." Think of it as the advertising equivalent of love letters.
Ray Seggern, one of my Wizard of Ads partners, explains customer courtship as the convergence of Story, Culture and Experience. According to Ray:
What You Say. (Marketing)
It is the personality and promises you put in your messages.
Who You Are.
It is the experience your employees have within your company.
What You Do.
It is what your customers perceive when they interact with your company.
when your story and your customer's experience align.
When these don’t align, you get bad reviews.
High Employee Morale is what happens
when your story and your culture align.
When these don’t align, you have cancer in the building.
Brand Ambassadors are born
when story and culture and experience align.
This is when your happy customer chooses to become a member of your family, part of your brand.
In other words, the beautiful woman agrees to marry you.
And because who you are and what you say and what you do are in perfect alignment, I honestly believe you'll live happily ever after together.
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