“Your reputation precedes you”—this phrase is just as relevant in business as it is for individuals.
To drive long-term success, you must earn positive recognition from your customers. For that, you need to deliver impeccable customer service and cater to the evolving demands of your target market.
One way of doing this is tailoring your content for individual customer segments. Such personalization shows your brand cares about its customers and can accommodate their needs.
Customized content shows authenticity, builds trust, and enhances credibility. To show you how, here is our guide to leveraging customer-centric content marketing to polish your business reputation.
What is customer-centric content marketing?
Customer-centric marketing is a promotional approach that revolves around consumer needs and preferences. It offers the target customers value at every interaction by providing solutions to their problems.
Some essential aspects here include:
- Customers’ favorite channels for interacting with your brand.
- Content quality and experiences at those touchpoints.
- Ways to optimize the UX stages.
- Linking them for a cohesive experience.
7 ways to leverage customer-centric content marketing
Here are the steps to make your marketing efforts more customer-centric:
#1 Crafting customer-centric content
Content is an essential part of modern marketing. It generates leads, increases conversion, and boosts brand awareness. But for a more customer-centric approach, your content must directly align with your target audience’s pain points and needs.
First, run market research campaigns and analyze customer data to create your buyer persona and journey. Then list topics that cover specific challenges and demands. Ensure your content matches the intent, needs, and customer-centric questions across the touchpoints of your buyer’s journey.
Your content narrative has to be brief, coherent, and compelling. Use storytelling to make it more engaging. Incorporate vivid details, straightforward language, and dialogue to bring your brand story to life. Use humor and surprise elements to keep the readers hooked. Metaphors, analogies, comparisons, and examples will make your story memorable.
User-generated content builds business reputation and reliability. Reports show that customers find UGC 2.4 times more authentic than branded content. So, repost and share user-generated content across all marketing channels to make your marketing look authentic.
For example, Glossier, a beauty brand, uses UGC for its customer-centric marketing efforts. It elevates the authenticity of their social media content and builds a positive brand reputation. A social media virtual assistant can help you create customer-centric content.
Neal Taparia from Hearts.land adds, “Speak your customers’ language in your content. We take surveys on how our customers explain and think about our products and then use the same language in our content. It allows us to connect with our customers much more effectively.”
#2 Building trust through transparency
Transparency acts as a catalyst in gaining trust and reputation for your business. For customer-centric marketing, be open about your strengths and vulnerabilities. It makes your efforts seem less salesy and humanizes your brand. Customers who see you don’t exaggerate your promises are more likely to trust you.
Share your business practices, manufacturing process, and product limitations. This shows that you have nothing to hide, building trust. Avoid complicated phrases and jargon since they make your marketing copy look gimmicky.
Back up your claims with data points, facts, and case studies. Don’t hide the minor blunders. Instead, communicate how you plan to improve. This way, you will promote your commitment to building transparent relationships between your customers and the company.
Include photos of the executives, team members, and your facilities on your website. Share snippets of your operations and other behind-the-screen content.
Explain your operations and processes to the customers to help your customers make informed decisions. It makes your marketing less boastful and more solution-oriented.
Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear retailer, has created a reputation based on its sustainable practices. Their marketing efforts are transparent and communicate their business values.
For example, the above video talks about how most Americans don’t think about how their clothes are made. It sheds light on the unethical practices in garment manufacturing and their commitment to upholding fair pay and sustainability. Their customers also get a glimpse of the brand’s operations, which drives marketing transparency.
#3 Personalization and customization
According to McKinsey, 71 percent of customers expect brands to personalize their experiences, and 76 percent get frustrated if it’s absent. So, it’s evident that personalization and customization are of utmost significance in customer-centric marketing.
Collect first-party and third-party customer data and segment customers. Then tailor content that addresses category-relevant concerns and demands. You can use AI-powered marketing automation tools to ensure your customized campaigns reach the right buyers at the right time.
Create dynamic content to tap into individual preferences in real-time. Use a media monitoring service to track online conversations. Measure customer activities on websites. Find out the most visited pages and products and curate marketing copies around them.
Use email marketing to share exclusive offers and in-depth information on the favorite products of your customer segments. You can also use personalization tools and multiple email account managing apps for a seamless customer-centric marketing process.
Chris Masanto, CEO and Co-Founder of PetLab Co. says, “Email marketing is a huge part of the overall personalization strategy. By segmenting the customers based on their preferences and purchase history, we can tailor email campaigns to deliver exclusive offers and comprehensive details on products they love. This personalized approach elevates the customer experience and strengthens brand loyalty. Businesses can foster deeper connections by giving subscribers content that aligns directly with their interests, ensuring customers feel valued and understood, driving repeat purchases, and enhancing overall engagement.”
#4 Leveraging social proof
Today’s savvy customers look into a brand before buying their products or services. Branded advertisements are not enough to convince them of your reputation as a reliable business.
That’s why you should showcase authentic endorsements from existing customers and reliable personalities. Social proofs like customer testimonials, third-party reviews, and success stories provide evidence of your capabilities, build trust, and enhance your brand reputation.
Reach out to your happy customers and ask them to submit testimonials. Use social monitoring tools to identify reviews on social media and embed them on your website using a website widget.
Skim through review sites, pick positive and impactful customer reviews, and add them to your testimonial page. You can also promote these testimonials on your social media channels or use them to make your paid ads more effective.
User-generated content is another powerful social proof. Contests are a fun and effective way to maximize UGC submissions. Ask your customers to use dedicated hashtags while posting user-generated content. It lets you identify and use the most impactful ones in your customer-centric marketing. Businesses can also use collecting widgets.
Influencers play a huge role in defining customer opinions on brands. So identify which influencers appeal to your target audience and customer and create strategic collaboration with them. Relevant social media creators vouching for your brand will convince prospects of your reliability and enhance your reputation like ASMR creator Joyce did for Silky Gems’s crystal candies in the above reel.
#5 Engaging in conversations
Engage customers in conversations regularly to build meaningful relationships across your marketing channels. When customers remember your brand fondly, it enhances your business reputation and drives credibility.
Encourage two-way communications on social media. Use interactive experiences like quizzes, calculators, and assessments. You can also post polls to get more audiences to leave their input.
Host live Q&A sessions and webinars to drive active real-time conversations with customers. Simply posting a brand-related question is also an excellent idea to encourage customer conversations.
Skincare brand The Ordinary has done a great job in establishing meaningful interactions with its audience. The brand answers frequently asked customer queries in the above informative video.
The Ordinary also posts interactive questions on skincare to drive customer-centric conversations.
#6 Empowering customers as brand ambassadors
Customer advocacy can be an incredible boon for a brand’s reputation. It shows your buyers have enough trust in your services to recommend you to their peers.
Incentivizing their efforts is a great way to encourage brand advocacy among consumers. So, implement properly planned referral programs and keep freebies, discounts, and exclusive offers as rewards.
Running loyalty programs can also improve customer satisfaction and encourage more referrals. Award points for every purchase and let them redeem the collected score for rewards.
No matter how many incentives you offer, you won’t convince your shoppers to advocate for your brand if your customer service is poor. So, ensure your customer service channels are accessible across different platforms. If you have the budget, hire a 24×7 customer care team to handle customer issues, queries, and grievances. Update customers on their order status and inform them immediately in case of possible delays.
#7 Incorporating ethics and social responsibility
Demonstrating ethics and social responsibility can create positive brand recognition and improve a business’s reputation. So, ensure your customer-centric marketing efforts reflect that.
Showcase your commitment to ethical practices by securing customer data and being transparent about financial conditions. Avoid bait-and-switch gimmicks while marketing your products.
Choose a relevant social cause to support. Then showcase your brand’s contribution.
For example, Ben & Jerry’s introduced a new flavor called Empower Mint and attached the ‘Democracy Is In Your Hands’ campaign. The initiative drove awareness around the barriers low-income communities face that keep them from voting.
Build your reputation with customer-centric marketing
As we conclude today’s discussion, here are some key takeaways:
- Craft buyer personas before devising your content strategy.
- Use social proof to build trust.
- Encourage brand advocacy.
- Actively engage with your customers.
- Focus on cause-driven business methods.
Customer-centric content marketing is exactly what you need to create a positive business reputation. Just treat your customers well and be consistent with your efforts.