October 17, 2015

It's Not About You, It's About Your Customer

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All too often I see clients, and other retail brands doing things for themselves

Meaning that their marketing, social media, products, services, and policies are all designed in the company's best interests.

Ever see those posts on Facebook pages or Instagram feeds from brands that make you cringe?

Usually they consist of a straight product shot, not cropped, perhaps with a price written on the photo and a super spammy tagline like, "Get your Perfect t-shirt today for $20" or "New Crispy Cookies are 50% less sugar than the no-name brand". 


Talk about self-serving promotion. 

Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't craft your customer experience and marketing without an eye to profitability (not every business can manage free shipping + returns), on the contrary, I am suggesting that you learn to emphasize and think like your customer. 

Thinking like your customer involves being able to step into their shoes.

What is Customer Empathy?

A fav podcast of mine, the Lede, defines empathy as, "the ability to identify with and vicariously experience the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes of someone else."

Customer Empathy is the key to creating and curating engaging content on your social media platforms, blog, and to crafting an experience on your eCommerce store that builds trust, brand love and converts. 

Imagine for a minute if you know exactly what interests your customers on Facebook. One of the biggest challenges on Facebook today is gaining organic reach. Meaning, reaching your fans, and other people's newsfeeds without paying for boosts or ads.

Well, how do you GET into someone's newsfeed unpaid? Someone on your page has to like or share your post. Most likely a like, unless someone is following someone else's activity on Facebook won't do it, but a share, well that's gold.

Do you think people will share that spammy t-shirt promotional post? No.

People share what matters to them. Stuff that makes them feel smarter, intrigues them, inspires them or moves them.

People are emotional. So brands need to start acting like they have a heart too in order to grow a loyal customer base.

You may be able to run a store for a little while, and achieve a decent amount of transactional sales through push marketing, however the greatest long term sustainable brand strategy lies in your ability to effectively utilize push marketing.

Push vs. Pull Marketing

Push marketing is your traditional marketing. You as a retailer have a message, and you put that message out there on social media, or TV, or print and your customer buys your stuff.

This could be paid marketing, or mentions. Either way, it's a message you are crafting, and you are actively seeking out customers.

Pull marketing is best defined as, "motivating customers to seek out your brand in an active process. Getting the customer to come to you."

In my opinion, pull marketing is the kind of promotion that suits social media channels today. 

The best performing content time and time again on blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and other channels is not self-serving branded content. It's content that serves customers, which in turn ignites a sense of loyalty, interest and engagement in the brand.

We've all been there

I've done major push marketing, and super no-no's on social media. We've all done it.

Usually when first starting out, or in a moment of desperation, we'll post something super spammy. It might get a few likes or looks, but it's not good for the health of the brand.

In Gary Vaynerchuk's book, "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook", he advocates for an approach to social media marketing which is heavily weighted in customer first value.

In order to put your customers first, you must be able to empathize/understand them. Gary wants you to 'jab' at your customers with high-value content most of the time, and occasionally throw in the odd promotional 'right hook'.  

He also speaks about creating content that is native to the platform you're using, which would contradict the push-Instagram-to-Facebook mentality that some of us employ.

How to Craft or Curate Content That is Share-worthy

It's all about the customer.

Coming back to my point earlier in this blog post, we need to truly understand what motivates and interests our customers in order to get high engagement on social media posts. 

How do you get there? Research, test, measure, and learn.

I wish their was a magic formula for this but there isn't. The answer is it depends on your audience.

Start with research.  Find out more about who your customers are, what they are interested in, and what moves them {read my post on researching customers online here}

Next, start curating (being an aggregator of amazingly interesting and relevant content for your customers) online or creating that content. 

Then, test it. Look at your analytics for each Facebook post, or blog post. How are you doing? What content is getting the highest engagement?

The answer here is simple. Whatever is working well, do more of that. 

The content you curate or create may not be totally directly linked to your brand. For example, if you make handmade shoes in Argentina, your best performing or most relevant content may not be posts about shoes, or Argentina. It may be about travel, or crafts, or healthy food.

Find out what your customer wants, and give it to them. Easy, right?

How do you make your social media marketing more about the customer? I'd love to hear. Leave your suggestion in the comments below!

If this blog post was helpful to you, it will likely help other Entrepreneurs. So, do them a proper and click hereOr copy + paste the link to Pinterest, Facebook or other platforms. Grateful for all of the shares!

Wishing you much abundance + retail bliss,