We all know that one of the easiest things to do is to get distracted clicking through the internet. And I'm definitely no stranger to this. I may start out on my Facebook feed only to fall into a black hole of cat YouTube videos. Humans are natural informavores, so of course, we tend to wander the internet in search of as much information as possible. While this tendency for distraction can counterproductive in most professional positions, it's surprisingly a major asset in content marketing. If you're a content marketer, the key to using it to your advantage is to create content that adds value to the consumer's life and easily fits into their natural navigation of the internet.
I Was Hooked on Free Content
Recently, I discovered how a brand caught me hook, line and sinker through Facebook. Kayla Itsines is a popular health and fitness guru and sells workout and nutrition guides through her website and app. When I first discovered her product, I was merely scrolling through my feed before going to bed.
As I began to see more and more ads on my newsfeed, I noticed that they were particularly effective. Unlike many ads I encounter, hers featured mini workouts meant to be done at home.
So, I decided to give them a try and let me tell you, this was no ordinary work out. I couldn’t walk for a week! After several months, I started noticing a difference in both strength and endurance. Kayla knew her stuff. And though I was only seeing a fraction of her health savvy, it was adding a ton of value to my fitness journey.
These workouts were working but as my strength improved I knew I needed to up the intensity. I attempted to add my own cardio and weight training but nothing gave me the burn that Kayla’s mini workouts did. So, with my own results as proof of concept, I decided to join the program. I was given a 12 week work out plan targeting all the main muscle groups as well as cardio. After the first day, I thought I was going to die, but I knew I made the right choice. I am now halfway through the workout plan and honestly believe that I am in the best shape of my life.
Kayla’s strategy is just one example of how valuable content can draw in the right customers for your product or service. There are countless brands using this strategy to communicate with potential customers.
Let's talk about a few ways you can be sure your content is adding value and will resonate with your audience:
1. Target the People You Know Would Love You
Creating targeted ads towards an audience more likely to be interested in what you are selling is the place to start. I doubt Kayla’s blogs would have enticed my dad to buy a bikini body work out plan. Thinking about your buyer persona is key when deciding how to target your social advertising. Keep in mind what sort of people would naturally enjoy your product and what social platforms they will be active on.
2. What Do Your Customers Want to Know?
Next, you have to put thought into your content! Again, what sort of things are your buyer personas interested in? You don’t want to interrupt their leisurely Facebook browsing with an obnoxious ad that they don’t care about. Instead, you want to provide them with genuine content that will enrich their lives. Remember, it is easy to get distracted! You just need to provide your customers with something they want to know more about. For work out programs, a sample workout is the perfect free content to draw in customers. Other content such as recipes and blogs can be great supplemental material. Kayla provided me with information I needed to pursue my fitness goals. It was something I was already looking for, so it was easy to get hooked.
3. Prove Yourself
Additionally, your content should provide proof of concept. It should be valuable enough that your audience wants to come back for more. With Kayla, I was already in the pattern of using her free workouts several times a week. When I began to build strength, I knew that these workouts were doing their job, but now I needed something with higher intensity. It was a natural progression into the purchase of her product. People love routines. If you can hook them into a pattern of consuming your free content, your product will easily follow.
What Kind of Content Should You Use?
The free content you offer will vary with your business and audience. Similar pieces could include free eBooks and webinars, step by step guides on YouTube, or even free trials! This is also a great way to showcase your savvy and demonstrate how effective your product or service can be. Many companies use a strategy like this including other work out apps, fresh delivery services, and even gyms! The bottom line is your content should provide value to the customer and establish a pattern of behavior that they will be reluctant to let go.