Creating relevant and valuable content is not enough to attract customers. Before deciding what content you’re going to share, you should think about who is it for. The answer may make you take an unexpected decision.
When I created my blog, my goal was to share my expertise on design, innovation, and digital strategy to help businesses grow and become open and modern organizations.
Over time, I got fans, but I realized something unexpected was happening: my followers weren’t those companies to whom I wanted to address my content.
Instead, my blog was being followed mainly by bloggers and design and digital marketing professionals. What had happened?
As any sociologist would have done, I undertook a small survey among the people around me to solve this mystery. Did they follow a blog, Facebook or YouTube page? Were they subscribed to a newsletter?
I got two kinds of answers. On one hand, some people consulted information on practical issues related to those daily activities that most interested them, like cooking, fashion, decoration, health, etc.. On the other hand, some people told me they had no time to follow any kind of content.
This led me to the following conclusion: content consumption is linked to those issues for which we feel passion and it takes place mainly during times of leisure. Only when our passion matches our profession, content consumption has a professional motivation.
Let me give an example:
Last June, in the framework of the Worldwide Developers Conference 2013, Apple introduced the new design of iOS. With the iOS 7, Apple leaves the outdated skeuomorphism and applies the “flat design”, which is gaining so many followers. This generated hundreds of articles.
I know people who have an iPhone and love it. It would never occur to them to have another phone. I can also assure you that it would not occur to none of them to read any of those articles. Only people whose passion is design will consume that kind of content.
Although content might be related to fields with which we have a close relationship, unless the issue is linked to something we are passionate for, we aren’t going to feel any interest on it.
Thus, although an article on how to foster innovation could be very useful for companies, it will only catch the attention of those who feel a passion for innovation.
Once I understood this, I analyzed the blogs of some design firms that I usually follow. All their content was similar to mine, i.e. interesting for someone who is passionate about design, but totally insubstantial to their customers.
Given this, we could accept the fact that our content is of no interest to our potential customers, but as we like the content we publish, we decide to focus on the kind of followers we’re already attracting.
But it is also possible that our main objective is to address our customers. Or maybe we just do not have the freedom to choose our audience. In this case, what content can we create when our customers are not interested in our content? There are two possible solutions.
1. We can change the tone of our content and gear it towards the users of our products or services.
This is the case, for example, of Lékué, a worldwide leader in innovative silicone cooking and baking products for healthy food preparation and storage. They could have created content about design, packaging, innovation, silicone, etc. Instead, Lékué has focused on its customers, through videos where they explain how to prepare different recipes with the help of their products
2. We can consider the customer-focused content is not in line with our company and simply not create content.
This is the case, for example, of Apple. Apple does not need to create content. Their products are their content. A less drastic example of this second option could be IDEO, whose content are simply their projects.
Now is the time to self-enquiry into one’s own true goals and be honest with ourselves. Now is the time to ask: Who we want to address our content to?