Diminishing Returns in Traditional Advertising
For decades, advertising has been about catching the customer’s eye, letting them know that your product exists and building associations. Ad companies may use association to link a product to concepts of family or an perhaps image of vitality or honesty. But in the end, it is using an image to persuade and ultimately induce a purchasing decision. The problem is that we have adapted to these techniques and many have learned to simply tune out advertisements as an annoyance. Advertising still works but as its effectiveness declines, the big ad companies continue to charge high fees to promote your products.
But what if there were a better way? What if there were a way to prove to a client, before making a sale, that you have the knowledge and expertise they’re looking for? What if you could promote yourself actively in a way that made clients choose you over the competition without you constantly paying to post social media or search engine ads? There is and the technique is surprisingly simple.
Educate to Build Your Business
Provide high quality written content to clients and potential clients for free. This does not mean to bombard them with spam or to hit them with volleys of heavy handed advertising copy. Clients are more likely to be turned off by this approach and avoid further business interaction if they feel pressured or even harassed. Instead, aim to educate your clients. Soften the sell and emphasize building their knowledge base on the topic. Provide them with the tools to make an informed decision. There are no clever tricks or advertising illusions to sour a business relationship, just honest communication that represents mutual benefit.
One example to illustrate the technique could be a local technology company that offers computer repair services. Let’s call them Green Castle Tech Repair. Potential clients may perform a simple web search and find Green Castle alongside a dozen similar companies, but with little to decide into whose hands they should trust their valuable and sensitive digital equipment. Now imagine if Green Castle maintained a blog on their website that discussed recent trends in computer security, PC technology and data management, all on a level that clients could understand. Imagine if their website contained an easy-to-use guide for clients that would help them through a few basic problems. For every web visitor who stops to read an interesting blog post or peruse a DIY guide, they will have made a long-term client who won’t even consider the competition. This works based on two fundamental concepts of human psychology: trust and obligation.
When a potential client reads informative, high quality writing on a topic that increases their knowledge, they recognize that the source of the information is an authority on the subject. This works whether it is for a law practice, a private clinic, a repair company, a construction company or a seller of widgets. No matter the topic, trust can be built with clients by providing useful content that demonstrates a deeper understanding than they possess. Some companies go as far as to provide white papers on a selected topic, a very powerful tool for building trust. The research and expertise that publishing a white paper symbolizes serves to demonstrate that you have an elite level of knowledge in the field. The client enters a buying decision with confidence, certain that you are a “thought leader” on the subject.
The second effect created by providing free and helpful content is a sense of obligation. This only works if the content is actually helpful and doesn’t give the impression of pressuring the client into a sale. When we feel educated on a topic, we are naturally thankful, even if unconsciously so. The business has provided knowledge and an almost imperceptible feeling of debt is planted in the potential client’s mind. Think again of the visitor to the Green Castle Tech Repair website. They knew nothing about crypto-ransomware viruses before clicking, but now they do. They feel enlightened and grateful to have read information that could potentially save them in the future. Next month they are hit by just such a virus. Their first stop is certain to be Green Castle.
It can be very difficult to create superior content that builds client relationships. Not everyone is a highly talented writer or has the time to build out such an extensive written marketing strategy. But that’s ok. nitara is a digital marketing firm that uses ghost writers to help you provide that content through an integrated written and visual strategy.
We believe your vision is the story the world is waiting to hear, so let our ghost writers compose your blog posts, write your articles and produce expert white papers to build your brand as a thought leader through providing value to clients.