Right now just about everyone is fired up about the midterm elections as voters across the US will get to have their say and voice their political opinions. It's a time of change and a time of opportunity—which means it's also a great chance to feed off the energy and assess your brand's content strategy.
So on this election day, ask yourself whether your content accurately reflects your brand's image and sends the right message to your customers. Should you keep going in the same direction? Or is it time to overhaul your current strategy in favor of a new one?
Here are some ways you can assess whether your content is hitting the mark.
1. Take a poll
Politicians constantly use polls to assess public opinion and gauge voters' level of support. And you should use this tactic for your content, too. Surveys can be used to ask customers what type of content they want to see from you and to gauge whether your website and social media are performing as well as they could. Some websites can even generate revenue for your business for each question answered.
Offer fun or useful incentives when inviting your customers to take a survey. If a customer takes the time to provide you with valuable feedback, try giving them access to a piece of gated content or temporary access to a restricted part of your website. Send a T-shirt or a small gift. Your customers will reward you with better feedback and increased loyalty.
2. Engage your readers in the conversation
One of the biggest problems in politics today is that there is a big divide between politicians and constituents. Voters often stay home on Election Day instead of participating because they feel like their opinions aren't always heard. Your customers also might feel like they aren't always heard.
So, make sure you give your customers the opportunity to engage with your content on your blog, social pages, and website. Instead of linking all your content to white papers, case studies, or other marketing collateral, create some content that starts a discussion and ends with a thought-provoking question, or ask for an opinion on a particular issue.
The more you engage with your readers, the more connected they will feel to your brand.
3. Earn a vote of confidence from your customers
The best politicians listen to what voters have to say, then act on it. The same strategy will help you grow customer loyalty.
Some companies avoid engaging with readers in public forums because they think doing so is too risky. (Who knows just what those darn customers might say?) Sometimes, readers do very vocally offer up criticism or negative opinions. However, responding to those comments is better than to let those comments go unheeded. By addressing the complaint, you take control of the situation and, contrary to what you might think, that is a great opportunity for you to strengthen the relationship.
According to Scott Stratten, author of Unselling, addressing a customer's complaint head-on can convert a complaining customer from a public naysayer to an evangelist. Customers who have been heard and had their problem solved can be your strongest advocates.
4. Make sure your content is useful
Is your content like a mover and a shaker, or a lame duck politician? If your content is more like the latter, then you might be wasting your readers' time. Focus on creating content that either educates your readers or helps them solve problems. For example, create plenty of how-to articles that walk readers through your products and services. Educate readers with unbiased industry news.
Just make sure that every piece of content has a clear purpose before you publish it.
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Remember, unlike midterm voters, who only come out once every two years, your customers vote on your brand every day. Your content helps them make the right choice.
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