Content Relationship Building
Throughout human history, the predominant way we have built relationships is through real-time conversation. However, in today’s online world, content has taken over that way: “content is king.” According to Michael Simmons, “creating content is far more important than most of us realize. Our content can reach many more people than we ever could one-on-one, it can reflect our most authentic self, and it can distill our deepest wisdom. If done right, it accelerates relationships by months and years.” Although much has been written about one-on-one online relationship building, little has been written about linking content to relationship building. Simmons conveniently calls this linking content relationship building.
Content relationship building is creating content specifically designed to build an authentic network, which is a form of indirect marketing. In this blog, I will start by naming a few benefits of content marketing, then highlight the importance of this indirect form of relationship building and finally list Simmons’ 12 principles that can be used to win friends and influence people.
Content relationship building: content is indirect, and content is king
There is no shortage of arguments about the massive benefits of content marketing, but here are the most salient points that Andrea Fryrear mentions:
- 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement
- 70% say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company
- 60% say company content helps them make better product decisions
- B2B buyers on average consume 8 pieces of content before making a purchase decision
- Buyers go through 57% of the purchase process before ever talking to sales
Update June 14, 2019: source link broken. Link removed.
She concludes: “It is practically impossible to run a digital marketing campaign effectively without content. Consumers’ behavior clearly indicates a preference for content they can consume on their own terms.”
Content relationship building: indirect contact a means to build relationships?
It may seem weird to have indirect marketing be a means to build relationships, as the predominant way used to be one-on-one and thus direct. However, to create maximum impact from your content, you do not want most of it to be distributed via direct means. Fryrear says: “Think about it: if you had to write a unique blog post, create a special infographic, and tailor your eBooks for each and every one of your existing and potential customers, the flood of content would destroy your entire department very quickly.”
The 12 commandments everyone should follow
So if this indirect way of communicating is a means to build relationships, how can we best go about it? We know how to be polite to others in a direct conversation (at least you can find enough tips… ), and sometimes we even know how to be polite to people from another culture. How do you reach that anonymous mass online in a polite and effective way? Using personal experience and interviewing top content relationship builders, Simmons has developed a list of 12 principals for content relationship building:
- Pick a platform that reflects your strengths.
- Share your inside story.
- Identify your biggest counterintuitive insights about the world.
- Know the truths you would be willing to die for (or at least sacrifice for).
- Prepare to present, not to have conversations.
- Learn how to tell your story through the content you create.
- Cultivate digital self-awareness.
- Respond to all commenters in the beginning.
- Focus on your headline.
- Find the voice that is uniquely you.
- Communicate as if you are talking to a friend (or at least a human).
- Create content that you would want yourself.
What can I do for you regarding content relationship building?
No matter the specific marketing purpose, online and offline content needs to reach a big audience. Keeping your content in one language is a barrier to that. The more languages you have your content available in, the more people can or want to read it. I am the owner of Dutch translation agency BudgetVertalingOnline, which offers affordable translations English <> Dutch. Therefore, I can help you if you want to use professional content to build a relationship with foreign prospects and clients in their own language. Would you like to get in touch? Send me an email (email@example.com), send me a Tweet (@GdenHolder) or fill out the quotation form.
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