“Content marketing is like a first date. If you only talk about yourself, there won’t be a second one.”
David Beebe, branded content producer

Recently, while working on improved content marketing packages, I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about how content marketing differs from the other types of marketing that many people do.

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, it’s apt that the main difference is RELATIONSHIPS. Content marketing is about going beyond the initial attraction stage to build relationships so customers trust, admire and love you enough to buy from you, introduce you to their friends and and stick around for years.

Dating and marketing are both processes of identifying and qualifying consumers (dates) with the goal of long-term relationships (typically marriage or lifetime brand/customer loyalty). At the highest level, they both involve product discovery, compatibility testing, relationship development, brand refinement, and brand advocacy.

But much like dating, you have to put in the hard work to get to know what really matters to your audience if you want to talk to them in a meaningful way.

Who do you want to attract?

If someone is dating, they’ll have a clear idea of what an ideal partner does and doesn’t look like, but you’d be surprised how often companies don’t consider who they’re trying to attract.

Look for partners who are compatible, share the same vision and values, and want what you offer just as much as you want to give it to them. To find them, ask yourself why they would benefit from working with you or buying your product. Then, your job is to make sure they see these benefits in real terms.

Don’t rush into things!

Whether in person or online, expecting a potential customer to buy from you after one or two encounters, is a bit like expecting to meet the parents after the second date. It’s too much too soon.

Many businesses recognise the need for SEO to get their website noticed, but few think about what the website visitors do when they get there. Do they visit more than one page? How long do they stay for? Do they come back?

If you’re only focusing on SEO, you could be trying to shove prospects into a leaky sales funnel which is a big fat waste of time, energy and money. Content marketing will give website visitors a reason to stick around and read more of your helpful content. Once they’ve done that, they are more likely to come back for more with your social media or email series newsletter and get to know you properly.

Focusing on SEO without content marketing is a bit like having a great online dating profile, then offering no engaging conversation once you’ve met a match. You may be attracting potential partners, but it will never go beyond that if you don’t work on building the relationship.

Relationships need work

If you neglected a relationship or took it for granted, it wouldn’t last long. You’ve put in the hard work to get to a good place, but it’s easy to expect customers and contacts always to be there and not be tempted away by alternatives. Make sure you get in touch regularly or have a content marketing mechanism like a podcast, email updates or social media presence that reinforces their reasons for falling in love with you all over again!

These are just some of the ways that marketing can be like dating. If you think about marketing in this way, it will help you ask the right questions and find out if your potential customers want what you have to offer. Even better, it will mean fewer rejections, happier customers who love you, and greater success for everyone.

If you want to attract more of your ideal customers, consider joining the Customer Attraction Roadmap, or if you’d like to know more about building better relationships online, talk to us about our content marketing services.

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