Moving away from just talking about your products and services online, and towards starting conversations with your audience is a great way to create and build upon those relationships.
If managed well, it is often possible to introduce your products and services to potential customers, through those conversations. Really smart and tech-savvy brands can also begin automating this process too
This concept is important because people essentially buy from other people. And even more importantly, people buy from people they trust! It is very difficult to build trust with an individual or brand if you cannot get a feeling for what they are like to work with, prior to paying for their product or services.
This is where content-led conversations come in, because they act as the connector between you and your customers. When a potential customer is asked to share their opinions, experiences, or provide further questions when engaging with a piece of content, they are also then being offered an opportunity to get to know you better and build up a relationship with you.
Essentially, you are looking to get more customers, faster, compared to when using 'traditional' content and advertising techniques.
You are moving away from using contact forms and hoping that people will magically 'get in touch' because they were so deeply inspired by your words of wisdom...
Instead, you should take natural and logical steps towards learning more, creating new connections, and developing new ideas. The impact of doing this is both increasing the likelihood of your audience discovering what you sell and then buying it, and actually learning to trust you more as a person or brand. This in turn can create a much longer-term relationship between you and the customer.
If you don't take the opportunity to turn engagement with content into conversations, then you run the risk of missing out on a great customer as they walk by your ‘window’.
Sometimes people just need to be asked a carefully placed question or given some simple advice to encourage them to go ahead with their purchase. If you miss that moment, it may never come again AND you may lose out to a competitor who did think to do it!
A big step towards making this concept work for you is to understand WHERE your customers like to engage in discussion. Is it in the comments section of a Facebook post? Is it via direct messages on LinkedIn. Or is it during an 'Ask Me Anything' session on Twitter?
By understanding WHERE your customers enjoy having conversations online, you decrease the chance of being intrusive when you do strike up a discussion. And you will also find a great abundance of potential customers to speak to.
What's the most common mistake people make when trying to do this?
A mistake I often see with this concept is that people start the conversation from a point that they want to talk about.
"Interesting point there Dave, thanks. Whilst I've got you, have you thought about what Life Insurance Cover you might need for you and your family?"
Awful. But we've all seen it.
Instead, maybe we try something like this:
"Hey Dave, thanks for bringing that up. What experience have you had in the past to make you think that? ....
...yeah I totally get it. Do you think a better insurance policy would have made you feel more confident about it?"
So, if you want to get started with having conversations, you need to choose the best platform for you to do so.
Next, figure out what tweaks you can make to your content in order to invite and create conversation.
This can be as simple as asking for people’s opinions on your latest blog posts and videos. Or perhaps something more purposeful like creating a poll or survey which people can contribute to.
Whatever it is, you want to make sure you can do these three things:
- Offer your audience a place to have their say (such as a comments section or reply box)
- Have some prepared responses to invite them to go into more detail or share an idea/experience (see insurance example above!)
- Have a destination in mind for a qualified conversation, such as a call booking link, landing page, or even a payment gateway.
I hope this was a super useful post! If you want to learn more about how to do this, you can add me on LinkedIn for a chat (woah, see what I did there?) or check out more of our content on the Content Hub.