What’s the friend zone? Oh; nothing serious. It’s only one of the biggest fears people face when falling in love with someone. You know the story: boy meets girl, boy loves girl, girl sees boy as a friend. It’s sad. It’s devastating. It can happen in all aspects of life, too.
If you were wondering what the friend zone had to do with content marketing, think of it this way: when you’re trying to be the best content marketer and you’re only getting average results, you’re in the friend zone.
You’re trying to flirt with all new trends. You’re doing your best to do what successful competitors do. You even try to infuse some fresh practices to spice up your approach. You’re still getting mild results, and that’s because you’re in that friend zone.
You gotta get out of it, and you gotta do it quickly!
We’ll share few tips that will help you develop an effective relationship with content marketing.
Your Good Intentions Are Not Good Enough
When you truly like someone but you’re in the friend zone, you have only the best intentions with this person. You’re trying to make them happy and you’re always there when they need you. You’re the shoulder they cry on. That’s enough for this person to see you as a best friend, but it’s not enough for getting their full commitment.
The same thing happens with content marketing. When you’re just playing nice and you’re simply expressing the benefits of the brand you promote, it won’t be enough. You have to make that extra move to convince people to choose your brand over all other options they have.
Let’s see how you can do that:
1. Develop a Salesy Mindset
So you don’t want to be intrusive. You want to deliver your message, but you also want people to make their own decisions. Oh; you’re so nice! You’re too deep into the content marketing friend zone!
You have to change that “nice guy” mindset ASAP. If you intend to be a content marketing, you have to understand that your message can control people’s decisions. You have to create a sales funnel that will guide people towards a purchase.
Yes; we’re talking about that dreadful sales funnel. These are the phases it goes through:
- Becoming aware – You’re doing your best to get your brand noticed when people use Google to search for the same or similar products or services. In other words, you’re trying to get more people towards your website. They might not understand their own issue, so you need to make them aware of the problem and the solution you can provide.
- Consideration – When people understand the problem and have at least one solution to consider, they come to the consideration At this point, you can nurture them as leads through email marketing and social media marketing. You’ll keep reminding them about your solution.
- Decision – At this stage, people decide to become customers. They already know their problem and they are evaluating the available solutions. You have to present yours as the best option.
- Purchase – If people purchased from you, they expect to get the best value for their money. At this point, the role of a content marketer is to explain how the product or service works. You can sell more items during this process, only if you get out of the friend zone.
Marissa Roberts, content developer for Resumes Planet, explains how the salesy mindset makes a difference: “Before you start creating your content, you have to understand the audience you’re selling to. You need to be aware of the funnel phases, so you’ll know how your leads think and you’ll be able to guide them towards the decision you want them to make.”
Was this too abstract for you? Here’s an example of how the sales funnel works in practice:
- Let’s assume you’re selling magnetic knee braces. This person has pain in their knee and they don’t know where it’s coming from.
- During the awareness stage, they will conduct Google research to search for the symptoms and guess the condition. To drive these people towards your website, you’ll write articles on knee conditions and symptoms. Then, you’ll suggest potential solutions for each problem you analyze.
- During the consideration stage, this person knows what their problem is and expects further explanations. At this point, they will research more about the solutions, so your content marketing efforts will be focused on that aspect.
- When making the decision, the lead will compare your solution to other potential options. You have to convince them that your offer is the best one on the market.
- When this person makes the purchase, you need to provide content that helps them to get the best value out of it. You’ll tell them how to use the brace and accompany the magnet therapy with a proper diet and exercise regimen.
2. Pay Attention to the Evolving Needs of Your Customers
When you’re in the friend zone, you don’t bother thinking about someone’s intentions. You assume this is a good person and you want to be there for them, always. The reality is harsh. This person may find someone else… someone who will meet their needs in a better way. The same thing happens in content marketing.
That’s why you have to be aware of the evolution of your buyer persona. Once you lead someone through the sales funnel, you can’t assume their needs will stay the same forever.
As the needs of your customers evolve, your content marketing strategy will grow, too. But how do you figure out the changes? Here are few suggestions:
- Ask! Don’t worry; that won’t make you seem pushy. You just want to know how your customers are dealing with the issues and how they used the solution you provided. You can do this through simple face-to-face communication, as well as through surveys via email, social media, or phone.
- Analyze the competition! You have to be better, so keep improving your solutions and offering content that explains what makes your brand the best choice.
- Keep providing attractive offers. Your content marketing strategy has to include calls to actions, which will attract new customers and bring back the new ones. Otherwise, you’ll stay in the friend zone forever. You’ll be that brand that people like, but don’t use.
3. Turn Visitors into Leads
In content marketing, lead magnets are essential for exit from the friend zone. These are luring offers that promise great value in exchange for contact information.
Let’s get back to that example with a business that sells knee braces. When you attract a new visitor to your website, you have a chance to turn them into a lead. You can do that by offering an eBook that explains all symptoms in detail. This will be information that’s hard to find online, and you’ll promote that eBook through proper content marketing.
To get the free eBook, this visitor will have to provide their name and email address. From that point on, you have a lead. You can start sending emails to remind them about your products and send special offers that would lead them to the purchasing action.
So how do you create a lead magnet? These are the main elements to pay attention to:
- A clear call to action, which leads the visitor towards the decision to subscribe to your newsletter.
- An opt-in form, which asks for the visitor’s name and email, as well as for their consent to receive email messages from you.
- A payoff, which proves that the visitor made the right decision when they subscribed for your content. You have to keep offering exceptional content on a regular basis. Otherwise, you’ll simply stay in the friend zone.
4. Nurture Your Leads And Take Them Further Down the Funnel
When people want to buy a certain product or service, they choose the one they are most aware of. In other words, they opt for the brand that mastered the art of content marketing.
If you want your leads to buy the products or services you offer, you have to nurture them. You’ll do that by delivering relevant and useful content on a long-term basis. Each email you send and blog post you publish will contain a call action that leads to a purchase.
Here are few suggestions that will help you nurture your leads in a way that gets your brand out of the friend zone:
- Send special promo codes, sneak-peaks, and discount offers for your leads. You want to make them feel special for being your fans.
- Send emails whenever you publish new case studies or blog posts, so you’ll take your leads towards the website.
- Offer answers to the most frequently asked questions.
- Promote positive testimonials and reviews that present your brand in the best light.
- Share your opinions about important industry trends.
Email marketing is the usual tool for nurturing leads. The main question is: how much of it is too much? It’s a good question! When you’re not sending enough emails, you’re in the friend zone. When you send too much, you’re getting in the danger zone of a pushy stalker. So you have to find the perfect balance. It’s different for everyone, but one promotional email per week should be enough for most brands.
Here are few ideas on how to conduct a proper content marketing campaign for nurturing leads:
- Send a welcome email to introduce your brand and say thanks for subscribing.
- Send a compilation of the most popular content at your website, so your new subscribers can check it out.
- Send a welcome discount, so you’ll encourage the lead to make a quick purchasing decision.
Get Out of That Friend Zone Now!
No one likes the friend zone. It’s a devastating position to be in when you’re aiming for a precise goal. If you want to be really attractive for your target audience, you have to get out of the content marketing friend zone ASAP.
Our tips will definitely help you out!
Warren Fowler is a marketing enthusiast and a blogger at ResumesPlanet, who loves music. If he doesn’t have a guitar in his hands, he’s probably embracing new technologies and marketing techniques online! You can meet him on Twitter and Facebook.
Featured image taken from Pexels.com