The Rise of The Empowered Customer (And What To Do About It)

Midsize and small businesses biggest challenges and opportunities reveal the rise of the empowered customer. Consumers are changing the way products are marketed, sold, manufactured and sourced. Today’s consumers have unlimited access to information— so they’re well-informed, social media-savvy, and share their views with the world.

They are more demanding—expecting current and future communication channels, such as mobile and social, to deliver an exceptional customer experience. And they can make or break brands overnight. We have entered the era of the empowered customer. 

For midsize and small businesses to understand what they must do in this new era, they must focus on positioning themselves as a trusted informational provider. This means an intense focus on content marketing. Here are 7 steps to content marketing success:

  1. Set goals for your content marketing. Content marketing goals should fit into and support your overall business goals. Goals must be specific and realistic as well. Start by determining your business and marketing goals for your content marketing.
  2. Know your target audience. You have to know to whom you want your content to influence, and develop trust with. Clearly identifying your target will help you create content that will hit the bull’s eye.
  3. Determine the content your target audience wants. Remember that content marketing isn’t about you. It’s about the (WIIFM) your target audience seeks. Make your platform an information resource of high quality content for your prospects and customers.
  4. Use the most important business concept in the current marketplace: storytelling. This has always been a key component for businesses. In the past they were only two ways to tell stories at scale. The first was to hire an expensive PR agency to tell your story to the media. The second was to spend a lot of money on advertising. Now social media provides a third alternative to tell stories at scale and tell them with a picture, a thirty or six second video shot with an Android phone or iPhone, or a status update, or a tweet.
  5. Use different channels. Everyone is different in terms of how they consume information. This translates to doing some videos, slideshares, podcasts, radio shows, and written content.
  6. Promote your content. Content is King, but Marketing is Queen. You have to market your content if you’re going to break through the noise and clutter. This is where communication vehicles and content can really work like a marriage. Content is fire, and communication channels are gasoline.
  7. Measure content marketing results. You must track your content marketing to ensure that it yields sales and profits. Make sure you include call-to-actions. Select the metrics that are most effective to track your progress towards achieving your goals.

Question: What do you think? What are you doing to adapt to the empowered customer?