How to earn customer trust through cascading content

Cascading Content Strategy“What social media platforms should I be using?” is one of the most common questions I hear when teaching classes or working with clients. “Should I be using Twitter? LinkedIn? What about YouTube?” Here’s a more important question to consider, regardless of platform – What are you going to say? When you implement a strategy for cascading your content through your social sharing, you’ll find it’s both much more simple, and much more effective. This article will show you how to earn customer trust through cascading content.

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How not to implement the cascading content strategy

Have you ever received an invite from a friend asking you to Like, Follow, or Favorite a business? You know, maybe one of those businesses that focus on selling things to your friends? Once you’ve Liked, Followed, or Favorited that business, did you suddenly start receiving advertisements every time you open your feed? Why is that? People still try to use old-school advertising via the web, and it simply doesn’t work. Instead of ringing your doorbell or calling your home phone during dinnertime, people are interrupting your social media feed with advertisements. How long will it take until you block that person’s communication to you?

If these businesses were to start with an entirely different strategy, they could first earn your trust through being a great teacher. Once I opt-in to hearing from you, I want you to help educate me. I want you to help me feel smarter. Then, once I’m ready to make a buying decision, I’ll buy from you because I trust and appreciate you.

Cascading Content Strategy

Download this step-by-step, how-to infographic as part of the Attraction Campaign training video

How to use the cascading content strategy to earn customer trust

Step 1 – Listen to your customers. I mean really listen to them. What questions are they explicitly asking? What questions are embedded in the conversations, emails, etc. that you can extract from that interaction? Start typing the answers to those questions in a friendly and conversational format. We call this Teaching-Based Marketing.

Since reading is a one-way form of communication, add details to questions that are associated to the core question the potential customer asked. On the web, you’re rewarded for giving a little more content instead of a little less. Try to make those articles over 300 words, and you’ll find an improvement in your search rankings.

Step 2 – Create slides or video from your article. Who owns SlideShare? LinkedIn. If you embed a SlideShare in your profile or post on the LinkedIn site, it’s more likely to be seen. Why? All social platforms are competing for your attention, and they want you to stay on their site, or sites they own and control. Who owns YouTube? Google. Whose video platform do you supposed Google wants you to use? Have you ever seen a non-YouTube video show up on the first page of a search result? Rarely, if ever.

When you take the material from your article and put it in slide or video form, it’s both another way for people to see/hear and understand your message, and you’re appealing to different audience. People browsing your website on their phone might want to watch a video instead of reading a thousand word article like this one. The script, so to speak, is already written in the article from Step #1. Use this script to create your video or presentation.

Step 3 – Now you’re ready to start sharing on social platforms. You’ve built some great educational material, you’ve put it in several different forms to appeal to different kinds of people, and you can start teaching. Think about it: if you have an article with pictures, a SlideShare presentation, and a YouTube video, it allows you to reinforce your message in at least three different ways on a whole array of platforms. Most importantly, when the next great social platform presents itself, you can use your educational content there too.

Step 4 – How are you keeping in touch with your customers on a regular basis? Are you using an email newsletter? If not, start your mailing list right away. Here’s the big question when it comes to newsletters: “What do I put in them?” Well, guess what? You’ve already developed your content in steps 1 & 2 above. Just format it nicely using a free service like MailChimp, and you’re good to go!

Step 5 – All web visitors are anonymous. If you’ve ever looked at your website’s traffic report or analytics report, you’ll have some pretty vague demographic and geographic data, but you won’t know the identities of the visitors. When you create digital assets like eBooks or webinars, that all changes. Why do you suppose so many websites have a form for you to fill out or email request box?

Once a company has your email, they can match up your activity on their website to you individually, and they have ongoing permission to talk to you (see step #4). Until you give away something of value, people are usually hesitant to give you their email address. “Oh sure,” you might be thinking, “let me just write an eBook with all the spare time I have.” Here’s something incredibly cool – once you’ve written enough articles about a topic, your eBook is already written. Just put them in a logical order, and voilà! There’s your book.

Start implementing the cascading content strategy by writing articles today

As you see in the five steps above, everything is dependent on writing articles. Start implementing Teaching-Based Marketing by listening to the questions your customers are asking and typing the answers. Put those answers on your website, turn those into a variety of media (slides & videos), and share those ideas with your social networks. Start reaching out to your mailing list on a regular basis to share the content you’ve created. Finally, combine those answers into an eBook, and start gaining insights into how your website visitors become customers.

When you take the time to create the content that educates your customers and share that knowledge freely, you’ll build trust, credibility, and the loyalty of your customers and future customers. Try writing your first article today, and start attracting new and better customers to you.

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Spencer X Smith

Spencer helps you save time through teaching digital marketing and social media strategies in plain English, after proving they actually work for himself first. He also is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and a columnist for InBusiness.

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