Do you ask your friends for advice? Do you trust them? And if they would start their own business, would you support them? The answer is probably 'yes'. Friends support and trust each other. Friends buy from friends. Am I stating the obvious here? Then it does surprise me that so many brands only see their customers as, well customers. Not friends. I get it, becoming friends is hard work. You need to get to know each other, see if there is a match. Offer value to their lives. Be there when they need you. Offer them 'content'. But you know what, that hard work does pay of. As one of the most influential content marketers in the world, Andrew Davis, likes to put it: “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”
Thankfully, our good friends at Google designed an amazing model for programming Youtube content, which here at Strangelove we use as a 'friendship building' model for all brands we work with. You might have heard about it: the Hub, Hero, Help (often named Hygiene) framework. Hub, Hero, Help was originally developed to create layered video content on a consistent base. Making sure people will find and love your videos and that they keep coming back, just like good friends do. Building the content to the top, with a solid base layer. Now replace the word ‘video’ with ‘brand’ and you get where we’re going with this: multilayered content marketing to grow your friendship base and drive customer revenue.
The help or Hygiene layer is all about knowing who your customers are and what they are searching for. Like good friends, you do your best to get to know them. Listening and offering them solutions for their problems. As a brand this means that you should make sure your website - your home - is ready for your potential friends to come over and know what you have to add to their lives.
Hub communication is like the invitation to the party. Sending it to those that you matter to and showing you’re one hell of a host. The invitation is an advertisement that you send to a predefined target group, the party is a piece of content that they are most likely interested in. Only start 'hubbing' when you have your hygiene in order. Otherwise it's like they are being invited to an amazing party, but when they come knocking in their best outfit, there is no food, music or decorations. When invited again, will they go? Probably not. If you do offer a relevant base layer of content, chances are big that they stick around for a while and want to be invited for the party you are throwing next time.
Last but not least is the hero content. The big bang campaigns, that really put your name out there. Letting people know who you are and that you are in the market for more friendships. Think of TV commercials or the massive multichannel online campaigns.This requires quite a bit of party planning and budget. Doing it only a few times a year is more than enough. Too much partying isn’t good for anyone.
So there you have it, brands should treat potential customers like friends. Listen to them, care for them and be there for them. And every once in a while, throw a good party. As with all good friendships, this investment will pay off.
Want to know more about using this model in your brand communications? Give us a call or come over for a cup of coffee. It could be the start of something beautiful.