"Do" Content

by Jen Williams

Encouraging customers to experience your brand outside of a purchase moment

Have you ever wanted to know how to…

  • Sew a button on your shirt?
  • Cook chicken cacciatore?
  • Solve a Rubik’s cube in three minutes?

The internet is an astounding resource of information. You can find a willing source to take you step-by-step through answers to the burning questions above and millions more, all at the tap of a mobile button. Once upon a time, we humans may have had a question, but brushed it off because finding the answer wasn’t necessarily worth the effort. Or, we felt roadblocked because we didn’t even know where to go for answers a specific question (where would you go in 1987 to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube in three minutes??). No more. Now, we simply pull out our smartphones and have a quick “I-want-to-do” micro-moment.   

A “do” moment can be defined as a moment when a person turns to a device to complete a task or learn how to do something. These interactions are nearly a universal consumer habit. In fact, Google says 91% of Smartphone users turn to their smartphones for ideas while doing a task. As marketers, these “do” moments present the very best opportunity to connect deeply with target audiences. All we have to do is provide true value. Here are tips for how to “do” just that:

1. Know thy customer - Who is your ideal target customer beyond a set of statistics? There are real humans behind your customer data that have needs and goals. Get to know the humans through interviews, observations and other research so you can create a journey map of their experiences relative to what your brand can provide them. You can’t provide your audience with valuable content in line with their life and values if you don’t understand their life and values.

2. Nurture with adjacent brand value - Once you understand their world and orientation to it, you can identify topics that interest them. List these out and prioritize the topics for which your brand has credible authority to have an opinion. These should be areas of adjacent value to your product or service—and shouldn’t be directly about your product or service. For example, REI has built up a library of tips and tricks around outdoor interests such as cycling, hiking, climbing, and outdoor basics, and they’ve complemented that with an SEO strategy to serve that content for “how-to” searches. Search the web for “how to fix a bike tire” and you’ll be met with a top result will be authored by them.

source: REI.com

Importantly, their “how-to” post isn’t about their bikes. It’s about bikes in general. They are using this content as an opportunity to exhibit expertise in cycling as a hobby, thereby creating a relationship with all bike enthusiasts regardless of purchasing behavior.

3. Turn customers into fans with direct brand value - When it comes to your brand's product or service, your customers know it best. Customers are constantly finding the best ways to use, style, and even hack the things they buy to make them work even better. For instance, Ikea sells basic furniture and home goods with a minimalist aesthetic. That minimalism has been the perfect canvas for “Ikea hackers” to customize, add on to and otherwise modify their products. Although these activities void the warranty, Ikea has embraced these hackers in recent years, and now features the best how-to hacks on its blog and Instagram. Hacking inspiration provides value to prospective customers and directly links them to the products Ikea is trying to sell—with current customers doing the heavy lifting of the “sell”. This kind of content provides direct brand value, and ensures that when a prospective customer is ready to make a purchase, she has current customer voices showing her “how to” best fit the product into her life.

A good “do moment” content strategy should include a mix of direct and adjacent brand value, and should consider how your audience would like their how-to content delivered. When considering delivery methods, keep in mind that 85% of all U.S. internet users watch online video content monthly, and the three most watched types of video content on the internet are customer testimonials, tutorial videos and demonstration videos! (according to Curata). So regardless of the nuanced preferences of your preferred customer, video should probably be in the mix. 

Ready to “do” more? :)  read on for tips that make successful “know” and “go” micro-content.

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