Let’s say that this morning you first discovered the existence of the pink fairy armadillo. And that’s fantastic, because everyone should know about the pink fairy armadillo. But now you have a problem — now you’re seeing the pink fairy armadillo everywhere. Science news sites, entertainment magazines, articles about digital marketing; the pink armadillo has, somehow, become universally ubiquitous within your media sphere.
You aren’t losing your mind, nor has the digital zeitgeist suddenly become enamored with pink armadillos — this is known as the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Once you’ve just learned about something, you become predisposed towards noticing it again.
You might have very well heard about the majesty of chlamyphorus truncatus (also known as the pichiciego) many times before, but because it didn’t sink in at that point, you just don’t remember it. Now that it’s at the surface of your mind, some part of you is actively scanning for it. And every time you notice it subsequently, it will become even more firmly rooted in your mind.
The first interaction that a customer has with your brand is important. But it may not be as important as the second interaction they have with your brand. The dirty secret of conversion rates is that they are, with very few exceptions, incredibly low. The standard e-commerce conversion rate ranges between 1% and 3%, with most falling in the middle. So for every fifty people who have an experience with your brand — whatever that experience might be — only a single person will convert.
Brand building seeks to create customer relationships and customer associations that will last long-term, transcending each single interaction that the customer has with the business. It isn’t the first interaction — or even the second or third — that is going to stick into the customer’s mind, it’s the recognition the customer feels after being repeatedly exposed to your brand. That feeling of familiarity and recognition is what builds trust in a brand and what ultimately leads to better customer retention and higher customer lifetime values.
Content marketing is essentially built on the importance of recognition: through repeated exposure with a brand, a customer will be more likely to engage with and convert to the product or service. Through content marketing, the emphasis of marketing becomes less on converting that initial customer interaction but rather on creating a memorable initial customer interaction. The goal is to give the customer something specific to remember about your brand, whether it is creating insightful, unique commentary or rambling about particularly small, colorful armadillos for the space of an entire article.
Once you have seeded the customer with your personal pink fairy, you can then initiate the double tap. When the customer next experiences your brand, they will feel that flare of recognition and familiarity and, more importantly, they will begin to trust you. Consistently high-quality content is critical to this strategy because you can’t control when and where the customer will experience their double tap. Brands must invest in creating a “voice” for their product that transcends marketing platform if they are to develop this form of trust.
When pink fairies are seeded and the “double tap” theory has been successfully implemented, something remarkable can happen — you can create brand advocates. Brand advocates aren’t always customers. Some of them may never actually make a purchase from you. But through their trust and familiarity with your brand, they will begin marketing for you through word-of-mouth advertising. Word-of-mouth advertising is arguably the most powerful form of marketing and definitely the most cost-effective.
By reaching out to existing and potential brand advocates through social media campaigns, you can control the epidemiology and spread of your brand growth. You can increase the Baader-Meinhof quotient of your brand, by ensuring that you have a high saturation among certain circles. Every mention of your brand through any form of media is another chance at triggering that sense of familiarity and loyalty — which you will, by then, have rooted into your very own pink fairy.
Creating a lasting relationship with a customer is what content marketing is all about. But there is such an incredible volume of content that you need to be able to differentiate yourself in a unique and memorable way if you are to build customer trust and loyalty. Once you’ve created the appropriate branding, you can potentially capture customers through any of your future interactions.