So, you’re using content marketing — articles, blogs, e-newsletters, case studies, videos, and social media platforms — to build brand awareness, customer acquisition, lead generation and customer retention. Work all of these as far as you can take them.
Then take it one step farther.
Producing helpful, educational and valuable content isn’t just for attracting customers. It can be an invaluable ally if something between your company and a customer goes awry, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. Because somewhere, somehow, someone will find something with which to take issue.
Supplying varied and detailed information on your company’s product or service in the form of an ongoing blog series or an expansive FAQ that answers an exhaustive series of questions could help mitigate potential problems and even help tamp down a full-blown crisis if enough instructive information is available and accessible.
Leaving these elements out of your content mix could cost you time, money and potentially your firm’s reputation.
Realistically, not everyone is going to read everything related to your product or service, but having it available within a couple of clicks on a keyboard could be enough to make a news organization beg off a story if information countering an issue is within easy reach.
What should you share in content mitigation program? Everything possible, such as:
- Guarantees/Warranties – Be explicit and don’t bury the fine print.
- Cost/Price – If you have a service that doesn’t have set price because each situation is different, explain what the variables are and supply a range of price, from the lowest to the highest.
- Problems/issues – No service can be all things for all people. Detail the limitations of your product or service.
- Comparisons with Competitors – Explaining differentiation between all comers in your niche lets prospects self select and lays bare stark differences.
- Regulatory Compliance – If you work in an industry where adhering to federal regulations differentiates you from more lax competitors, ensure you explain why you do and how you do it.
- Scope of Work/Payment – Particularly for potentially high-priced services where scope could change based on circumstances, keep the customer apprised of the charges so there won’t be a surprise at the end that could turn into a public issue… and a potential lawsuit.
- Accolades/Awards/Testimonials – Your customers, third party endorsements and awards for quality weave a powerful story. Tell it.
- Approach/Philosophy – Most businesses have a story of why they began the business and/or guiding principles of how they work. Creating narratives like this make you appear more human and accessible.
- Limitations/Usage Policies – Your business isn’t super human. Explain what your business and service is and is not capable of doing.
- Training/Education – Do your employees undergo intensive education about how to execute their jobs for optimum outcome and value? Spell it out.
- Personnel qualifications – The job your company does is only as good as the employees that do it. For highly technical and regulated industries, offer up details of the training and experience of your employees
- Consumer/Client Ratings – If you receive consistently high ratings from internal surveys and external ranking services, promote those high scores to help validate your value.
- Accreditation/Endorsement– Positive reviews from third parties, such as associations and non-profit groups can help bolster credibility.
All of these suggestions may or may not be applicable to your business, but err on the side of caution in supplying as much about your service as possible. Because anything that could be misunderstood and misinterpreted will be.