Readers as Partners – A Look at Relationship Marketing

Providing great, shareable content leads to developing readers as online business partners

The evolution of the Internet has led to emergence of many types of marketing.

Content marketing is a popular topic of discussion for us as it has helped drastically improve relationships for online content-based businesses.

Movement marketing was another type of marketing I wrote about in the past. At its core, movement marketing is similar to content marketing, but focuses on an emotionally-charged topic idea.

A commonality many online forms of reputable marketing share is the concept of audience integration and audience development. These methods don’t just rely on an audience to sell products to, they engage an audience so much that the members actively participate in promoting for the associated actions and ideals.

This is the premise for relationship marketing – a form of promotional engagement that focuses on customer loyalty.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing should be a component of content marketing that all online publishers participate in.

As publishers, our job is to distribute accurate and informative content that helps provide answers our audience members seek.

In this process, we are ultimately creating trust. If our content is truthful and relevant to an audience, they will begin to trust what we have to say. If we continue this truthful exchange of information, the relationship will flourish.

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It is at this point, when trust has been established, that audience members will become advocates for your brand. The aspect of consumer loyalty can easily lead to brand ambassadors popping up throughout the digital landscape.

Relationship marketing goes hand-in-hand with a social media strategy, and because of this, the data found while measuring social media endeavors can provide valuable insight on customer behavior and the issues that motivate audiences.

The importance behind building relationships

Today’s digital environment is incredibly social. Facebook and Twitter have become staples for online interaction. Google’s +1, which was recently released, may transform the search engine into a more social tool as well.

When it comes to Facebook, 90% of people trust recommendations from friends above any form of marketing. This statistic alone shows the reputability behind social relationships. Considering Facebook users spent 41.1 billion minutes on Facebook in 2010, there’s more of a possibility to create long-lasting relationships through this medium.

How to build stronger relationships

In order to successfully participate in content marketing, or relationship marketing, it’s important to build strong relationships.

To do so, there are a few things consider…

First, always create great content. Before you publish an article, always ask yourself if you are providing actionable tips, strategies or some form of content that enhances the lives of your audience members.

Second, engage your audience. You can do this through blogs and social networks. Begin by asking your audience to participate. Ask what their opinion is on one the topics you write about. Ask them to give you retweets if they enjoy an article you wrote. Also ask if your content is providing the information they are seeking. You may be able to find additional subjects to write about directly from your audience’s participation.

What techniques have you been employing to engage you audience?


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