Fostering valuable relationships with your customers begins with understanding not just who they are but what they need and when they need it. Once you have created your digital persona, it’s time to define how you wish to communicate with them.

These five basic principles can go a long way toward ensuring your customers see you as a valuable resource and not an intrusion.

  1. Be true to yourself. Align all communications with your digital persona, or you risk undermining your credibility and confusing your audience.
  2. Encourage conversation. Give your customers a way to participate in the conversation through comments, retweets, shares or response forms. One-way communication does not build relationships.
  3. Tell the truth. Content should be consistently genuine and factual. If not, you risk legal repercussions and the loss of your customers’ trust.
  4. Be deliberate and responsive. Over-posting can become white noise. To keep your audience engaged, be sure your posting is valuable, useful or relevant to the audience. Think about where, when and how often you communicate. And make sure you respond to any comments.
  5. Stay relevant. Focus your content on your customers’ needs, challenges, goals and their place in the buying journey, and you’re more likely to be perceived as a valuable partner.

Communicate throughout the buying journey

The buying journey varies from business to business, but typically moves through these phases:

With the right mix of digital marketing channels and content, you can effectively move your customers through each phase of the buying cycle.