connect with customers

Is Digital Technology Making It Harder To Connect With Customers?

The digital age has introduced a number of advancements in the realm of communication. Never before in the history of mankind have people been able to connect so freely and easily to other people with similar interests.

However, this increased level of connectivity comes with a cost. Human beings’ ability to empathize with others and to make real, emotional connections tend to be compromised when they interact over a digital platform.

Even though they can speak to another person miles away, face to face contact has a certain “human element” that digital connectivity lacks.

In this brave, new world, is it harder to connect with customers?

The Rise of the Internet

In the late eighties and early nineties, when desktop computers were still novelties and connections between them were limited to dial-up speeds at best, human interaction was still the default method of communication. Phones provided means of communication over large distances and allowed for a certain level of abstraction between the callers, but the voices was still an organic way for the users to connect. All that changed when the Internet spread all over the world.

By granting access to applications like instant messaging and chat rooms, the Internet provided a means of escape that was completely new. It allowed one to create a persona completely out of whole cloth that may or may not represent who you are as a person. With these abilities came the increased cynicism and doubt that would naturally follow when the only thing you know about a person is based on what that person tells you. This doubt is what makes communication in the digital age so difficult.

Making a Connection

The primary aim of marketing content is to create a connection between you and the buyer. This connection may vary depending on the audience and what approach you have towards developing it. On the whole, your content should reflect what you want your buyer to think about your product. What the buyer thinks is of the utmost importance, because it is what will inform his or her final decision on a purchase.

In the twenty-first century, making a connection is a lot more difficult because of the attitudes that have been developed through the years of the Internet’s dominance in the realm of communication. People are no longer as trusting as they used to be. In addition to this, the vast amounts of quick information coupled with high-speed connections have reduced the average user’s attention span. It’s one thing to try to make a connection with a potential buyer that already doesn’t trust you, but having to do so in a fraction of a minute seems like a Sisyphean task.

The Development of New Storytelling Techniques

Traditional storytelling was how marketers used to connect to their potential buyers in the past. By presenting a story that followed the arc of a hero, ending in a climax and sudden realization of the truth, pre-digital age marketers were able to grasp the attention of their clientele and have them relate to the story from an onlooker’s perspective. This traditional type of story arc has been thrown out the window in recent years because the audience doesn’t have time to empathize with people other than themselves. And so, to deal with this shift in priorities, we made the potential buyer the protagonist.

What this did was create a connection between the audience and the product that was more tangible. It allowed the user to feel, to sense and to anticipate the product, so much so that it encouraged the user to buy it. It is because of the advances in technology that we have been able to do something like this.

Immersing a potential customer in your product is a lot easier when you have the processing power of a computer at your disposal. In this way, the digital age has made it possible to connect to users on a whole different level.

How Do We Deal with Information Overload?

In Aldous Huxley’s “A Brave New World” the society that he presents was faced with the problem of having too much information thrown at them. In the modern world, we have the same problem.

Developing a connection is important in getting past all the noise and making a genuine link to your audience.

Because of the impersonal nature of the Internet, making connections in this way raises your importance and therefore the importance of your message. Good content capitalizes on this and develops loyalty through continued interaction. This loyalty is how we can break out of the necessity of short-burst information that is likely to get lost in the surrounding clutter.

The keyword is easy. Make things easy for your consumer. Make sure your site is mobile friendly. Make sure people can sign up easily—in less than 10 steps. Make sure your blog is easy to get to and easy to read on all screens. Making things like these easily accessible to your customer in these simple ways can make huge differences in your potential buyer feeling overloaded or happy with your content. And, cultivating ongoing customer loyalty makes it easier to connect with customers and the digital age makes it simple to build customer loyalty.

How to Connect with Customers: Keys to Communication

As much as it has been said before, the way to connect with customers digitally is to understand their motivations. When you figure out what makes your potential buyers tick, you can leverage that to access their emotions and connect with them directly. Although the Internet has made it difficult to develop a connection through traditional methods, it has forced us as marketing professionals to find new and innovative ways to deal with this.

Social media, blogging, video ads and infographics provide us with ammunition that we can use to make that all-important breach in the impenetrable fortress that is the user’s emotional cache.

How we utilize these tools directly affects the success of our overall campaign and how well we are able to influence the customer’s final buying decision. Developing content that is riveting and engaging is important to making that connection. Create good content and you will reap the rewards of massive amounts of traffic.

Finally: Bridging The Gap

Developing content on your own can be difficult. Hiring a content production company gives you the opportunity to experience professionally produced content. Good content is the first step in making an emotional connection in the digital age to your audience. With a professionally developed content marketing strategy you can connect with the audience you want. Developing a proper rapport with your audience is a challenge you can overcome with the right content.

Photo credit: blackdovfx / iStock

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