How many times have you encountered a problem or challenge in your own life and conducted a quick Google search to find a solution? If you’re like most, this is a daily occurrence.
From a business perspective, the rise of the self-service, DIY culture presents a unique opportunity to develop a carefully crafted content strategy that reaches your audience and moves them to action. Do you have a plan that allows you to capitalize on this trend?
Understanding the Appeal of DIY
“DIY consumers are not just crafty housewives with a Pinterest board. And, DIY consumers don’t just do-it-themselves,” marketer Zach Williams explains. “DIY consumers are savvy, modern shoppers who want a tailored shopping experience. They cover a large demographic, and care more about buying unique, high-quality products than pinching pennies.”
While most businesses assume that DIYers are primarily in search of saving money, this isn’t always true. According to one study, only 39 percent of DIYers are specifically looking to save. While it is a factor, most people like these projects because they feel they can handle the task and they enjoy the work. A recent Google study supports these findings, discovering that 47 percent of home improvement projects are done because the homeowner takes pleasure in the project.
DIY projects and services run the gamut. From home improvement projects – which 70 percent of homeowners are comfortable with – to For Sale By Owner (FSBO) real estate – which is enjoying a surge in popularity – today’s consumers are more than willing to tackle small and large tasks on their own.
But while people enjoy DIY projects and services, the majority of individuals don’t have the existing knowledge to handle these tasks on their own. Take the process of changing a flat tire as an example. Once considered common knowledge, 60 percent of people now admit that they can’t change a flat tire. However, most feel confident that they could Google it and do it themselves.
This is where content marketing comes into play. Businesses have the opportunity to develop content that fills the knowledge gap that DIYers have between the want to do something and the ability to do it.
7 Steps to Powerful DIY Content
Developing a content strategy that targets DIYers and their desire to be involved in various processes and services is necessary, yet challenging. Here are some of the steps to get you started:
1. Teach, Don’t Lecture
DIY content should be viewed more as a workshop than a lecture. In other words, your goal is to show readers/viewers how to do something. Picture yourself personally walking a single customer through the step-by-step of performing the task, rather than standing in front of an auditorium full of hundreds of people. When you adopt this posture, your content becomes warmer and more personal.
2. Provide an Overview…
Whether it’s a video, blog post, or podcast, DIY content should start with an overview of the task or process. When people have an idea of the beginning and end, they can contextualize the experience and get a better feel for what they need to do in order to move from start to finish.
3. …Then Zoom In
Once you’ve provided an overview, you should then zoom in and address each individual component or step. The more detailed you are, the more clarity your customers will have.
4. Use Lots of Visuals
Good DIY content is highly visual. The human brain processes images 60,000-times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual. If you want your content to stand out and be effective, you need to use lots of visuals.
Pictures and graphics are obviously effective, but nothing replaces video. Whether you’re trying to show customers how to change a tire or make a picture frame, video is the most effective medium. It allows you to show the process from different angles and walk viewers through the task in real-time.
5. Highlight the Pros and Cons
Trust is the key ingredient to a successful business-customer relationship. If you’re going to have any success reaching DIYers, you need to be honest and transparent. One way you can do this is by always being up front about the pros and cons of any project or task you’re teaching customers to do.
6. Respond to Comments
In real life, would you ever ignore someone who asks you a question, extends a hand for a handshake, or gives you a smile and a hello? Unless you’re a jerk, probably not.
“This same principle applies to the comments on your blog,” entrepreneur Matt Cheuvront believes. “And it’s why I take the time to respond to everyone. It’s a sign of respect and appreciation first and foremost. It’s common sense, and when the back and forth conversation is there it all comes together. It’s where relationships are forged and connections are made. If you’re neglecting that, you’re really missing the bus.”
The comment section is especially important when it comes to DIY topics. People are inevitably going to have questions about the details of the task or process. Responding to comments allows you to engage these people and provide more clarity.
7. Make a Friction-Reducing Pitch
Assuming you aren’t just in the business of telling people how to do things on their own, you should conclude every piece of content with a friction-reducing pitch that drives people closer to your business. Whether it’s a direct pitch to buy a product or service, or a gentle suggestion to continue consuming additional content, don’t miss the opportunity to plug in a natural call-to-action.
Modernize Your Content Strategy
While most companies view DIY trends as bad for business, the reality is that opportunities exist for businesses to engage these consumers in meaningful and profitable ways. It all starts with developing a content strategy that addresses pain points and moves customers from awareness to action. Begin modernizing your content strategy to account for the rise in DIY, or you’ll fail to reach this segment of the marketplace.