Why we should build meaningful relationships with our users

You wouldn’t propose to someone on a first date, right? So why should you ask users for a paid subscription or to buy a product the moment they visit your website for the very first time?

In our digital world full of visual triggers, click-baiting banners and annoying pop-ups, we are all striving for the attention of users. Whether we are publishers or advertisers, we all depend on the users’ interest and interaction. So why shouldn’t we start building meaningful business relationships?

The future of user communication has already changed

This is obvious, right? We all know that the rise of social media and user centric platforms have changed the way users communicate with media and brands. Ten years ago, there was a one-way communication from media and brands to the customers who were just passively consuming content. This has changed enormously to a more interactive environment where users are interacting with each other and have started to communicate with brands, too.

In this new world full of content, entertainment and brand messages that are present everywhere in our fully digital world, gaining attention and real interest from users has become a real challenge. Your content has to stand out and at the same time needs to be truly relevant to have any chance of being seen by a relevant audience. I know, this fact already puts a lot of pressure on your content marketing efforts, but at the same time is not enough for building a long-lasting relationship and a loyal community you need for sustainable success.

One-night-stand or lifetime relationship?

If you want to be relevant to your audience in the future, you have to aim for long-lasting and loyal customer relationships. You have to find out what your users want, be totally user-centric, understand their needs and create value for your user based on these insights, while remaining authentic at the same time. And the last thing you want is to end like a one-night-stand for your user, right? Ideally you want users to get in a lifetime relationship with you, learning and growing together through your business funnel. So, now’s the time to get ready to invest real effort on that journey of interaction. As a publisher or brand, it is your turn now to create something meaningful!

How to build a meaningful and long-lasting relationship?

That is definitely the most important challenge publishers and brands are facing in the years to come. How can they stay relevant? And how can they build authentic relationships that deliver real value to users?

What if publishers and brands stopped treating users as business customers & more like a human relationship. What if they approached them in a similar way to dating: gaining trust step-by-step, building an authentic, more personal and long-lasting relationship?

“Every relationship starts with a conversation. One of the challenges we’ll be facing this coming year is how to communicate with users in an effective way in order to shift them through the stages of the loyalty funnel.” Pia Frey – NiemanLab

If you are aiming for a deep relationship with your users, now is the time for you to start a real conversation and to guide users step-by-step through the dating funnel from “first date” to “marriage”. You wouldn’t propose to someone on a first date, right? So why should you ask users for a paid subscription or to buy a product the moment they visit your website for the very first time?

Start with a conversation, get to know each other first and be patient and persistent to create a meaningful and committed user relationship.

Valerie Krämer is Head of Partnerships at Opinary, an Event and Session Partner of NEXT18. You can meet Opinary at NEXT18 and listen to Valerie at her speaking slot.


Photo by James Hose Jr on Unsplash