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Provide & Conquer: Entertaining Customers to Grow Businesses

When working on social media and content for a website, it’s not always going to be the most exciting product to push. If you lack passion for trying to connect your audience to this product, then your content will be dead on arrival.

It’s all about connecting some aspect of human interest to what your organization is doing. With so many pizza places out there, what is it that makes Little Caesars craft their hilarious, off-beat commercials? With all the beer varieties available, why does Bud Light plunk down time and money for the Up For Whatever marketing campaign? These companies know that they have to give something back to maintain and attract more customers, be it humor or wild parties.

In 2014, AMC threw a party at San Diego Comic-Con, one of the biggest marketing opportunities the entire year in entertainment, called The Walking Dead BBQ. Two hundred fans of the show were provided a buffet-style BBQ dinner and alcoholic drink tickets for free. Why? So they could come in to play a demo of a new video game, to listen to the show’s soundtrack, to watch the trailer for Season 5 before it aired, and of course, to be filmed for promotional purposes doing it all.

Does the network have to go through that much hassle to promote a show that consistently beats the NFL in ratings? Of course not, but you have to give back entertainment to your consumers to stay on top. Showing you care about fans that much sends a message to others to step up their dedication in viewership and evangelism of the program.

These days, any transaction relative to loans is going to be a tricky industry to pull customers into. Anything a loan is needed for is going to be a big investment, and let’s face it – the economy is getting a little better, but there’s still a 5.5 percent unemployment rate and gas prices suck, pun intended. Not a lot of people are likely to go for that new home or car right now if they feel it’s impossible.

Despite this fact, VA Home Loan Centers stays in business and stays busy. Pushing loans, when they not only signify a huge investment and involve lots of technical terminology, is complex. This is why VA HLC decided to connect with their customers on a whole new level.

The Honor Role blog series from VA HLC focuses on people and organizations doing amazing things for veterans. Whether the articles are on ex-reality TV show stars giving back to fellow veterans, or a touching organization like Pets for Patriots, the blog has in-depth human interest pieces for patriotic readers.

The niche-writing theme of the blog connects to those who are pro-military, in the military, or by catching interest from different topics discussed in articles, like animal rescue and TV shows.

The blog series has a two-fold benefit. Not only is the organization or person being highlighted getting free content about their organization, when others charge for “sponsored articles,” but some traffic is driven back to VA HLC through readers finding the material on social media. It is the company’s goal to spark an interest in the reader to pursue information on the VA home loan, if they are found eligible.

They follow this model with their sister company, Federal Home Loan Centers, where they publish a blog touching on the basics of federal home loans. They are also starting to publish some fun pieces, like how many boxes it takes to pack a home, to pair with informative pieces like the loan terms glossary.

People like spending time online reading blogs, and being on host websites for the blogs may help attract new customers. VA HLC wishes to expand their YouTube library soon, in hopes that fans of the video platform will also become fans of this extra content.

This piece was submitted by Amanda Rosenblatt, who is an in-house writer for VA Home Loan Centers and a niche writer for pop culture consumerism since 2012. Visit VA HLC at http://www.vahomeloancenters.org and follow them on Twitter @VAhomeloanctrs

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