In the last post, we discussed how to figure out what type of content your prospects want to read by focusing on user needs and answering the really burning questions that our prospects have.

Now that you have figured out how to get their attention, what do you do with them?

Why does content marketing need a goal?

Ever been on a website and read something that made you think: what’s this here for?

Or, even worse, have you found some information you thought solved your problem, but didn’t lead you anywhere leaving you to dig around for a contact email or phone number?

That’s content produced without a goal in mind. You’re left wondering what to do next.

Content without goals is aimless. It could be entertaining, but it’s not going to get you business.

You need to be very clear with yourself and your copywriters about what the goals are for your content: both your own business goals (are you trying to attract prospects, qualify leads or retain customers?) and the goals of your reader.

Fulfilling both set of goals is the proverbial content ‘sweet spot.’

Their goals versus your goals

The goal of content marketing is to become your own media source or your very own publishing house. You want to be seen as THE authoritative source of information for your market niche.

Your business goal is to attract the attention of anyone searching online for the services you offer to see your content, read it and become a paying customer.

But becoming a paying customer isn’t your prospect’s goal.

Prospects realise that they will need to pay you something at some point if they choose to do business with you, but that is not their intended goal; that is an unfortunate side effect of getting their needs met.

Their goals are something a lot more practical.

How to uncover user goals

Let’s go back to user needs again because this is where we find out our audience goals.

Our prospect for legal services is looking for a solicitor for a specific reason – to help them with a divorce, buy or sell a home, settle a dispute, get them compensation for an accident.

Their goal is to find that solicitor and to do so quickly so that they can solve their problem. Depending on their socio-economic position in life, they may also be wanting to do so inexpensively.

Spend some time really putting yourself into the shoes of your prospects.

  • Why are they really searching for your service or product?
  • How do they feel about those reasons?
  • What (information) can you offer that will solve their immediate need?
  • Is there anything else they need to know that fulfils their secondary goals (e.g. do you offer a sliding scale fee, or are your ‘down-to-earth’)?

These are normal copywriter questions; it’s using the power of empathy to connect on an emotional level with prospects.

To apply this to our example, we might discover that our prospects’ goals are:

  • To understand how a solicitor fits into the home-buying process (knowledge goal);
  • To learn what a solicitor actually does to earn the fees charged during a home purchase (trust goal);
  • To work with someone they deem trustworthy (trust, belonging goal); and,
  • To feel that they are on the same ‘level’ as the solicitor and won’t be spoken ‘down’ to – that they will have someone on their side looking out for their best interests. (belonging, social goals)

Goals have a purpose AND an emotional context. Everyone wants to feel confident in their choices, especially where it comes to how they spend their hard-earned money. Content marketing that moves beyond simple learning goals of prospects and into the realm of emotions will find much greater success in achieving the ultimate goal of gaining new business.

Next time we’ll discuss where to find hot content marketing ideas for your business.

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