You have identified who you want to market to and where to find them; but, how can you know what it is they would like to read?

This is the ‘base of the pyramid’ in content marketing and figuring out what they want to read is the key to knowing what content you need to produce.

It begins with understanding what your prospects’ needs are, first. From there, you can understand what to write about.

Understand needs first

Content marketing relies on creating content that gets your prospects to listen to you. This means you need to figure out what those prospects need and then fill that need.

One place to build a quick understanding of what your prospects need is to examine your own FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). These are the questions that you get from customers and prospects, and they tell you a lot about what your prospects need to hear from you – what underlying needs they are looking to you to fill.

Many of these will be matter-of-fact questions, such as what your hours are, etc. What you want to focus on are the questions that.

To use an example from the introduction to content marketing last week, if you’re an insurance broker one of the FAQs you might hear a lot is: ‘how much life insurance do I actually need?’

Life insurance isn’t something a lot of people talk about over dinner with their friends, so these prospects will be seeking out a balanced answer; one that isn’t selling on spending more than they need. They will be looking for someone to tell them how to make a choice that fits both their budget and their need to care for their loved ones if the worst should happen.

Then focus on delivery

To continue with our life insurance example, think about how you answer this question in a face-to-face meeting with a client. What is it you do to explain how to determine the right level of life insurance cover?

Do you draw a diagram or talk them through the sums to work out an amount based on current income levels? Both?

Which method works best with your face-to-face clients?

Now adapt that to your content delivery. If you find that people like diagrams, create a decision-making flowchart.

If they prefer reading, maybe they would like a blog post titled ‘How to determine how much life insurance you actually need.’

Perhaps they need several types of content working together. Consider creating a ‘Guide to determining the right level of life insurance.’ This premium content could be exchanged for an email address for your prospect list.

A guide like this could include text explaining all the factors to consider, along with a couple of diagrams to support your points and perhaps a worksheet (or easy online calculator) for the prospect to make their calculations. Now you have moved them along from getting their attention to actually getting them to do the work themselves. This helps solidify your authority and to move them closer to converting to a customer.

You helped solve their need.

When you begin with your prospects’ needs, the content ideas should present themselves. Start with common questions, and even have a look at what content your competitors are producing – ask yourself what need that content is fulfilling.

But it’s not enough to create something that attracts leads, you need to do something with them once you have their attention. The next post focusses on creating content with a goal.

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