Do you suffer from contentitis? The paralysing feeling that you are spending a lot of time creating content that is of little use.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Many copywriters, content marketers and business owners feel that their content marketing efforts could be much better.
To remedy this, we would like to share this method of creating content that will ease your stomach and, at the same time, capture your audience.
1. Know your buyer
If you haven’t already written down some sort of buyer persona, you should put down your pen and stop writing.
Knowing who it is that you are marketing to is the most important factor in content marketing. It’s so important, that virtually any blog you read about content marketing will have one or more posts discussing how to create buyer personas.
A quick-fire method is to select real people (or your best approximation of them) that represents your main audience segments. Record a profile on each of these personas, and include pertinent information such as:
their job title
what they are responsible for
any frustrations they have in this role
what they need to make their lives easier
what role they play in the buying process
their stage in the buying process
This information helps you picture the people you are writing for as you create your content. More importantly, it helps you narrow down the content you create so you’re only producing information that they want to read.
2. Understand their questions
What your buyers (customers, prospects) want varies at different points in the sales process. And the questions they have about you and your business vary along with those wants and needs.
Prospects likely have more education needs around the problems you can help them solve (and how), where buyers closer to a decision point (later in the sales cycle) will need more convincing of your expertise and answers to why your solution is a best-fit for their needs.
As you identify the types of questions for each persona at each point in the sales cycle, you will start to see some trends that will help you in creating better – and more relevant – content.
3. Provide answers through content marketing
Now that you know what questions and needs your audience has, it’s up to you to provide the right answers, and to do this with content in a format(s) they prefer. If you don’t know what kinds of content they prefer, you need to go back to your personas and identify that now.
A simple spreadsheet of persona – sales cycle phase – questions – answers will help you to keep track of which type of content you need to produce. Creating this sheet will also help you find opportunities.
4. Identify gaps in your marketing
By now, with your spreadsheet in hand, you will be able to see where you have created content that fits the needs of your audience and you will start to see the holes.
And holes are okay at this point, because now you know what you need to be creating. Start plugging those gaps and helping your prospects and customers at different points in the buying cycle to erase doubt and convert.