With the many analytics tools that are accessible today, you can cut and dice information and metrics and still feel confounded when it comes time to create content that will really resonate with your ideal target audience.
As a solo practitioner or a small-business owner, you’re not using your strengths to your advantage when you battle the “big guys” on the field which includes a group of analysts who are analyzing metrics and data and an entire content production facility that pumps out every day.
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Your value is YOU and your unique combination of personality views, convictions, and convictions through the lens of knowledge in your area of expertise to create a resonance greater than just the “thing” you provide and a transformation in your customers at the deepest level.
Your empathy is your secret weapon.
It allows you to gain insights that only research and data can provide.
You can recreate the joy of content creation by learning to build your personality, empathy and the essential elements of the best content marketing practices.
1. Customer Journey
The simplest way to put it is: what steps do your clients go through before they become your clients?
Don’t make it about squeezing potential customers through an “funnel” with 37 permutations that make everybody’s head spin… just to look “smart.”
Real-life customer journeys are not always straight and logical. There are a variety of emotions that are involved and it’s never rational.
As the word “journey” signifies, it has the potential to be a story about transformation. It’s way beyond a simple step-by-step manual.
To answer these questions, aim your content higher than the previous “provide important information”.
What’s your ideal client’s story?
What are their experiences as a hero?
What are they thinking, feeling, and doing in each moment? What are they required to be aware of – about you, the issue and their own – in order to proceed to the “next stage” and move closer to engaging with your services?
Who do you wish to be for them through every step of the journey? Which aspects of your personality and beliefs do they resonate with at each step?
If you’ve attended any kind of marketing or training likely have a few cardboard-like “ideal client profiles” collecting dust somewhere in your hard drive.
Simply filling in a set of questions and creating an avatar will only go to a certain point. Do you think the profile portrays an actual person after opening it? Do you feel it’s too stereotyped? Does it seem like a character from TV with a bad writing style that doesn’t make sense in the real world.
Work needs to be done to connect the dots and make this person a valuable to you:
Your buyer’s profile shouldn’t be frozen in time… the how she responds to your content changes as she goes through the journey of a customer (and hopefully your content is already creating transformation in her life along the way.)
After you’ve identified your persona, look back at your customer journey and imagine how she’d respond and what she’d need be aware of in order to enhance her connection with you.
This is an organic process.
The persona develops throughout the customer journey (which may also be her hero’s adventure) Every piece of content that addresses specific stages should appeal to the psychological state of the persona at that moment in time and take her to the next step.
When writing content for my clients, I pretend to be their potential clients. We simulate a conversation to determine the kind of content needed for every piece of content.
A majority of our training is on how to give that persona a name and identity. Boring Boris and Aggressive Abe are the same thing as Catty Cathy.
Recently, I read an article that questioned these methods. Unfortunately, I was unable to find it.
The idea is that when we refer to an avatar, we are introducing cultural and societal preconceptions. (This, in and of itself, is a very interesting topic to unpack.)
IMHO The best content is one that appeals to a wider perspective – a certain sense of universality or beliefs that transcend simply finding the pain and twisting the knife.
You are able to “see” the persona that you want to meet. You would change her mindset from one of “problem solving” to one that is “aspirational”.
3. Keyword Research
SEO is not the only thing that drives SEO.
Instead of seeing keywords as a method to get highly on Google instead, consider them a tool to peek into the world of your ideal customers so you can show up in front of them, draw their attention, and lead them on the journey you have crafted to take them on.
Keywords are the window into how your ideal customers describe their world. You can reflect it back to them and build resonance.
Keywords can assist you to determine your ideal audience and inform the initial direction of your content so that you can identify them and draw them in . your content is worth zero when no one is reading it.
Knowing the importance of keywords can add depth to your customer journey. Knowing how people discuss their wants and needs throughout the process will help you add depth to your brand’s persona. It is also possible to create a narrative around your experience to make a deeper connection.
Pay attention to the subtleties of why they choose to use certain words? What does it mean for them to express their problems in this manner? Does it highlight certain beliefs or preferences?
If you are able to make keyword research more than just a mechanical operation, you could be surprised by the insights you gain on your audience.
4. Content Calendar, Or Not
I haven’t been able to stick to a schedule of content. I attempted it. Then, two weeks after that, it was tossed out the window due to it being too rigid for how I am inspired and make.
We want to ensure that your marketing efforts for content serve your company and are helping you achieve your objectives.
Do you have a happy middle?
You can develop an outline of content to help you achieve your goal when you plan an advertising campaign.
Which audience is your primary customer and where are they located in the customer journey? For instance, for a list building campaign You’re likely to be speaking to people at the initial stage of their journey. In contrast, if you’re selling advanced training, you’d likely to be targeting someone more advanced on the route.
Next, imagine your persona. What kind of persona would she be or think and feel. What would bring her to click to read your content (= mapping the keyword)? What should she know to take action? (Reflecting on the information that you gain by answering the first question above.)
You can make your content more effective by mapping it to the goals of each campaign and the customer journey it is addressing as well as the mindset of your readers at that point in the transformation.
Creativity Mentor Amazon currently has “Copywriting alchemy: Tips for creating a powerful personal brand into content that sells” by author Ling Wong.
Her unique combination of content strategy, marketing coaching and copywriting can help maverick entrepreneurs to discover, articulate and change their purpose. This is accomplished through an effective but thorough iterative method that she has learned from her Harvard Design School training as along with 15 years of experience in the field of online marketing.
Ling is certified in Inbound Marketing Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, and Email Marketing. Through her writing engagements with various SaaS and marketing businesses with the goals of driving organic traffic, increasing readership and increasing conversion, she’s well-versed in topics including online marketing, content marketing conversion, eCommerce UX marketing through social media, and more.
She helps coaches, consultants entrepreneurs, service professionals, and small businesses implement these best practices for their specific business models and circumstances.