You can use all of the analytics tools that are available in the present to study data to the core however, you’ll be in a state of confusion when it comes to writing content that resonates with your ideal audience.
You’re not maximizing your advantage as a solo practitioner, small business owner or businessperson if you compete against the “big guys” that have analysts who are analyzing metrics and data and a production facility that creates stuff every day.
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Your value is YOU who have a unique blend of character, convictions and points-of-view applied using the lens of experience within your particular field to create a resonance greater than just the “thing” you provide and a transformation in your customers at an even deeper level.
Empathy is the secret weapon you need to have
It gives you the humanity to draw insights that no research and data can provide.
You can bring back the excitement of creating content by learning how to build your personality, your empathy, and other essential elements of content marketing best practices.
1. The Customer Journey
The less fancy way to say this is: what steps do people go through before they become your customers?
Do not focus on dragging your potential clients through a “funnel” that has 37 possible combinations that will make everyone’s head spin… just to look “smart.”
Real-life customer journeys are not always linear and clinical. There are many emotions involved and it’s not always objective.
As the term “journey” implies, it has the potential to be a story of change. It’s way more than just a step-by-step instruction manual.
Aim your content above and beyond the old “provide valuable and relevant information” to address these concerns:
What’s your ideal client’s story?
What’s their hero’s journey?
What are they thinking of, feel, and feel at each point? What information do they need to understand about you, your subject matter, and themselves in order to get to the next stage and use your services more efficiently?
Who do you wish to be for them at each step of the process? What aspects of your persona or convictions would resonate most with them in each step?
2. Buyer Persona
You may have “ideal clients ‘ profiles” in your hard drive, if you have ever taken marketing programs or training.
You can only go to a certain extent by filling out a few questions and creating an avatar. If you take one of those profiles and read them, does it feel like an actual person to you? Or does it sound like a badly written character from TV which is so sterile that you can’t believe she exists in real life?
It is important to work to connect the dots and make this person meaningful to you:
Your buyer’s persona should not be locked in the moment… the way she reacts to your communications alters as she moves through the journey of a customer (and hopefully your content has already created change in her life along the way.)
Once you’ve identified your persona After that, think about the customer journey you took and think about the way she’d respond and what she’d need know in order to deepen her connection with you.
It is an organic process.
This persona evolves throughout the journey of a customer (which could also be her hero’s adventure) Every piece of content that addresses a certain phase should reflect the personality of the person at that point in time, and take her on to the next step.
When I write copy for my clients, I like to pretend I’m their potential clients. We then play an interaction to determine the type of content that we require for a piece of copy to be effective.
Most training teaches us how to give this persona a name. Boring Abe and Aggressive Abe are the exact thing as Catty Cathy.
Recently I read an article (unfortunately I was unable to locate it for this article) that challenged the use of such practices.
The idea is that when we refer to an avatar, it introduces the societal and cultural assumptions. This is a fascinating topic.
IMHO, the best content is one that appeals to a wider context – certain universal inkling, beliefs and identities that go beyond simply locating the pain or twisting the knife.
You are able to “see” the persona that you want to connect with. You’d take her from an “problem solving” mindset to an “aspirational” attitude.
3. Keyword Research
The keyword isn’t the only factor driving SEO.
Instead of seeing keywords as a way to rank highly on Google make them a tool to peek into the world of your ideal customers so you can show up in front of them, grab their attention and guide them on the journey you’ve planned for them.
Keywords are the window into how your ideal customers define their world. Reflect the same reflection back to them and you build resonance.
Keywords can assist you to determine your ideal audience and inform your initial content direction , so you can catch them and pull them in – your content is useless in the event that no one reads it.
Understanding keywords can add layers to your customer journey. By understanding how your people talk about what they want and what they need to resolve at each step, you can add more depth to your persona and tell a story about the experience of your customers to create a deeper connection.
Be attentive to the nuances of why they choose to use certain words? What exactly does it mean to describe their issues in a certain way… do they emphasise certain opinions or values?
You may be amazed at the information you learn about your target audience when you make keyword research more than just an automated task.
I’m not able to stick to a content calendar. I tried it. It was too rigid to how I feel inspired and can create. Then it was thrown into the trash two weeks later.
We want to make sure that your efforts in the area of content marketing serve your company and are helping your achieve your goals.
Is there a happy medium?
When you design an advertising campaign or design a sequence of marketing strategies and activities, you can draw up a content creation plan to achieve your objective.
Who are your main target customers for that campaign and where are they in the journey? E.g. for a list building campaign it’s likely that you’re talking to people who are at an initial stage of their journey. In contrast, if you’re selling an advanced level of training, you’re likely to be targeting someone who is further along the route.
Think about who you are and how she’d act, think and feel at this point. What would make her go to your website (by mapping a keyword)? What information does she need in order to take action? (is a reflection of the knowledge you get by answering the first question above.)
Your content can be made more efficient by mapping it to the goals of every marketing campaign as well as the journey of the consumer it is addressing, and the psychological state of your readers at that stage of transformation.
Copywriting Alchemist. Author of “Copywriting Alchemy: Secrets to turning a strong personal brand into Content that Sells” is now available on Amazon.
With her unique mix of coaching for marketing as well as copywriting and content strategy She assists maverick entrepreneurs discover, articulate and transform their mission into content that connects, resonates and converts. This is done by means of a nimble yet thorough iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 15 years experience in the online marketing industry.
Ling is certified in Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing as well as Email Marketing certified. She has years of experience writing assignments for various SaaS companies and marketing companies to increase organic traffic, grow readership, and boost conversion.
She assists coaches and consultants, as well as service professionals , and solopreneurs in applying these best practices to their specific business models and circumstances.