You’ve given up on content.
You swear it doesn’t work.
You’ve tried it. Been there. Done that. Gotten nothing to show for it.
But let me ask you a question: When you wrote your last blog post (you know the one, your final hail mary when you said that if this one doesn’t work, nothing ever will) did you write to a specific person?
I’m not talking about a demographic set here — envisioning a bunch of data you’re writing your content for won’t get you anywhere. I’m talking about a real life person who needs your product.
Did you have that person in mind?
Okay then. Content DOES work. You’re just doing it wrong.
Let’s start from the beginning and get your content working for you.
Know your customer better than they know themselves.
It all starts with your customer. If you don’t know them, then there’s no point, no point at all.
I work mainly with health tech companies who are trying to break their messages through the noise, and what I often find is that they think they know their customer.
But it turns out they know a whole bunch of numbers — their age, what percentage is Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Whatever. How many partners they’ve had. How many kids live in their house. How many hours they spend at work.
Let’s turn this around: Let’s say I think Emma Watson is cool (which I do). I can spout off the number of movies she’s been in (21+), how much her movies have grossed in the box office ($3,206,395,771), and how many boyfriends she’s had (??).
All of this knowledge and I have never called her up on the phone, dropped by her house, or spent a weekend hanging out, shopping, Netflix-binging, giving speeches at the UN — doing whatever she does for fun.
I know lots about Emma, but I don’t know her. (And fyi, I just googled all of that stuff — I’m not that much of a fan).
It would be really stupid if I claimed to actually KNOW Emma Watson, right?
But I know for a fact that way too many companies fall into this trap.
You say you know your customer, you’ve done market research, but you don’t actually know them. Here’s how to fix that:
Find a real-life person
There is someone in your journey so far who you know needs your product. It could be a current customer. Maybe it’s a family member or friend who you created your product for. But your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum — someone…a real life someone…needs you.
Why a real life person? You’ve probably seen those customer persona templates you can download online to create Salesperson Sally or Stay-At-Home-Dad Steve to help you put a face to your target market.
Those are helpful, but they still don’t give you a totally human feel because those personas are nothing more than fictional representations made up of the sum total of your demographic research.
What’s better? An actual human.
I have one for every piece of content I create — Leslie. She’s a real person, someone I’ve helped, someone who needs me. When I write a blog post or make a video, I always view it through her eyes. Would she watch this? Would she read this? Would it help her along in her journey?
And that’s exactly what you need to do. You need a human. Fictional personas are great, but let’s face it — creating content for them is not much different than a three-year-old talking to her imaginary friend.
Create content that inspires purchasing behavior.
Now that you’re actually talking to a human instead of no one or Salesperson Sally, what do you talk to them about?
It’s simple: you talk to them about them. First, you need to learn what their challenges are and then you create content that solves those challenges.
Instead of immediately throwing topic ideas on a content calendar, which can be haphazard and leave you scrambling for content month after month, start with the main challenge your customer faces, and then build a tree of content that helps with that problem and any associated problems.
When you plan your content this way, every piece is evergreen (as relevant 10 years from now as it is today) and strategic, driving your customer through the journey of your content to core blog posts, videos, or resources that drive them to buy.
Be where they are.
Last step – deliver your content to your customer on a silver platter.
Just because you published a blog post doesn’t mean they are ever going to read it…unless you put it in front of them. Discover where they hang out, what types of content they consume, where they consume it and then be in all of those places.
You owe it to them to get your message out.
When you have a product that really can help people, improve their day, or make their job easier, then you owe it to them to break through the noise. If they never hear about you, it’s their fault, not yours.
Are you creating content that drives customers to you? Let me know any questions or comments you have about this! I read and respond to every content.
PLAN CONTENT THE EASY WAY
Would you rather go to the dentist than plan content? Never again with my self-multiplying content cheatsheet!
WHO IS WHITNEY?
Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.
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