With all the analytics tools accessible today, you can cut and dice information and metrics and still feel confounded when it comes time to write content that’d be a hit with your ideal audience.
If you’re a solo practitioner or a small-business owner, you’re not making the most of your advantages in battling the “big guys” in the arena where they have a team of analysts who are analyzing the data and metrics, and an automated content mill pumping out every day.
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Your most valuable asset is YOU. You are a unique combination of convictions, personality and perspectives to your work. This mix can be used through the lense of your knowledge in your field of expertise to create resonance that goes beyond your “thing” you do and allows your clients to be transformed on a deeper level.
Your empathy is your secret weapon.
It allows you to see the human side of your data, and to generate insights that are unparalleled by any other study.
You can rekindle the magic in content creation by learning to build your personality, empathy and essential elements of best practices.
1. 1. Customer Journey
This is a better way to put it What are the steps individuals must go through before becoming clients?
Do not let it be the result of forcing your clients to go through the “funnel” which comes with 37 possible combinations that will turn heads… to look professional.
Real-life customer journeys are not always straightforward and scientific. It involves a lot of emotions, and sometimes it is not completely rational.
As the word “journey” implies, it has the potential to be a story about transformation. It’s way more than a step-by-step instructional guide.
To address these questions make sure your content is more than the traditional “provide valuable information”.
What’s the story behind your ideal customer?
What’s their story to become an hero?
What are they thinking, feeling and doing at each point? What are they looking for to know about you, your subject and themselves to move to the next stage and engage with your services more efficiently?
Who do you wish to be their advocate at each step of the journey? What aspects of your personality and convictions would they most connect with in each step?
There are probably “ideal clients profiles” somewhere on your hard drive, if you took any marketing classes or training.
It is only possible to go so far by simply asking a few simple questions and creating an avatar. If you take one of those profiles and read it does it seem like a real person to you? Do you find it too stereotypical? Does it feel like a character from a show with a bad writing style that isn’t clear in the real world.
It is important to work to connect the dots and make this persona meaningful to you:
Your buyer’s profile shouldn’t be preserved in time… the way she reacts to your messages is changing as she progresses through the journey of a customer (and hopefully your content is already causing transformation in her life in the process.)
Once you have identified the persona, you can return to your journey with customers to think about how she would feel about your company and what you could do to make her feel comfortable with you.
It is an organic process.
As she goes through the customer journey her personality shifts.
When writing content for my clients, I pretend to be their potential clients. We simulate a conversation to determine the kind of content required for every piece of copy.
Training teaches us to give the persona an identity… Boring or aggressive Abe are the exact as Catty Cathy.
Recently I read an article (unfortunately I wasn’t able to find it in time for this post) that questioned such practice.
The gist is, when we identify an avatar, it introduces social and cultural preconceptions. (This, in and of itself, is a very fascinating subject to explore.)
IMHO The best content is one that appeals to a wider sense of a universal inclination, beliefs and identities that go beyond simply locating the pain or twisting the knife.
You can “see” the persona that you want to get to know. You’d take her from a “problem solving” mindset to an “aspirational” mentality.
3. Keyword Research
SEO is more than keywords.
Instead of seeing keywords as a method to get at the top of Google make them a tool to peek into your ideal audience’s world so you can show up before them, grab their attention, and lead them on the journey you have crafted to take them on.
Keywords can help you understand how your ideal readers would describe their world. They can then reflect on them and develop resonance.
Keywords can assist you to determine your ideal audience , and also inform the initial direction of your content so that you can catch them and get them to read it. your content is worth zero in the event that no one reads it.
Understanding keywords can add layers to your customer journey. Understanding how people speak about their desires and needs at every stage can allow you to add more depth to your brand’s persona. You can also tell a story about your experience to make a deeper connection.
Pay attention to the subtleties – why do they use the word they do? What is the significance behind the person to state their concerns by using this method? Does it emphasize particular beliefs or preferences?
You could be amazed by the knowledge you get about your audience if you make the research of keywords more than an automated task.
I haven’t been able stick to a schedule of content. I tried it. It was too rigid for the way I feel and how much I want to create. Then it was tossed into the trash two weeks after.
Yet we do want to make sure your content marketing effort is supporting your business and helping you achieve your goals.
Is there a happy medium?
If you are planning your marketing strategy or design a sequence of marketing strategies, you can map out a content creation plan to help you achieve your goals.
Which is your primary customer and where are they situated within the customer journey? For example, For instance, if you’re promoting build lists, you will likely be speaking to people in the beginning of their journey. If you are selling advanced training, however it is likely that you are targeting people who are further along the road.
Then, think about your persona. What kind of persona would she be, think, and feel in this moment. What will make her click through to your content (= mapping a keyword)? What should she know to take action? (= reflecting the insights that you gain when you answer the first question above.)
Your content can be made more effective by mapping it to the objectives of every marketing campaign, the customer journey it is addressing, and the psychology of your readers at that stage of transformation.
Creativity Mentor Author of “Copywriting Alchemy: Secrets for creating a powerful personal brand Into Content that Sells” now available on Amazon.
Through her unique mix of coaching for marketing as well as content strategy and copywriting process she assists entrepreneurs who are mavericks to identify, communicate and transform their reasons for being into material that is resonant, connects and converts – by way of an intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and fifteen years of experience in the field of online marketing.
Ling is certified in Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and Email Marketing certified. She has extensive experience writing assignments for different SaaS companies and marketing companies to drive organic traffic, increase readership, and increase conversion.
She assists coaches, consultants and service professionals, as well as solopreneurs and small businesses apply these best practices to their specific business models and situations.