With the many analytics tools that are in use today, you’ll be able to cut and dice information and metrics but still be confused when it’s time to write content that’d really resonate with your ideal audience.
As a solo entrepreneur or a small-business owner, you’re not using your strengths to your advantage if you fight the “big guys” in the arena which includes a group of analysts analyzing metrics and data and a content factory pumping out stuff every single day.
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Your most valuable assets are YOU. You bring a unique mix of beliefs, personalities, and different points of view to your work. This combination can be utilized through the lens of your experience in your field of expertise to generate resonance that goes beyond the “thing” you do and transform your clients at a deeper level.
Empathy is your secret weapon
It allows you to generate insights that no research and data can provide.
You can rekindle the excitement of creating content by learning to add your personality, your empathy, and essential elements of the best practices for content marketing.
1. 1. Customer Journey
The more straightforward method of expressing this is to ask, what are the steps people take before they become your customers?
Don’t worry just about forcing your clients to use a “funnel” that has 37 possibilities of combinations that can make everyone’s head spin… to look smart.
The real-life customer experience is not linear or clinical. There’re a lot of emotions to be felt and it’s not always rational.
It could be a process of transformation, as the term “journey” implies. It’s way beyond a simple step-by-step manual.
To answer these questions make sure your content is more than the previous “provide valuable information”.
What is the story of your ideal client?
What’s their story as a hero?
What are they thinking, feeling, and doing at each stage? What should they be aware of – regarding your company, the subject and their own – to proceed to the “next stage” and move closer to being engaged with your service?
Who do you wish to be with them through every step of the journey? What elements of your personality or convictions would resonate most with them at each stage?
2. Buyer Persona
If you’ve completed any marketing program or training and you’ve probably got some dry as cardboard “ideal customer profiles” collecting dust somewhere on your hard drive.
It’s only possible to get so far by simply asking a few simple questions and creating an avatar. Do you feel that the profile is an actual person when you view it? Do you think it’s an unwritten TV character with a stale, sterile personality that you can’t believe she’s real?
The work needs to be completed to connect the dots and make this person a valuable to you:
Your buyer’s persona shouldn’t be locked in time. As she moves through the customer journey, her reaction to your communication will alter.
Once you’ve identified your persona Go back to your customer journey and imagine how she’d react and what she’d need know to enhance her connection with you.
This is an organic process.
The persona develops as she progresses through the journey of a customer (which could be a hero’s journey) Each piece of content that addresses a certain stage must address the personality of the person at the time, and guide her to the next level.
When I write copy for clients, I pretend to be them as potential clients. We play a role-playing conversation to discover the type of content that is needed for every piece of content.
A majority of our training is on how to give the person a name. Agressive Abe, Boring Boris, Catty Cathy.
Recently I came across an article which challenged these ways of life. Unfortunately, I was unable to find it.
The gist is, when we refer to an avatar, it introduces the societal and cultural assumptions. This is an interesting topic.
IMHO I believe that the most effective content has a greater context – certain universal inkling, beliefs and identities that go beyond merely locating the pain and bending the knife.
You can “see” the character you’re trying to connect with. It is possible to shift her perspective from one of “problem solving” to one that is “aspirational”.
3. Keyword Research
SEO is more than just keywords.
Instead of seeing keywords as a way to rank at the top of Google instead, consider them an instrument to gain insight into the world of your ideal customer to show up in front of them, catch their attention, and lead them on the journey you’ve planned to take them on.
Keywords will help you understand how your ideal readers would describe their world. It is possible to reflect on them and create resonance.
Keywords can assist you to determine the ideal target audience and help you determine 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.
Knowing the importance of keywords can add depth to your customer journey. When you understand how your customers discuss what they are looking for and the issues they must solve at each stage, you can add more depth to the persona , and weave a story around the experience of your customers to create an even deeper connection.
Pay attention to the nuances that they are using certain words? What does it mean for them to express their problems in this way does it reflect particular beliefs or preferences?
You may be amazed at the insights that you can learn about your target audience when you make the research of keywords more than a mechanical task.
4. Content Calendar, Or Not
I’m not able to keep a calendar of content. It was something I tried. It was too rigid for how I feel inspired and create. It was then tossed into the trash two weeks later.
However, we want to make sure your marketing efforts with content are supporting your business and helping you meet your goals.
Is there a compromise that is acceptable?
If you are planning your marketing strategy or outline a set of marketing initiatives and activities, you can draw up a content creation plan to support your goal.
Which customer segment is your main goal and where is it located in the customer journey? For instance, If, for instance, you are promoting lists building campaigns, you will likely be speaking to people in the beginning of their journey. If you’re selling advanced training it is likely that you are targeting people who are further along the way.
Then, imagine yourself as your character. How would she behave, think, and feel in this moment. What could make her click through to read your blog post (is mapping the keywords)? What information does she need in order to take action? (= is a reflection of the knowledge that you get from answering the questions in #1.
You can make your content more efficient by mapping it to the goals of each campaign as well as the journey of the consumer it is addressing, and the psychological state of your readers at that stage of transformation.
The Copywriting Alchemist. Amazon now has “Copywriting alchemy: The Secrets to creating a powerful personal brand into content that sells” by author Ling Wong.
With her unique mix of coaching for marketing along with copywriting, and content strategy She helps maverick-preneurs discover, articulate and transform their WHY into material that is resonant, connects and converts. It’s all because of an intuitive yet rigorous process that was born of her Harvard Design School training and 15 years of experience in the online marketing industry.
Ling is an Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and Email Marketing certified. She has years of experience in writing engagements for various SaaS businesses and marketing firms to drive organic traffic, increase readership, and improve conversion.
She assists coaches as well as consultants, service professionals and solopreneurs in applying these best practices to their specific business models and conditions.