Today, it seems as if every business—tiny, small and large—is using content marketing. There’s an enormous amount of content flowing online every day. So, you may wonder whether you’re adding to the noise by creating your own content.
Fear not. You can make content marketing work for your business.
Start by reversing your thinking.
The easy way to make content marketing work for your customers (or clients)
When we think about content marketing for our business, that’s the way we think of it: we’re using content to market our business.
Not only is this thought process constricting—you either run out of content ideas quickly, or you get bored—it’s not as powerful as it might be.
Instead of thinking about your business, think about your customers, and create buyer personas.
Think about individual customers:
- Who are they?
- What do they do?
You can make your personas as detailed as you choose. The more real your fictional customers become to you, the more easily and effectively you can create valuable content for each persona.
Content marketing becomes fun. You’re creating content for individuals, with their own goals, plans, and quirks, rather than amorphous groups.
Content marketing: develop content for your personas
Let’s look at some quick steps to help you develop content for your customer personas.
- Check your products (or services) and decide on your primary customer. Who is he? What does he do? His income? Family? Etc. Imagine him as an individual. Give him a name to personalize him in your imagination.
- Create a new webpage on your site, focused on this persona. Your aim is to create a useful overview of your offerings for this customer. Add a little copy to the page—keep it short, and focused on him and his needs. Add links to the products (or services) he needs.
- Add a snippet of content to each product link.
- Consider search engine optimization (SEO.) Add relevant keywords to the copy on your primary persona’s page.
- Insert the persona page into one of your site’s menus. If you have a blog or other sections of content on your site, link to the persona’s page on content you’ve created.
The buyer’s journey: use it
- You’ve heard of the buyer’s journey before customers buy: Awareness, Consideration, Decision. Evaluate your current content marketing: the content you’ve created. Have you created content for each stage of your persona’s journey? Chances are you’ve created the most content for the Decision phase. What about the phases before Decision?
- Make a list of the types of content you could create for this persona for the Awareness and Consideration phases. Your content types could include: social media content, blog content, press releases, white papers…
- Next, brainstorm content for each phase of the buyer’s journey. Create titles. Aim for ten pieces of content—or 100—the key is to brainstorm until you have a month’s worth of content.
- Insert the types of content, as well as content titles, into your content calendar.
- Start creating!
- Depending on your business, chances are that you’ve listed other personas for which you need content. Choose an additional persona. Then follow the above steps again to develop a page, and content, for the new persona, just as you did for your primary persona.
Content marketing: valuable content focuses on your customers’ goals and desires
“What’s In It For Me” (WIIFM) is your primary copywriting and content creation essential. We’re all focused on ourselves, our needs, and those of our family. It would be odd if we weren’t.
You can make your content marketing more valuable for your business, and more powerful, when you turn the focus onto your customers.
Create your first customer persona now.
Need help with content marketing?
Explore my content marketing services.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.