Are you trying to figure out your content strategy? Are you trying to figure out what type of content you should be creating? I see a lot of companies struggle with this problem. They have phenomenal products, but they just can't seem to figure out what type of content they should be creating, and so their blog looks like a mishmash of different kinds of resources that is not really helping them convert more visitors or prospects into paying users.
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Here are 6 simple steps that can help you create a massive content backlog:
This is one of those simple questions that often gets over complicated by people, because they end up using all kinds of frameworks, journey mapping, ideal customer profiles, personas, et cetera, and they lose the plot very quickly. Instead, my recommendation is just to pick one, keep it simple, and attach someone that is a real life person that you know is facing the types of problems that you're looking to solve, and make that person or that group of people the target audience that you're trying to serve. The reason it's better to use someone you know is that it'll be much easier for you to identify the type of person that you're actually trying to help versus trying to build up a fictional persona or character.
You need to understand their current state. What is it that is keeping them up at night? What are the problems that they're facing and having a hard time solving? What are the pain points associated with those problems? What are the fears, uncertainties, and doubts that they are facing? This exercise requires a lot of empathy. This is why being the market for whom you're trying to solve the problem or knowing that person personally can go a long way in helping you create the right kind of solution.
As you figure out what is keeping them up at night, the connecting thought to that is why is it keeping them up at night? What are the negative consequences? For example, if they don't solve this problem, will they get fired? Will they not get promoted? Will they not get that raise? How will their world get worse? What are the negative emotions and pain that they will experience? And most importantly, what will the cost of this be to them and the people around them? For example, if someone is trying to get healthy and is unable to do that, that has negative consequences even on family members around them.
As you start to understand what those negative consequences are, you can start now building towards what is their dream scenario? What are they working towards? What are their motivations? What are their needs? What are their stated and unstated goals? For example, if we were to look at the audience for How To SaaS, everybody really wants to grow their software company, but the motivations and needs of the CEO will be quite different than the investor, which will be quite different than a team member, which will be different than a C level executive. Understanding all those nuances can go a long way to help us create the kind of content we want to create that actually helps them solve those problems.
As you begin to understand their dream state, we are now ready to figure out how they go from their current state towards their dream state, and what are the steps in between? This is where we can ask questions like what are the checkpoints and milestones on their journey towards their transformation? Who do they need to become? What do they need to learn? Here's the most important part is realizing that marketing is all about transformation. You are taking your audience from a before state to an after state that they really badly want to get to. Your job is to help them figure out how to get there. This is where marketers sometimes become too mechanical or technical.
Stop worrying about funnel stages, like awareness, consideration, et cetera. Instead, think about the pain points that they're facing. How can you help them solve those pain points and achieve that transformation step by step? Then use content marketing to solve each and every one of those pain points along their journey. Your job is to help your audience become who they need to become in order to achieve the transformation that they want to achieve. If you're able to do that with content, your audience will automatically move through the funnel stages, because they'll keep consuming the content and figuring out how your solutions and products can help them along the way.
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