Are you seeing fewer inbound leads than you should be? Are your marketing emails consistently achieving open rates in the single digits? Are the e-books and white papers you’ve painstakingly developed gathering “dust” on the digital shelf?
The reason for all of these problems may be that you’re not sufficiently addressing your prospects’ pain points with your content, giving them little incentive to invest their time or money in your brand. If you feel this could be the case, it may be time to rethink both the form and function of your content.
The good news? Improving your content to properly address your prospects’ pain points is not as difficult as it may sound. We’re letting you in on our go-to approach to planning, drafting and placing content, and to ensure it is uniquely tailored to the things your target customers care about most. Next time you need to develop a new piece of marketing content, try our step-by- step process and see how it impacts your results.
Step one: Use data to determine existing pain points
Your initial problem may be that you don’t fully understand your prospects’ challenges and pain points. Reflect back on where you got the information that informs your buyer personas: was it based in real-world research you and your marketing team conducted or received, or did you just make semi-educated guesses?
You’ve already got a wealth of information at your fingertips, so there is no excuse for failing to ground your buyer personas on actionable data. The content your website visitors search for, download and consume can tell you about their pain points—as well as what they’re looking for in a solution. Use Google Analytics and website visitor tracking to determine what pages of your website, existing gated content and emails are most popular, and work from there to glean information about where your prospects might be seeking solutions to their problems. Then, schedule a meeting with the sales team to see if your insights align with their in-the-field experiences. In conversations with prospects, they may find there are certain needs that just aren’t being met.
After you have this information, you can start planning content pieces that directly address your prospects’ most common pain points. However, there’s more initial work that needs to be done.
Step two: Define the goal of the content
What is the most important thing you hope your new piece of content will achieve? Are you looking to move a lead from awareness to consideration? Do you want to compel them to contact a sales representative, or are you simply looking for a prospect to give you their contact information?
Your content will look radically different depending on what you hope to achieve. A piece for prospects at the top of the funnel should be accessible and easy to consume. It should let your audience know about your solution and compel them to continue exploring your site and other content to learn more. On the flip side, a piece for those who are almost ready to make a purchase needs to address specific pain points and go into depth on why your business is uniquely positioned address them. It should also end with a call-to-action to contact your sales team to move forward.
Step three: Determine why your solution is unique
Driving prospects to buy requires setting yourself apart from the competition. Keep your key differentiators at the top of your prospects’ minds and make sure they come through in every content piece. How will your solution help them save more money, more time, or both?
If you’re not clear on your key differentiators, go back to the data. Look at your existing customers, and assess what it was that made them choose you over your competitors. Was it a particular feature, your reputation, your pricing, or something else entirely? Find out by revisiting the content that led prospects to become leads and, again, by staying in active communication with the sales department. Since they’re the ones who close the leads you bring through, they have a wealth of information on what’s moving the needle.
The best content finds customers where they are already spending their time.
Step four: Determine how your content will be delivered
How will prospects find your content? Do you intend for it to be discovered via an internet search, site search, drip nurture marketing workflows, advertising, lead generation campaigns, or some combination of those channels and others?
The best content finds customers where they are already spending their time. Where do they go to seek out solutions to their challenges and pain points? Again, rely on data from past efforts to build your strategy. Are many of your current customers active on social media? If so, a strategy that revolves around sharing white papers on LinkedIn and posting testimonials on Twitter may make sense. Have your marketing emails historically led to sales? Consider building more email campaigns into your content marketing strategy. Are users who arrive at your site via organic search converting into leads and sales? Invest more in SEO. The best campaigns rely on a strategic mix of channels like these, and allocate budgets and efforts based on data about what has driven results in the past.
Look at every prospective customer as a person who is looking for a solution to a business challenge, and develop your content accordingly. Use data to gain a deeper understanding of their pain points, differentiate your offering from others, and meet your prospective customers when and where they’re seeking information. They’ll be happy to further investigate your solution to their problems, and you’ll be happy to watch your pipeline fill with new leads.Download