My girlfriend likes to test me from time to time. She likes to subtly slip little questions into our everyday conversation to see if I know things. Her favorite color, favorite animal, what kind of ice cream she likes best (trick question, she's lactose intolerant). Over the years, I have gotten pretty good at paying attention to the little stuff and answering these questions without a second thought... but for some reason, I never know what to get her for her birthday.
Stick with me here. It only makes sense that if I know her favorite...well everything then I should be able to come up with a few present ideas. You see what I mean? But I am hopeless. This year instead of paying attention to the many not so subtle "I want a cat" hints, I bought her this little cactus. I then proceeded to make a joke about how once she showed enough responsibility by watering the cactus everyday, she could get a cat (get it, because you don't really need to water a cactus? Yeah..she didn't think it was funny either).
So what in the world does this have to do with creating content? It might come as a shock to you, that my odd inability to come up with gift ideas actually reminds me of a question a lot of our clients ask, which is "What do we write?" Just as I know all the random favorites of my girlfriend, our customers know the favorites of their current and potential customers. They know their customers' habits, the products they buy most frequently, and what marketing tactics seem to have an effect. But for some reason, they have trouble narrowing down specific topics to write about (just as I have trouble thinking of present ideas).
So, being a content writer myself I thought I would discuss the process step-by-step.
Step 1: Know Your Buyers
If you want to create content that really makes a difference in the lives of your customers and thus makes a difference in your business, you need to define your buyer personas. You can start with the demographics you target, it is great to know your average customer is a 35-45 year old woman with an average annual income of $75,000+. But you need to dig deeper than that if you want to write truly compelling content. Ask yourself what your average buyer is motivated or concerned by. Ask yourself about their home life and work life. What does an average day in their life look like?
By asking these questions and finding the answers, you will begin to understand your audience as not only future customers, but as individuals.
Step 2: Identify Your Buyers' Problems
By identifying the motivations, concerns, fears, hopes, etc. of your buyer personas, you should start to realize some of the common problems they face. This is important because every piece of content you create should be centered around solving a problem for your potential buyers.
Generate a list of common questions your customers ask and think of the problems that your product solves. This should give you a few ideas to focus your content around. Coming up with topics and ideas will become easier as you analyze what material resonates with your potential customers, but if you find yourself struggling, don't be afraid to get creative.
Step 3: Define Your Strategy
After you start creating content and have some solid ideas of what to write, you should consider developing a strategy around your content. In the beginning, you might just be hoping to drive more traffic to your website using this new content, and that's totally fine. However, as time goes on you will need to develop a more specific strategy.
Do you have a product you are trying to sell or a new deal you want your visitors to be aware of? Create content centered around promoting these things. Get specific with what you want your content to do for your customers (and ultimately your business).
Analyze and Revise
After completing all three of these steps, you should have a pretty good idea of what to write for your customers. All that is left is for you to do is analyze incoming data and revise your topic choices as you go. Try to pay attention to how things like:
- blog views
- call-to-action clicks
- content offer downloads
- social media interactions
If you find yourself wanting more data, create surveys and polls to get feedback directly from your website visitors.
Now that you know what to write, we have just the tool to help you keep all of your awesome blogs, email campaigns, and social media posts organized. Check out our Content Calendar!