The quotes below from famous names in marketing and advertising have a common theme.
- “The customer is not a moron, she’s your wife.” – David Ogilvy
- “Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.” – Howard Luck Gossage
- “Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.” — William Butler Yeats
- “Don’t tell me how good you make it; tell me how good it makes me when I use it.” – Leo Burnett
See a pattern? The focus isn’t on your brand or your service, it’s on your customer. In order to create compelling content, you must focus on providing a solution to your clients’ challenges. In essence, your customer never cares about you, they care about what you (or your business) can do for them.
As the master salesman Zig Ziglar once said: We’re all tuned into one radio station: WIIFM or, What’s In It For Me? Tuning into your market’s “station” is a simple yet powerful shift in how you communicate with your website visitors. It establishes trust and builds an emotional connection with your visitors. The result is priceless: When your market knows, likes, and trusts you – they buy from you.
The internet is saturated with information. It’s highly unlikely that visitors will stay on your site unless you provide truly valuable content. The easiest way to do so is with the “E” factor.
To really stand out with website content, you have to begin by understanding your business goals and your customers. The following three questions will help you brainstorm potential content ideas.
- Who is your target audience?
- What challenges do they face?
- How does your business help them solve these challenges?
As you can see, the questions above are all audience-focused. I’m not asking you about your business, what you sell, how you differ from your competitors, how long you’ve been in business, or anything else related to your (obviously, amazing) business. Instead, you need to focus all of your brainstorming on your target market. We’ll look at this closer in the next section.
Identify Your Target Audience
When you identify your target audience, be specific. Let’s say you’re a criminal lawyer in Rhode Island who represents clients involved in white-collar crimes. Instead of your target demographic being “Male/female, age 45-60, living in Rhode Island, who commit a white-collar crime” it would be, “Males/females, age 45-60, living in Cranston, Rhode Island, accused of embezzlement, tax evasion, and mortgage fraud.”
There’s a good chance you have a few different target audiences. For instance, if you’re a criminal lawyer, another audience might include Rhode Island residents between 18-25 charged with a DUI. You’ll want to have a page for all of your services to speak to each of your target audiences and their needs.
You’ll want to optimize your content for every service or product you offer and by location. This helps your website rank locally for all of your services. If you list all of your services on one page, Google doesn’t understand what service you offer or how to rank you in local search. The same holds true for locations. If you have offices in different towns, you should have one page for each town.
Identify Challenges Your Audience Has
Next, consider what your target market types into Google when they’re searching for a solution to their problem. Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine being accused of embezzling money from your employer. How are do you feel? What are you thinking about? What questions do you need answers to, asap? Who is the best person to help you deal with this challenge?
If you’re a divorce lawyer, you’ll brainstorm questions your clients have when they first reach out to you. You probably know these questions by heart because you’re asked them all the time. You know what keeps your clients up at night, you know what they’re afraid of. Maybe it’s understanding whether or not your state is a no-fault divorce state. Or how much child support is required by law. The questions you get most are the ones you want to create content around. This is how you capture people looking for answers on Google.
Provide a Solution
To create a truly compelling piece of content, one worth reading, you must provide a solution. When it comes to engagement, the most helpful content wins. That is the content that makes a promise (benefit to the reader) and fulfills that promise by providing a solution.
You might be wondering how to provide a one-size-fits-all solution when often, every case is unique. Or why on earth you should answer a question in a blog when the goal is to have clients contact you to book a free consult. Aren’t you doing yourself a disservice?
All you have to do is provide the best general answer to the question. Specifically, think of the answer that you give the majority of the time when asked. There will probably be things you’ll add to the conclusion of your post along. See the examples below.
- Divorce blog: “In this article, the goal is for you to get a general overview of the divorce process. What’s best for your situation depends on (how long you’ve been married/if your divorce is contested/etc.). To learn more, schedule a call today at (insert your phone number/email address/link to your calendar.”
- DUI blog: “Not all DUIs follow the same legal protocal. If you’ve been arrested more than once or are an underage drinker, the legal process will be different. To discuss your specific situation, contact our office today at (insert contact info.)”
- Bankruptcy blog: Your bankruptcy process might be different if you’ve filed for bankruptcy in the past (amount) years or if you own a business.
Including a statement like those listed above gives you the opportunity to add a compelling call to action (CTA) so your readers have a reason to contact you. It also provides an area where you can link to other blog posts that you’ve created about that topic.
Your website visitors don’t expect to find all of the specifics about their personal situation answered on your blog. What they’re looking for is general information and that’s what you provide.
The most important thing to remember is that content marketing, specifically blogging, has a compound effect over time. The goal is to be consistent