A blog about social media and Santa Claus got me thinking about how to attract a buyer. For this company, which helps companies increase visibility on the web—and is aimed at creative Chief Marketing Officers—it’s a great angle. But it won’t work in all situations. Why? Because you need to appeal to your audience—not just any audience—to get and maintain their interest.
How do you know what will be compelling to your audience? You need to profile them, and then map your messaging to their profile. And remember that your audience probably includes more than one person. So create a profile, or persona, for every single person with whom you need to interact in your sales cycle—from the influencer to the decision maker.
Demographics. Identify the age, sex and education of your audience. You will share different information with the 45-year old woman PhD than you will with the 25-year old male who has a high school diploma.
Pain Points. What do they worry about? List the top 3-7 concerns, then whittle it down to the 3 biggest concerns. Once you have that, identify the cost of that pain. If it’s $100, you’re going to have a tough time selling a $10,000 solution. But boy does that same $10,000 solution look attractive if the cost of that pain is $100,000. Identify the costs that are tangible (to which you can attach actual dollars) and those that are intangible (those that have an emotional cost). If you don’t know, ask your customers, either using a formal survey or in an informal conversation.
Value. What does the person with whom you are trying to communicate value? If it’s time and you are communicating cost savings, your message may fall on deaf ears. The most common value drivers are time, cost savings and efficiency.
Needs. What does your audience need to solve its biggest pain point? Information? Selling tips? Pricing? An advocate or trusted advisor? And don’t forget the timeframe. As you identify need, capture the timeframe in which that need must be met.
Once you have these four categories completed, you can build a Content Marketing Plan—including audience, document type, objectives, source, keywords, call-to-action (C2A) and measurements—plus an Editorial Calendar—document name, author, review process, timeframe and use/distribution.
Only when you have captured these six ideas should you put pen to the proverbial paper and start writing. That writing will be much easier because you know what information you need to communicate, how you should communicate it and when you should communicate it.