Category Archives: Content Strategy

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Why Problem Solving is the Golden Ticket For Your Marketing Efforts

Why Problem Solving is the Golden Ticket For Your Marketing Efforts written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

People are always going to have problems, so as a marketer or business owner, your job is to solve these problems for your ideal clients. This really is the key to business success.

Here’s the thing, problem-solving is easier said than done. You can’t take this lightly and can’t just go halfway with it because people will always look for better and faster ways to get what they’re looking for.

I’m not going to sit here today and tell you how to build your product, that’s your job, but I am going to give you helpful tips on how to market it.

Why people buy

It never gets easier to hear this, but at the end of the day, people don’t want or care about what you sell. All they care about are that their problems are solved, and your products or services are simply a means to an end.

Some of the most successful and satisfied entrepreneurs I know figured this out early on. They weren’t necessarily after all the fancy bells and whistles that could have come with their products and services at the beginning. Instead, they were obsessive in solving their customer’s problems. Once they figured out how to do that, they could add the “cool” factors.

Your customers don’t often know how to solve their problems, but they often know what those problems are, which is why they are searching for solutions like yours. Show them that you are the answer they are looking for and the experts equipped to make their pain points go away. As a marketer or business owner, that’s really all you need to do. Period.

How to discover problems

Do you have the answers to the following questions (this is a long list, but to truly be effective, you’ll want the answers to each and every one of them):

  • Who are you selling to?
  • What are their goals and dreams?
  • How do they gather information to solve their problems?
  • What are some things that are important to them?
  • Do you know what the biggest unmet need is in your marketplace?
  • What is the biggest pain point your customers experience?
  • How hard have you worked to try to solve their problems in the past?
  • Why is the problem so hard for them to solve?
  • Who else is trying to solve the problem and how are they approaching it?
  • What does success look like to them?
  • What might hold them back from buying a product or service?
  • How do they come to a purchase decision?

To truly get the answers to these questions, and understand them front to back, start your research by sitting down with current customers and simply ask them some of those questions directly.

Additionally, look at online forums and sites they visit and see what they’re talking about, and also take a look at your emails, look at your online reviews, and chat with your sales team to pinpoint common complaints or issues your customers are having. You’d be amazed at the amount of information that can come from those sources.

How to effortlessly include problem-solving in your marketing

Refocus your messaging

Your ideal customer should always be top of mind and it is imperative that your message is directed to them and resonates with them.

They want to see a message that revolves around solving their problems. It should be clear and concise so that they have little doubts as to how you can help them.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to focus on themselves, products, and services in their messaging. It’s important that you scan your content and refocus your message on your customers and the problems they want to be solved.

Create trigger phrases

This is a bit time consuming, but worth it. Break down the solutions you sell and the benefits of what you do. Map these back to what I like to call “trigger phrases.” These should be attention-grabbing statements or questions and should come from the point of view of your customer, not your own.

Develop an attention-grabbing headline

Take a second and write a bold statement that might be the first thing anyone who visits your website will see and test this headline with your ideal clients. Ask them to be honest and details in their feedback.

Online reviews can also provide valuable insight for writing these headlines. They can often write your promise for you.

Be educational and informative in your content

Be helpful with the content you create, even if it doesn’t directly discuss your products or services. Show that you are knowledgeable on the issues they are facing in a variety of formats. Content is essential to any business today so get started on writing blog posts, creating how-tos, recording videos, and so on. Through content, show them that you are experts in the field that will help to make their pain points go away. Providing actionable advice can go a long way.

Make your prospects’ and clients’ lives easier through content upgrades

As part of your lead generation efforts, provide valuable information through content upgrades that people can download by giving at the very least their email address. This allows you to nurture them with additional helpful information down the road, which will continue to remind them that you are there for them and have the answers they are looking for.

Be responsive to comments, emails, and social media

Remember, these channels should not be one-way streets, they should be conversation tools. By responding quickly and providing thorough answers on these platforms, you’re just giving them one more reason to trust you and see you as an authority in your field that has their backs.

Dive deeper than basic keywords

Keyword research is essential for speaking to and getting your audience’s attention, but to really have an impact, go further than the surface level keywords and focus on long-tail keywords to really get targeted and get to the root of their problems.

Personalize your lead generation efforts

While problem-solving in itself will help drive you towards success, to really make an impact in your market, you must be unique and creative in how you solve these problems because everyone in your industry is trying to address the same problems.

Are you focusing on problem-solving in your marketing efforts? Have you seen a change with this type of focus?

How to Fix a Broken Content Strategy

How to Fix a Broken Content Strategy written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Many businesses out there spend the last few months of the year planning their content strategy for the year ahead. They have color-coded spreadsheets completed, goals in the place, and the optimism that the next 12 months are going to be the best yet.

So, let me ask you a potentially awkward question: Are you on track to meet those goals? If the answer is no, don’t worry you are not alone, and there is still plenty of time to not only play catch up but to exceed the goals you originally set.

It’s OK to hit the restart button.

Through analytics and customer feedback, you should have insight into what’s working and what isn’t and should recognize the areas that need improvement.

If you’re stuck on how to turn your content strategy around, here are some tips to help you revitalize it.

Refocus your marketing message

When it comes to marketing these days, you must not only match your message to your ideal client, but you have to engage them and keep their attention as well.

Here’s something I’ve said for years, and will likely say it a few more times: Your clients and potential clients don’t care about your products or services (that’s not supposed to sound as harsh as it likely reads). What they really want is somebody to solve their problems.

If you can pinpoint what those are and succinctly explain how you address and solve those problems within your messaging, then you’ve basically won the golden ticket. Make it clear that you understand what they want and need.

Just remember, your messaging should not be about you.

Knowing your audience front and back will help you across the board when it comes to your content strategy. If you know how to speak to them and know what their trigger phrases are, you’ll be in a great place to move forward and take your marketing efforts to the next level.

Lastly, in addition to speaking to your audience with your messaging, be sure to also aligns it with your business goals, because at the end of the day, reaching those goals is what all of this is for.

Put the “must haves” on your website

When it comes to content revisions, it always surprises me when people don’t think to start with their website, the content hub. The role of your website is to help you:

  • Get found
  • Build trust
  • Educate
  • Inform
  • Nurture
  • Convert

To accomplish the areas above, you need to be sure your website has:

A promise

Add a promise above the fold on your homepage to show visitors that you understand the challenges they face. As mentioned in the previous section, you need to make them a promise that will solve their problems.

A call to action

Your call to action can be a number of things, including a request for more information, schedule a consultation, or download a free report. Just make sure it’s relevant and useful.

Video

In my opinion, this has gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” for small business. Video allows you to give people a real sense of who you are, what you stand for, and let people hear your story.

Trust elements

You need to have elements that build trust on your homepage, whether they are logos of current clients or testimonials for your audience to glance over. Make it easy for visitors to see them.

Content and content upgrades

Given the purpose of this blog post, this area should seem pretty obvious. To keep content on your website fresh, post to your blog frequently (have a blog feed on your homepage for easy access).

A content upgrade gives people the ability to download premium content in exchange for an email address or capturing a lead. If they download this content, it shows that they are interested in what you do. Use the information they provide you to nurture them through to the sale.

Core services

You likely have full pages dedicated to these services, but by adding short descriptions and images of each to your homepage as well, that link through to your service pages, you’ll also get additional SEO value.

Create a lead generation content plan

First and foremost, have a plan! So many people just wing it these days which often gets them nowhere. I find it helpful to create a theme for each month that all of your content can revolve around.

Each theme I use has a substantial topic related to my audience’s industry/pain points and represents an important keyword search term.

I also find it helpful to think about the themes as a book where each month represents a chapter in what will eventually make up a body of work by the end of the year.

Provide valuable information and use content upgrades to convert the readers of this information into leads. Try to personalize and add emotional components to your content as much as possible to really establish a connection with a reader. The more they feel that connection, the more likely they’ll be to convert into leads and eventually customers.

Also, keep in mind that you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel with your content. You can share relevant content from other sites on your social platforms to provide value to your audience. You can also repurpose content you already have, so, for example, if you have a podcast episode, transcribe it and turn it into a written blog post.

The more value you can provide on a consistent basis, the better off you’ll be.

Outsource your content

A big reason why content strategy falls through is that people run out of time and don’t end up creating the content they had planned on. Listen to me when I say “outsource that content!”

Of course, you should own your process and strategy but you do not need to create the content yourself. There are plenty of people out there that can do that for you. Some sites you can start with include:

I have a plethora of additional outsourcing tips that you can find here to help you get started.

It’s never too late to turn your content strategy around. Follow these tips, continue to track progress, and keep revising as necessary until you hit your goals.

If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business.