For most businesses — especially B2B brands — it is no longer enough for marketing content to sell. Marketing content needs to solve problems for customers.
The first step, then, in developing a content marketing campaign full of blog posts, thought leadership articles, email newsletters or videos is to identify your customers’ problems and how you can solve them, not only by selling them a product or service, but also by providing valuable information within your content.
The infographic below from Squirrly walks through five different steps you can take to develop ideas for content that helps your prospects, leads and customers solve problems.
The first seems a bit obvious: list the problems you are being asked to solve! Along with listing questions that are presented to your brand on social media or blogs, enlist the help of your sales and customer service teams — they are also hearing directly from your target audience and may have ideas of problems your customers are facing that your department hasn’t addressed yet. (I’ve suggested this source of ideas before.)
What gets shared? While it is always best to review your own current results (if you’ve been using content marketing for a while), check out some reviews of general stats on what is shared in these posts: Business Blog Posts That Readers Share and Why People Share: The Psychology Of Social Media.
Are you keeping up with your competitors? A competitive audit can help you identify what other businesses in your industry are doing well, where there are gaps, and how you can turn those gaps into opportunities. Learn more: Use Competitor Analysis To Inform Branding Efforts.
What do you do with all of this information? Well, as Squirrly points out in Point #6: You create buyer personas. Your personas should include who your target audience is — what industries, job titles, even demographics such as typical age, gender and goals. Include the problems they are trying to solve, the roadblocks they face, and how you can address them. (Download examples of detailed buyer personas and a template for creating your own here: Buyer/Customer Persona Examples.)