Welcome to the second in our series of blogs helping you understand how you can take leads through various stages of awareness to becoming customers using content marketing.
Think you’ve got ahead of yourself? You can catch up by reading our first blog here.
In this blog, you’ll discover how you can use content marketing to target problem-aware consumers and turn them into solution-aware ones.
Let’s remind ourselves; a problem-aware consumer is someone who understands that they have a problem, but doesn’t yet know that a solution exists in the market. And that’s where you come in.
Step 1: Understand Your Customer — and Your Offering
Let's use the scenario from our first blog.
A potential customer wants to be able to skip songs in their running playlist without having to stop and take out their phone. That’s handy, because the Apple Watches you sell do exactly that.
The thing is, this customer is not technically savvy and doesn’t even know smart watches exist, let alone what they do.
But before you can start creating content to begin moving this customer towards buying your product, you need to know that their problem exists. Did you? Did you know that runners were using their smart watches to skip songs instead of pulling their phones out?
When your product or service fulfils a very specific need, it’s easy to identify the pain points that it solves for your customers. However, when your offering has a range of applications or target markets, those pain points can increase exponentially.
In both cases, it pays to take time to understand exactly;
- Who your customer is.
- What tasks or jobs they’re trying to achieve.
- The pain points they encounter while trying to do those tasks.
- The areas where they can gain benefits in relation to the tasks.
(Our guide, How to Understand your Audience With Market Research, will help you with this process)
When you’ve got that foundation of understanding about your users, only then can you begin to identify how your offering helps solve their problems and add gains.
Using the above example, the Apple Watch you sell could remove the pain for runners of taking their phone out to skip a song. It could also add gains by improving a runner’s pace over their chosen distance (thanks to fewer interruptions) and help them retain better focus while doing so.
If you don’t take these steps first, then everything that follows is — at best — an educated guess. Take some time on this stage, as it will pay dividends down the line.
Step 2: Help the Customer Find You
When someone is looking for a solution to their problem nowadays, they’ll Google it. When that person is problem-aware but not yet solution-aware, they’ll be asking questions that start with ‘How do I’ or something similar.
You need to bear this in mind when creating content for these people, and optimise your content using keywords and phrases accordingly, so that it will be ranked higher by Google’s algorithms.
Free resources like:
- Google Autocomplete (Tip: Use this in incognito mode so it isn’t affected by previous search results)
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Keyword Tool
are invaluable in understanding the types of questions people are asking. When you know what’s being asked, you can decide which questions you want to help people answer through your blog posts and other content output.
When your consumer has discovered their problem, typed their search into Google, and clicked on your page which relates to their problem, it’s your time to bring them value with useful, informative content.
Step 3: Educate Your Customer
You might think this is the stage where you can wow your potential consumer with all the features and benefits of your product or service. It’s not.
Remember, at this stage you’re just trying to take consumers from being aware of the problem to being aware of the solution. This stage is all about education; helping the consumer become well-informed of the options available to them.
So focus on that in your content. Demonstrate that you understand the challenges they face, explain how they can be overcome, and highlight the ways these solutions can also add benefits. Explain the pros and cons.
You need to be objective here; you’re the trusted advisor, not the salesperson. If your approach, tool, or methodology is unique or one within a small pool of options then great, set it out for your reader, but in exactly the same way as its alternatives or competitors.
When you’re objective in this way, you demonstrate that you have the consumer’s best interests at heart and don’t have an ulterior motive for attracting them to read your content. This builds trust and increases the likelihood that the reader will spend more time on your site, visiting multiple pages, and coming back repeatedly.
Next Time: Solution-aware Customers
Part three of this series will describe how you can use content marketing to target solution-aware consumers and turn them into product-aware ones.
To discuss how to ensure your content reaches consumers at their stage of awareness, drop us a line today.