The Real Goal of Marketing
Take a look at the content your business currently produces. Is there a defined flow and purpose to it, or is it just random content that you hope will bring traffic and sales to your business?
We’ve already discussed why your business absolutely needs a solid content strategy, along with the tangible and intangible benefits of doing so. I think we can all agree that the benefits are pretty remarkable.
Here’s the thing… if you’re not able to clearly articulate the direction that you want your content to take your readers, then it will be difficult for your readers to understand your purpose as well.
In order to begin creating this flow and purpose, you need to first get clear about why your blog and content exists.
We’re going to talk about how to set yourself up for content success. More specifically, how to create content that becomes a driver for change within your niche.
By following the steps outlined here, you’ll finally have a clear idea of the purpose of your content, as well as who you’re writing it for. By doing this, you’ll put yourself in the driver’s seat of content success, rather than simply trying to follow the trends, get shares, or amass traffic. Your content will be used purposefully to move you towards your business goals.
Doesn’t that sound a lot less stressful than your current strategy?
Define Your Content Niche and Level the Playing Field
The first thing we need to decide is the niche that your content serves. I know this sounds obvious, but I assure you, it’s missed by many marketers.
The audience you serve all have one thing in common. They are all looking to become a better version of themselves. This better version could be in any number of areas, including:
- Personal development
- Fashion/ Beauty
- Personal Finance/ Budgeting
- Home Décor
When you think about the niche that your business serves, you need to ask yourself, “Why does my blog exist?”
This part is really about your purpose and it will ultimately form the basis of each piece of content you create.
In order to really begin nailing down your purpose and what you bring to the table, ask yourself these two questions:
- What group do I want to help?
- In what areas do I want to help them in? Or, what area do they struggle in that I can help them with?
For example, here on this site, the group we are helping is business owners and the area that we help them is marketing success. But these are two big groups to work with. So we break it down even further and try to get specific with our answers.
We aren’t just helping any business owners, we’re helping small business owners. The mom & pop offline shops, as well as the online entrepreneur working from home.
Once we break it down this way, the content angle takes on a very specific dimension.
Maybe for your particular business you’re helping women with the topic of planning healthy meals for their families. But, that’s still too broad. Maybe you’re helping single moms and the topic is around healthy meals on a budget.
Once you’ve narrowed down the niche and topic area that you intend to serve, you can begin creating your purpose statement by putting your details into one of these statements:
I educate/ inspire/ entertain/ teach/ help _________ who want to __________.
I show ______________ how ____________________.
Once you’ve put in your specifics, you will then know why your business content really exists and who you’re helping. This becomes your content purpose statement.
Your Content as the Driver of Change
The next thing we need to think about is what change does your content create for your readers?
This is a really powerful way of thinking about your blog and content. When you stop thinking about the content that you create as simply “content” and start thinking of it as a catalyst for specific change, your entire approach to creating content will shift.
Content should transform your readers.
And that transformation should progress both you and your audience towards a specific goal.
Before we can create a conversion funnel or any type of content for our audience, we must first determine the value that we bring to the market.
Is what you’re offering something that your market actually wants?
Just because you think your product, service, or content is great- doesn’t mean the market feels the same way.
Every product you put out, every piece of content your product, all marketing messages needs to articulate your offers in a way that speaks to their desired end result.
This goes way beyond just knowing your customer avatar and demographics. This will take you light years ahead of your competition.
Never forget that your job in business is to take a person from a “Before” state to an “After” state.
We call this the Value Continuum.
It’s the distance between the Before & After state, and it determines your value. The value your product, service, or content brings. Which effectively determines how much you’re able to charge, and how much your business will grow.
How does your content move someone down this continuum? How does it transition someone from a Before state to an After state?
Good marketing, copywriting, and content creation simply articulates the move (shift) from the “Before” state to the “After” state.
One of the easiest ways to increase your conversion rates is to stop talking about your product and start talking to the “Before” person and allowing them to future cast what life will be like when they are in the “After” state.
The Before & After Grid
We must be able to articulate the shift from this before state to this after state. What’s the value they get when they move from the Before state to the After state?
Before we can do this, we need to first determine what is their Before state, and what is their After state.
There are 4 primary ways we can articulate someone’s Before state and their After state.
- Have: What do they have before that they don’t have after? Or- what don’t they have before that they now have after?
Have is the simplest, and it’s where most ordinary marketers stop. This is where features lie. Focusing on this is why you see a lot of boring content and sales copy.
- Feel: How does your product, service, or content change the way that someone feels?
- Average Day: How can you change someone’s average day? Can you change the story that they tell about themselves? Can you change their narrative?
Some of the most compelling content and copy comes from story. How can you help them have more good days than bad days? When you can have more good days than bad days, you change their lives.
- Status: Can you change someone’s status? Can you change their self-worth?
These appear in order from least powerful, to most powerful.
Imagine all of these elements showing up in all of your content, marketing messages, landing page copy, product descriptions, etc. If you can pack more of these after-based copy chunks into your content and messages, you will see your conversion rates skyrocket.
Let’s take a look at how this would play out. We’ll use my son’s landscaping company as an example.
Target Market: Men/husband; 35 years old; employed full-time; living in the suburbs.
|Have: Tall grass. Weeds. Dead grass.||Beautiful, lush green lawn.|
|Feel: Embarrassed. Frustrated. Annoyed. “This is how I have to spend my Saturdays.”||Great. Confident. Stress-free|
|AVG DAY: Saturday is gone. Waste doing something you don’t want to do.||Enjoy Saturdays. You get your Saturdays back to spend doing what you like.|
|STATUS: Ordinary Shlub.||You’re the guy with the beautiful lawn. You’re the Jones’ (you’re not keeping up with the Jones’).|
Drake’s new slogan: “We Sell Saturdays!”
Status is everything. If you can change someone’s status in the messaging- you’ll see your conversion rates increase, your referrals increase, your stick rate go up, and your return customer rates go up. Because you’re changing who they are and how they feel about themselves.
Status is big. See where you can incorporate it into your content and marketing efforts.
Once you’ve identified your market’s “ideal after” you can craft your Statement of Value and really nail it home.
Crafting a Statement of Value
We’re going to create your statement of value around your existing products/services. You’ll want to craft one for each of the products or services your business has.
(Product Name) enables (Customer) to experience…..
Ex: Drakes Lawncare enables tired dads to have lush, weed-free lawns, be the envy of the neighborhood and finally get their Saturday’s back.
This is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your market. “This is how our product/service/content delivers value to the planet.”
This is what we do. This is the value we bring. This is why we deserve to win.
If you don’t have this- you’re marketing like everyone else and you don’t have something that’s worth optimizing.
Statement of Value vs Unique Selling Proposition
It is far more profitable to create a statement of value rather than a unique selling proposition. A USP is inherently product centric. It says, “here’s why we are different. Here’s why we are better than our competitor.”
But the reality is that being better or different is rarely the advantage. History is FULL of different and better products that didn’t win.
You need to speak in terms of your prospect’s “ideal after”. What is your statement of value? Why do you deserve to exist in the marketplace? If you can craft this in such a way that you get excited about it- your prospects will too.
If a company doesn’t know their statement of value and they can’t be excited about it throughout the company (at all levels), then no one is going to put forth their best work.
Everyone in your company needs to be reminded of why they’re doing what they’re doing, and how it’s part of something much bigger.
If reading your statement of value doesn’t cause you to fall in love with your business all over again- then keep working at it until it does. If it never does, then go back and work on your product. Make your product or service so great, you CAN deliver an amazing “After”.
Crafting your statement of value is a HUGE benefit to your business and customers.
Once you’ve nailed all of this down, then every piece of content you create, and every message you send out will all help to create content success and skyrocket your business.