Crafting content that converts your ideal customer is a daunting challenge. Platitudes like 'content is king' or 'focus on value' in content marketing makes for extremely frustrating advice when you don't actually know how to produce "good content." Plus, the average entrepreneur is at a disadvantage because most of the time they don't have a content creation background.
Fortunately business owners, salespeople and customer service reps do have one incredible advantage that provides insights worth millions that any marketer, data analyst or ad manager would kill for. The advantage? You're already holding daily conversations with the perfect target audience you want to attract more of: your customers and prospects.
The Internet is a long tail conversation
The Internet is a tool for communication. Great content communicates clearly and concisely while speaking to a specific audience. Highly effective websites convey conversation through great content. Marketing campaigns that produce profit attract the right people from the crowd using the right conversations to get to the website in order to have a focused conversation that ultimately leads to them talking to you.
We call this process the "Long Tail Conversation" and it works because communication is the basic building block that determines whether your online efforts succeed or fail. Companies spend millions of dollars analyzing data, tracking conversions and using metrics to gauge how well their content is communicating because we can't see how someone reacts to our content when they view it through the Internet.
However, when you're the person who interacts directly with the people who already fit the ideal profile of the people you want to attract more of (your customers and prospects), you don't need to invest incredible sums of money in analyzing analytics because you're already talking to the source.
Any conversation with a customer is an opportunity to create incredible content
Most people treat a customer or prospect in isolation based on the end result of their conversations (for example, did the prospect close to become a client). Instead of only judging success based on the end result, give yourself more chances to win. Think of every sales pitch, presentation and customer service call as an opportunity to also create content and refine your messaging.
For instance, when you're explaining a concept to someone, pay extra attention to how they react. Take note of what questions they're asking, how do they phrase that question, how often do you get the same questions. Where do they get confused in your explanations of things? What areas do they get excited about, and what areas do they tune you out on?
Unlocking incredible content insights only requires remembering to ask two questions
There are two incredibly powerful questions you need to ask everyone after you've talked about a topic. Those are "What are you taking away from this?" and "What stands out the most about that?"
People aren't usually good at accurately explaining why they like or dislike something. Even more are too shy to tell you they don't understand something because they don't want to be perceived as "dumb." But if you ask those two questions, you immediately get direct insight into precisely if they understood what you were trying to convey and what they found most memorable or valuable. Plus, they'll tell it to you in the precise language they use and understand.
That's a depth of insight on a level that surveys, questionnaires and analytics simply can't match as easily and certainly not as quickly. Most people who produce content get stuck guessing at what's going to be valuable, cool or insightful for their audience. As humans it's our nature to be extremely self biased. The easiest mistake to make is the false assumption that what we find valuable, unique or different about us is the same thing that our customers find valuable, unique or different.
Leveraging those two powerful questions as the basis of your content creation results in always having great content ideas and knowing the content you create is actually going to be highly valued for your audience, spoken from their perspective and using language they understand.