Last week we talked about the empowered online user and the importance of meeting her right where she is. It all comes down to value. How much value can we bring in that precious 2 minute window that our user spends on site?
If value is so important (and according to Google, Apple, and Patagonia…it is!) it seems deserving of a strategy. There are all kinds of content strategies out there and we could spend hours talking about methodology for great content. Only, I don’t have that kind of time…and I’m guessing you don’t either…
At our last MarketAble, I gave a high-level overview and told attendees to take it from there.
Here’s the breakdown:
DISCOVERY + USER PERSONA + BRAINSTORM = KICK A** CONTENT
Discovery is just a fancy word for market research. Just as a lawyer goes through a discovery process with his client, gathering and analyzing heaps of data, we go through a discovery phase with our business.
First, we look at ourselves. We might pull out the old and trusted SWOT analysis, just to get our hands dirty. We want to assess where we are doing things well (look at customer feedback, analytics, YELP, etc.) and where we could improve.
We can incentivize users to fill out surveys, we can run interviews, and we can ask new customers for their thoughts. Really, we are just getting out of our own heads. The biggest thing here is objectivity – try to step away from your biases, your opinions, and get some real feedback.
Secondly, we look at our competitors. Analyze their web experiences…keep track of their incentives, promotions, and their overall tone. For a few minutes, be their customer. What do you like? What do you dislike? These data points serve as building blocks for your great content. Identify any opportunities, commonalities, and great ideas.
Next up…the user persona.
User personas have been around for a long time in the engineering world. Product designers have essentially created fictitious characters that represent their potential customers. They then create features and uses of products for this fake person. Weird right? Wrong!
The top dog companies in today’s market know that scoring user love and money means putting the user before everybody else. A great way to do that is profiling that user. Looking at personality, hopes, dreams, and yes…demographics, income, and education too.
Sofia Lawrence - Age 27 - Web Designer
It’s very important that you name your user and get a picture. Get some basics down, then really line out what life looks like for Sofia.
Now, with our user persona in hand, we get to the fun part: the brainstorm.
This is where we can get creative. We need to outline as many ideas as possible. Try to think about Sofia. What is holding her back? What does she find frustrating? What makes her feel fearful, sad, or insecure? These are her pain points and we can create content that helps her with these day-to-day troubles.
For example, if Sofia is confined to a desk all day and she feels like she’s not getting enough exercise, you might write a blog post about getting an hour’s worth of exercise in only 30 minutes. How can you write a great piece of content on advanced cardio methodology? Who died and made you Jillian Michaels? Google. Do a little research, write your post, and throw it Sofia’s way.
On another note, Sofia has dreams, goals, hopes, and desires. What makes her excited? What does she find interesting? What would make her happy? Write down your ideas (Excel is great for this) and brainstorm content around these topics. If you’re not an expert, that’s ok. Find solid content that’s already out there and pass it along. Just bring an original thought every once in a while.
So…do your research, create your persona, and go get 'em…meanwhile, I’ll be at the lake…my tan is beginning to fade.
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