It’s no secret that content is a powerful source for leads. Content marketing is a growing industry with 70 percent of B2B marketers creating more content than they did the year before.

But it’s not about blogging for high volume keywords or advertising to broad markets. Content that converts guides an audience through a journey with your product as its final destination.

As a content marketer, you need to transform your strategy into a systematic approach and use your words to create conversion powerhouses. I’m not talking about how your brand is better than the rest.

I’m talking about “here I am”, “let me help” and “by the way, here’s a solution.” These four tactics will help you create more effective content and get it in front of the right people at the right time.

1. Understand and segment your customer’s journey.

Don’t underestimate the importance of mapping your customer’s journey. It’s easy to get caught up in the Hail Mary approach where factors like copy, colors and A/B testing dominate your mindset.

The truth is, these techniques might be limiting your ability to convert. If you’re targeting the wrong people at the wrong time, they won’t buy.

Let me explain. People go through a process before purchasing. Inbound marketers look at it in three stages:

  • Awareness – identify a need.
  • Consideration – clearly identified a problem and committed to researching.
  • Decision – decide on a solution by weighing out the options.

HubSpot’s “sore throat” example paint’s the buyer’s journey best.

hubspot-sore-throat-example

By segmenting audiences through content, you can provide value to their current needs, address pain points and fulfill the next pit stop in their journey.

I explain this concept further in my free eBook on how you can use the buyer’s journey to leverage this information to generate new leads.

Whether that’s done through remarketing, thank you pages or email, you’ll know exactly where they left off in their journey.

2. Use real people your target audience resonates with: John and Jane Doe don’t exist…

Examples aren’t an option. They are a necessity. They clarify concepts, increase engagement and act as psychological triggers for brand recognition.

But it’s not about examples you love. It’s about examples that resonate with your target audience. If you’re targeting graphic designers who struggle with finding freelance jobs, then use examples they can relate to.

If you’re helping medical professionals leverage online marketing, then use examples they can relate to.

example-of-examples

When your examples portray well-researched customer personas, your audience will relate, react and respond. Examples make content sticky.

3. Trade value for highly classified marketing intelligence

Asking your subscribers for feedback is great. The problem with this technique is that most people won’t respond to your request or even open that email you spent hours crafting.

I learned something from content marketing wizard, Neil Patel as he took this approach a step further.

On August 26, Neil sent an email to his subscribers. He was offering a free 45-90 minute strategy session with one of his team members.

In fact, if you thought the strategy session was a waste of time, he promised to send you $100.00. No questions asked.

What does Neil get in exchange for his time and knowledge?

He gets to know who his subscribers are, what they struggle with and how to attract more people with similar struggles.

Give your audience something that’s valuable to them in exchange for more information that will guide your content creation process.

4. Stalk your competitors

You’ve probably gone through a phase of competitor envy. They boast bold revenue figures, subscriber counts and traffic stats.

They’ve worked hard to get where they are and observing them is free. Here are two ways you can learn from your competition.

Sign up for their mailing lists

You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again. The money is in the list.

Successful marketers spend countless hours optimizing emails for more opens, clicks and conversions. In fact, most six and seven figure online course graders don’t have a link to their sales page from their main website. Instead, they send out a series of emails to their mailing list when the course is open for registration.

Pay attention to their subject lines, analyze their language and the way they engage their community.

Read through their blog comments

If you read blogs, you’ll notice a habit most bloggers do at the end of their post. They ask a question.

competitor-blog-comments

You can learn a lot about your target audience’s pain points and address solutions through your own content.

Conclusion

Now that you see the undeniable value of understanding your customers, go and get them.

Give before you ask. Give them what they want, when they want it. Create unforgettable examples where the story can’t be told without mentioning your brand.

I’ll leave you with one last thing. Mark Cuban puts it best: “Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.”

Do you have any tactics to sell through content? If so, add them in the comments section below.