Let me ask you this: why did you think your service/product would be a viable idea for a business? I’m willing to bet it’s because you identified your ideal customer’s pain point and validated that your product and/or service could solve this problem. That’s how most successful businesses start out. They see a customer’s pain point, and they find and then offer a solution to it.
So why doesn’t our content marketing work in the same way?
In Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he tells us of an anecdote of researchers who conducted a study where they sent two different ads to homeowners in the same neighborhood.
One ad said, “if you insulate your home fully, you’ll save 50 cents every day.” The other said, “if you don’t insulate your home fully, you’ll lose 50 cents every day.”
When the study was completed it showed that the people who received the ad that focused on “loss language” were 150% more likely to insulate their house than the other group.
What this study shows us is that people are more often motivated by fear of loss than hope of gain. As humans, we’re wired in a way that avoiding pain is much more important to our survival than gaining pleasure is (most of the time, anyways!).
If you want to find more customers, then focus on creating content that provides them with a solution to their pain points.
3 Ways to Uncover Your Customers’ Pain Points
1. Ask Your Existing Customers
One of the easiest ways to uncover your customer’s pain points is simply by asking an existing customer.
You can do this through a one-to-one interview, sending out surveys, or asking them questions about their biggest challenges that they face. If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you probably already have an idea what your customers struggle with so you can frame the questions you ask your customers appropriately.
For example, if you’re in the pet food industry, you might ask your existing customers:
- What challenges do you face on a regular basis with regards your pets?
- Are there any underlying health issues that your pets have that causes you concern?
- What is your biggest struggle when choosing appropriate food for your pet?
2. Use Existing Pain Points As A Way To Tease Out New Ones in Prospective Customers
Talking to existing customers is all fine and dandy, but the problem is that they’re already your customers. Sure, it’s great to address an existing customer’s pain point so you can retain them as customers, but you always want to focus on generating new business too and that means understanding what pain points might exist for your prospective customers too.
To discover what a prospective customer’s pain points might be, use your understanding of the common pain points that your existing customers already have and frame the discussion in a way that allows for the prospective to customer to either agree or disagree that they have these problems.
For example, you might say: “we’ve found that our customers have trouble with understanding what keywords they should be focusing their efforts on. Is this something that you struggle with?”
By giving prospective customers a starting point, you’re directing the discussion to pain points in relation to your industry. At this point your prospective customer will either agree with the existing pain point (which is still useful to validate that the pain point exists, and that your product/service can help solve it), or they’ll expand and/or disagree with the suggested pain point, therefore, providing you with new information.
This method is often successful because you’re not pitching a pain point, but engaging the prospective customers in a discussion that will allow for them to open up about their own problems (which you can hopefully offer a solution to).
3. Look At What Pain Points Your Competitors Are Focusing On
Head on over to your competition’s website and look at what they’re most concerned with. What pain points are they addressing? What are they talking about on their blogs? Heck, sign up for their newsletter and see what pain points they deem worthy enough for their customers’ inboxes.
Create an extensive list of pain points that your competition is addressing. Now use your best judgement to filter out any customer pain points that you think aren’t relevant to your business, and you’re left with a comprehensive list of pain points that you’ll be able to use in order to create content.
Creating Content Based On Customer’s Pain Points
Step 1: Create A List of Keywords
Once you have a list of pain points that you want to target, you can use this to create a list of relevant keywords. For example, if a pain point for your customers is difficulty accurately scoring their leads as they move down the sales funnel, then you might want to focus on keywords such as “lead nurturing” and “lead scoring”.
Remember that the language that you use in search queries to discover content may be different than the language that your customers use. Your keywords should be terms that your customers use to find content, not you. Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to discover what terms your customers are actually using to search for content relating to your central keyword.
Step 2: Create A Keyword-Rich Title
Creating a keyword-rich title is vital when you’re creating content that addresses pain points. Unlike other content that may focus on entertainment, content that focuses on pain points should be informative and therefore keyword rich.
In order to create content that’s targeted at a customer’s pain point, it’s a good idea to craft your keyword-rich headline first. By doing this you’re ensuring that you won’t simply be trying to stuff your keyword into the title in an unnatural way after the post has been written. Writing your headline first also ensures that you stay on super on-topic as you’re writing the body of your blog post
Catchy headlines are great for grabbing attention, sure, but when it comes to pain points it’s less about grabbing attention and more about giving information. This is the difference between Buzzfeed and a publication like Forbes. Buzzfeed sets out to capture an audience looking to be entertained, so their headlines will look like this:
Whereas Forbes sets out to capture an audience looking to be informed, so their headlines look like this:
With pain points, you’re looking to inform your readers so your headlines should reflect that by including the keyword that your audience is likely to be using to search for information on your chosen topic.
Of course, if you can create a keyword-rich headline that is also entertaining, more power to you! But focus on informing your audience as a top priority. Some examples of a keyword rich title for “lead nurturing” might include:
- Lead Nurturing: How To Get Your Leads From Browsing To Buying
- How Lead Nurturing Can Save Your Business
- The Ultimate Guide To Lead Nurturing For Small Business
- 101 Times Lead Nurturing Saved A Small Business
For more comprehensive look at how to create titles that are sure to engage your target audience, check out If You Only Read One Post About Headlines, Read This One.
Step 3: Writing The Copy
Having an informative and keyword-rich title is great and all, but if your copy doesn’t support what your title promises, then you’re in for a high bounce rate as internet users quickly discover that the information you’re offering isn’t relevant.
To ensure that your visitors stay engaged with your content after clicking through into it from your title, you need to have a great introduction.
Firstly, your introductory paragraph should contain your keyword. This signals to your visitors that the content is focused on what the title has suggested it will be focused on. Including your keyword in your introductory paragraph isn’t bad for SEO, too.
Secondly, and this might be obvious, but you want your introductory paragraph to be well-written and engaging. I often spend a good 30 minutes crafting, revising and editing my introductory paragraphs. One of my top tips when writing an introductory paragraph is to ask a question. The conversational tone engages the reader, while also sparking their curiosity.
Let’s revisit the introductory paragraph of this blog post:
As you can see, I started with a question that’s relevant to my audience (small business owners). Then I used my keyword “customer’s pain point” twice. By constructing the introduction like so, I’ve started what’s almost like a conversation with my reader which engages them in the content, but I’ve also included my keyword so that my readers (and Google) are both aware that this content is highly relevant to title.
Step 4: Adding Your CTA
Finally, you want to include a CTA (call-to-action) in your content so that those who have read your blog post and enjoyed the information you provided them with will have the opportunity to engage with you more fully if they so choose to do so.
A CTA in a blog post should be a “small ask” that requires a “small yes”. No one wants to be bombarded with hard-selling at the end of a blog post. Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy.
However, if you ask for something small, and make it easy for people to say “yes” to it, then you’re much more likely to open up an opportunity to build a relationship with that reader that you can then nurture. Most blog post CTA’s ask their readers for an email address in order for them to be able to send their readers more content like what they’ve just read.
If the reader has enjoyed the content, then they’ll be happy to get more of it straight to their inbox.
Now, it’s my turn to ask you, did you enjoy this blog post?
Like this? Get the FREE Small Business Bundle