Ever feel like your content doesn't get the traction it deserves? You spend so much time crafting valuable content you know will help your audience, yet it doesn't reach them.
The truth is, we live in a world of too much content, meaning you face an uphill battle to capture someone's attention and point them toward it (no matter how good and valuable it may be).
Creating great content is only part of the battle, so I'd like to show you the process I take after spending millions of dollars on content marketing that today magnetizes my audience toward what I create, and ensures they actually consume it.
Step 1: Understand who the content is for
You need to know your audience, and you need to know who needs your content. This may sound obvious, but it's amazing how many entrepreneurs get this simple first step wrong.
You need to get specific about who you're creating your content for. A broad audience will not work in 2018, so your first step is to understand who your audience is. With this as your focal point, you can ensure your content alleviates their specific pain, and only their pain.
Step 2: Understand your audience's awareness level
You cannot treat your entire audience in the same way. They fit into different buckets, and when it comes to their awareness level, there are three:
- Sidewalk: unaware they have a pain or a problem
- Slow Lane: aware they have a problem, but unsure what the process is
- Fast Lane: aware of the process, but unsure of the solution
The content you create for someone in your sidewalk is different to the content you create for those in the fast lane. In the sidewalk, you show your audience their problem with micro content that illuminates their pain. In the slow lane, you focus on your process or methodology, educating your audience to what comes next -- the fast lane, where you dive into the solution and how they can fix their problem.
Step 3: Understand what emotion you want to evoke
Once you understand your audience and their current awareness level, you can craft content that evokes a specific emotion within them.
- Do you want to illuminate a pain?
- Would you like to help them understand themselves better?
- Are you trying to debunk a certain philosophy and introduce an alternative idea?
It's important your content evokes emotion, because it's emotion that ensures they resonate with it on a personal level. This is the only way to get your audience to share, like or take action in this overwhelming world we live in.
This is the part of the process where you take a stranger and transform him or her into an advocate, and it's here your content begins to stand out from everything else.
Step 4: Understand which "story type" is most relevant
With content that makes your audience "feel" something, you can then focus on the "story type" that makes the most sense; as coined by the author Len Wilson, here are seven:
- Man against man
- Man against nature
- Man against himself
- Man against God
- Man against society
- Man caught in the middle
- Man and woman
These are the "story types" that help your audience connect with your message as a human being. The idea here is to pull out stories from your own life (or your business) so you build trust with them, and so they better relate to you and your journey.
You need them to connect with your content, and you do this through the art of story.
Step 5: Understand how best to share this "story type"
Finally, you bring this all together by sharing your content in one of six ways:
- Personal philosophy: a message you hold true based on your own experiences
- Personal story: a story or anecdote from your own life
- Question: where you turn focus to your audience and ask them a question
- Lifestyle: a message that evokes transparency and invites your audience into your world
- Results/training: detailed insight into a process, and how to do something
- Invitation: an invitation to dive deeper, and learn more about what comes next
Some of these are relevant for longer forms of content, whereas others are perfect for shorter messages. It's during this step you bring intention into your content, ensuring it speaks to the right person in the right way.
By bringing these five steps together each time you craft new content, you drastically improve your odds of going viral because you create magnetizing messages that captures your audience and their attention.
This is the difference between creating content that nobody cares about and content that transforms strangers into raving fans. I learned this the hard way, spending millions of dollars on content marketing that did okay, but not great.
Once I followed these five steps, I went from six-to-seven figures (and beyond). You can, too.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors