Content Marketing is more than simply creating and sharing subject matter. It’s knowing what to say and when to say it. All content should be crafted with customer conversions in mind. For that reason, I’m going to stick with what to say in this post and keep timing as a future topic.

Let’s begin with what motivates your audience. As you know, different people buy products for different reasons. One person may choose a car based on its basic utility and reliability. In that case, used economy car is likely the perfect fit: however, their personas buy more than transportation. They’ll choose a Porsche to also gain the image and status that comes along with a sports car or luxury brand.

People Are Motivated Differently

Yes, this is obvious. The question is how do you reach people in a way that will build conversions. I view this as a triangular approach that will help you conquer content marketing in 3 easy steps by developing content geared towards your audiences’ personality, feelings, and desire.

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1. Personality. A.K.A. The Buyer Persona

The buyer persona is basically a representation of your target audience. They can be as detailed as you like, but the primary goal is to help you and your marketing team create campaigns that are aimed at people’s personal beliefs. The previous example of the Economy Car Buyer or the Sports Car Buyer are two different viewpoints related to an individual’s personality. The key is to know your perspective buyer well enough to build content that appeals to their personality. Some companies will have more than one primary buyer persona. That’s okay, it all depends on your products and services.

To create your buyer persona, you’ll write a semi-fictional character that is a generalization of your ideal customer. There are multiple exercises to build personas, but the majority of them include identifying these basic elements about your ideal consumer:

Day in their Life
Okay, this one is kind of obvious, right? Basically the goal is to discover: What do they do? Where do they shop? How do they get to work? Who or what do they value?

Demographic Information
Not quite as specific as their daily activities, but still grabbing personal information like their age(s), where they live, how much money they make, and any other relevant data that can be valuable in segmentation and targeting.

What are their goals
Everyone has ambitions, however it’s not always easy to imagine people’s goals related to your product or brand. Think of it this way… What is your target audience currently doing? And what would they be able to do with the assistance of your products, services or brand?

Pain Points
What obstacles do your buyers need to overcome before making their next purchase?

Research Process
How do they learn about what they’ll buy next? This could include Google, email, in store visits, even T.V. commercials. Identify how they learn and what types of media is likely to influence them.

This baseline list should help you get started writing your personas. You can certainly include more elements based on your product or brand.


2. Feelings. A.K.A. What Motivates People to Buy

Everyone has emotions, which means your target audience will too! In most cases people make buying decisions based on their feelings. Knowing that, I’ve created a list of 9 motivators that drive people to make a purchase.

To be liked or appreciated
Hallmark is great at this! Cards, flowers or other treats can go a long way, but that’s not the only industry where this exists. Everyone likes to be admired and it can be a great motivation for people to buy your products or services.

To feel important or more confident
Okay so this sounds narcissistic, right? But many people enjoy having a feeling of uniqueness or superiority. Provide some subtle self-admiration in your content and you can convert even the non-egotistical types.

To feel attractive
Again with the vanity, but people like to feel good about their appearance. Feeling attractive is more than sporting fancy clothes or the latest hair style. People also feel attractive with a new home, car, vacation, and the list goes on and on... so make sure to show how your products can make people feel attractive.

To be healthy
Personal health is a serious motivator. Whether it’s exercise, healthy eating or simply enjoying senior years, it’s a great way to capture people’s attention.

To be distinctive
Dos Equis Beer tries to appeal to people who want to be distinguished. Just look at their Most Interesting Man campaign. It is targeted solely at people who buy to be distinctive. If they can make beer “TASTEFUL” well you get the point.

Happiness and Fun
Just say Disney. They created the happiest place on earth and recognize those emotions as motivation to buy. While they do this better than most other brands, happiness can be found in multiple products and services.

Time and money
Yes, these are two hurdles marketers constantly overcome. Often the time isn’t right, or they just don’t have the money to buy now… But time and money can be motivators when you show your audience how they can make money, save money, or save time with their next purchase.

There is the fear of missing out on an opportunity. In most cases fear is related to scarcity of a product. But fear can come is multiple different forms. This dogma style approach is one of the oldest in marketing and it works!

Social proof
C’mon, everyone is doing it. You want to fit in, right? People often look to determine if their actions are acceptable. Product reviews can have a serious impact on peer support. Show your audience how much others are benefiting and they won’t want to miss the party.


3. Desire. A.K.A. Positioning Yourself as the Better Option

The final element is positioning statement, there are multiple styles of positioning statements. Remember, this post is about creating content that increases conversion. That means position yourself as their desire! To do this, you’ll combine the elements of your buyer persona along with the relevant motivators for your products or brand. Combine these and you’ll begin to position your brand as the better option more often.

Here are some examples of advertising taglines that include the triangular approach to conversion. Yes, the content you’ll create with this strategy is likely to be much longer than these simple sentences, but these concise examples will inspire your more comprehensive content.

The Discount Double Check

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The insurance company is capitalizing on a couple of motivating factors. The first and more obvious is saving money. However, the second may be more powerful - it’s scarcity. Here is a fear that they might be paying too much and the added assurance of the discount double-check eliminates that feeling.

The Un-Cola

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The soft drink brand is not a cola. Their buyer persona likely does not include people who prefer cola flavored soda. In only a few words, 7Up has positioned itself as a unique flavored drink that is different than popular items like Coke… And more impressive, they’ve done it in a distinctive and distinguished way.

Because You’re Worth It

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The makeup company has a strong message. I mean, who doesn’t want to feel like they’re worth it? The message is motivating because it inspires the feelings of attractiveness with makeup that will enhance beauty. Yet, there is also a flair subtle confidence that inspires its buyer personas to purchase their products.

Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands

content marketing

The candy company clearly says they’re different. And different tends to be better in most cases. In many ways chocolate tastes the same. M&Ms shows they’re different by not melting, which also hits on an emotion of fear. Yes, fear that your candy treat will be less delightful if you take your time and enjoy it.

Your content must do more than have your target audience think about your product, it needs to drive conversions. And you’ll never increase conversions unless you speak to your target audience, tell them what your product or brand will do for them, and position it as the better option. In order to make your value proposition appear as the better option, it must be unique and different from your competitors. The examples listed are all unique, which is why they standout from the pack and what makes them effective. Place these elements into your upcoming content and it’ll be more than that. It can become content that is based on strategy, which is the best kind of content.

Ending on the strategy note, here's a bit more about content strategy and how to suck less at it. It provides a handful of resources to ensure your starting with strategy. This Content Audit Template is another great resource as well.