Every business has customers who have struggles and problems they’re trying to solve. And I can tell you right away your customers are no different.
But what if I told you that those struggles are actually opportunities in disguise?
Opportunities for you to make a real impact, to solve real problems, and ultimately, to grow your business.
Here’s the thing, though:
You can’t solve a problem until you know what it is. And chances are, you don’t yet know what your customers’ biggest struggles are. But fear not. I’m not here to leave you hanging.
In fact, I’m going to do you one better.
I’m going to give you 6 guaranteed ways to determine your customers’ problems. No fluff, no click-bait, just real, actionable advice.
Once you’ve identified those problems, it’s time to start writing articles that answer their most pressing questions.
And before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to building a loyal customer base and growing your business.
Let’s dig in.
Make a List with All the Questions You've Been Asked/Received
I’m pretty sure you receive comments on your blog and emails from your customers all the time. Yet, you never thought about the fact that the questions which kept repeating themselves are actually a good thing.
Common questions are the opportunity you have been waiting for.
Here’s how you should approach this step:
- Check the blog comments section, social media, emails, and all the other places where you could receive messages from your customers.
- Create a list of all the common questions you were able to find. Copy-paste the exact words (very important) which were used by your customers when they were describing the problem they’re facing.
- Take each common question one by one and determine whether it’s an article topic you can write. If you don’t have expertise on a particular subject, then you can always point your customers in the right direction by providing other valuable resources.
- Start writing the articles.
- After you’ve published them, contact the people who asked the questions and tell them you’ve written an in-depth article on the topic.
- (optional) An extra step you can implement here is to search online for different variations on the problem you’ve solved through the article and tell people about it.
That way, you’ll not only reach a new audience (possibly people interested in doing business with you), but you’ll also increase the visibility of your company and establish yourself as a thought leader.
The list you'll comply is going to give you a pretty good direction when it comes to what type of content you should publish on the blog, especially when you're stuck and ran out of ideas.
In the screenshots below, you can see an example of how we, at Squirrly, approached this step.
The screenshot shows the FAQ section of our Knowledge Base for Squirrly SEO (we’ve created lots of resources based on questions we received from our customers over the years).
Let’s move on to the next one.
Know what Problems You Can Solve by Listening
Step number ONE is the easiest way to approach customers problems. But you don’t have to stop there.
Step number two involves a little bit more research.
Your customers hang out on multiple websites, forums, or social media sites. They don’t use them only for entertainment purposes, but to ask for help and advice on different matters.
That’s why listening is crucial if you want to write articles which will solve customers’ problems.
Here’s what you need to do here:
🗫 Enter social media groups and communities where your customers hang out. Look at the conversations they’re having with other people and see what questions pop up.
💡Quora, TikTok, Reddit – these are all extremely valuable communities. People ask questions there all the time. Leverage these communities to take notes about what people are discussing. Moreover, you can use them to ask some questions yourself.
After spending some time in these online communities, you'll be able to draw a line and say: I can solve these problems. I'd better start working on some articles then.
The more time you wait, the more will increase the chances of someone else solving your customers’ problems.
Identifying what Type of Content Your Audience Shares the Most
There are certain psychological aspects which trigger people to share articles, most of them being directly related to the headline.
It makes sense to be this way – the headline can make the biggest difference. It can determine the success of your article.
It’s like when you meet someone for the first time – you can kind of tell from the first few seconds whether you’re going to like them or not. At the same time, you’ll inevitably assume a few things about them.
The headline – the first impression – is a deal breaker.
It’s really simple to figure this out if you use a tool like BuzzSumo.
Just type in the search bar your target keywords, press enter and in a matter of seconds you’ll see what kind of articles received the highest amount of shares. You can sort the articles by Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or LinkedIn, shares.
Then, create a list with the title of the articles you have found. That way, you’ll be able to tell what kind of topics you can come up with, which are unique and fitted for your audience.
Monitor Your Competitors
Do you know what your competition is doing? The thing is, whether you like it or not, you should.
Don’t worry, you only have to focus on your most important competitors, not on all of them.
You might be asking yourself how to analyze them or what to analyze.
I’m glad you asked!
Here’s what you should pay attention to:
- Their website
- SEO strategy
- Social media strategy.
In order to monitor your competition, we recommend using Squirrly SPY.
With Squirrly SPY, you can discover the secret ingredients in your competitor’s recipe for SEO success and dig deep into their content to understand how they think in terms of content strategy.
All you have to do is decide which competitor you want to analyze, and Squirrly SPY will show you:
- your competitor’s top organic keywords. This will help you identify hot topics their pages are ranking for and yours aren’t.
- their page authority
- their backlinks. Use this to research what kind of competitor-generated content gets the most backlinks.
- what anchor text the competition used
Squirrly SPY will also help you know what type of content published on your competitor’s site gets shared the most on social media, as well as what social media channel works best for them.
Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that helps you know how people interact with your site, which pages they visit, and the type of content they respond to best.
Knowing how visitors interact with content posted on your site can be extremely helpful in terms of better understanding your target audience.
Aside from showcasing how much traffic you have on your website and where it’s coming from, Google Analytics also provides plenty of insight when it comes to the demographics and interests of customers.
Tips for using Google Analytics to learn more about your audience:
- Navigate to Audiences > Demographics in the sidebar on the left-hand side of your screen.
There you will find the Demographic Overview report, which gives you an overview of your visitors’ age and gender.
- Google Analytics also shows data on your visitors’ language and location.
To find data on language, navigate to Audience > Geo > Language.
- Devices used by your audience.
Find out what devices your audience is accessing your site from. To get this information navigate to Audience > Mobile > Overview or Audience > Mobile > Devices.
Another thing worth noting is that Google Analytics also makes it possible for you to learn more about the interests of your audience. To collect this data, make sure to enable “Analytics Advertising Features” in Google Analytics.
So, take advantage of this and start looking in this section more.
It will also help you segment your market and target it by creating better content – which brings us to the final step.
Create Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are a fictionalized representation of a specific group of your target audience. Although a fictional character, the buyer persona is based on real data and insights.
When it comes to content marketing, buyer personas are essential to your success, as they will help guide your content creation efforts.
To learn more about how to develop your buyer personas, you should check out this course inside Education Cloud PLUS: A Practical Guide to Developing Your Buyer Personas (available with a Premium Pass)
Here are the main things you should know about your buyer persona in order to be able to create content that’s tailored to their needs:
- Needs/ Wants/ Goals
Those needs are what drives people to your site. It’s also what motivates them to come back to your website after possibly purchasing something.
Are people visiting your site because they want/need to learn more about your products and industry? Are they ready to buy or simply browsing your site to get a better sense of what you have to offer?
Understanding what your customer’s motivation is will help you tailor your content strategy accordingly – so that you can create highly targeted, highly effective content.
- Pain Points
Knowing what are some of the frustrations (struggles, challenges) that your target audience might experience allows you to offer the solution to their pain points.
Your site can be a good place to begin gathering data so that you can identify the needs and pain points of your target audience.
Feature a feedback section/form that makes it easy for visitors to email you so that they can quickly reach out with any questions or concerns.
Pay close attention to what questions come up most often / get repeated.
As we already mentioned, examining the top questions asked by visitors will give you an idea of the most confusing topics. This should help you prioritize your customer’s needs and determine what content you should create next.
Other methods for gathering information to create a buyer persona include:
- Interviews with existing and potential customers;
- Feedback and insights from your sales, customer support, and marketing teams;
- Social media listening: paying attention to questions related to the types of products you offer can provide insight into what your audience’s needs and concerns might be.
Once you have done your research, you can start to incorporate your findings into your content strategy.
Every business has several buyer personas, not just one ideal customer. If only it were so easy…
Your buyer personas can be extremely different, even if they’re interested in the same products or services.
By outlining their profiles, you’ll then be able to understand them better and create amazing content for them.
Think of your buyer persona as an ideal representation of who your customer is. You can even give them a name – this usually makes this process a lot easier.
You’ll then be like: I’m writing this article for Jane, who is 30 years old, has 2 kids, is conscious about having a healthy lifestyle, has a corporate job but needs more energy in her life.
Putting yourself in the shoes of a buyer persona of which you know so much about, is easy peasy. Content which resonates with the readers is so much more powerful than articles which are targeting everyone and no one at the same time.
People seek for that connection online as well so don’t neglect that.
Solving Customers Problems the Smart Way
Staring at the ceiling and wondering what problems your customers are facing won’t lead anywhere.
Thanks to social media and the abundance of online communities, you can now find answers and most importantly, the questions you have been waiting for.
So, get out there and start hunting.
If you’ve enjoyed learning from this resource, give it a share on social media, so we can help other fellows out as well. And if you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below.