Your mom probably cares about you, but the sad truth is, your prospects don’t really care about you or your products and services. They care about themselves. They care about their wants, their needs, their problems, their pains, and their pleasures. They certainly don’t care about what you have to say about yourself and how great your products and services are. And THAT is the real challenge in marketing today. If prospects don’t care to hear what you have to say, then why spend a bunch of money on advertising trying to interrupt them and get their attention?
Marketing today is a much greater challenge than ever before because of the overwhelming number of messages consumers are bombarded with, and the increasing number of ways in which they can filter out unwanted messages. Adding to the challenge is the vast amount of information that is instantly available via the Internet, making consumers much less dependent upon what we as marketers are trying to sell them.
The good news is that most consumers, in spite of being bombarded with messages all day, are nonetheless eager to find troves of information about the things that they are interested in, or address their wants and needs, and that help them solve their problems, relieve their pain, or give them pleasure. Content marketing is the most effective and reliable way of ultimately getting your products and services in front of these would-be prospects, in a way that is not just acceptable to them, but truly appealing to them. But it requires a shift in the way most marketers tend to think, i.e. it requires the marketer to sell more by selling less.
Selling more by selling less is not a new concept. The best salespeople and marketers in the world have long known this truth—that talking in terms of the customers needs is much more effective than talking in terms of your offering. But it's not just about talking about the benefits of your products and services, it’s about understanding your customers, and offering them unique insights that can help them accomplish their goals. Even us marketers are also consumers, so we should all be able to understand that to attract and hold someone’s attention, the material being presented needs to be relevant, engaging, informative, valuable, and convenient to consume.
Assuming that you have a product or service that truly fills a need, your goal as a content marketer is to find a specialty or niche that will allow you to speak with authority about something of real value to a specific target audience. That means that you need to really understand your target audience (through buyer personas) and you need to carve out a niche that you can dominate with rich, valuable content. By producing targeted content that is meaningful, informative, and beneficial to your target audience, you have the opportunity to move past the realization that nobody cares about you and into the realm of satisfying the needs of others. When you’ve done that, you will be amazed at how easy it is to convert that "caring" audience into paying customers.