How to create valuable content and find customers online

man using stylus pen for touching the digital tablet screen

Selling yourself as an expert in your field, whether it’s providing a much-needed service, or curating a collection of products to offer shoppers, is the absolute best way to convince shoppers to buy.

Customers need to know you provide value through your offerings, and that you have the expertise to support them through the process of learning about your industry, as well as knowing what products are the right fit.

But how do you convince them?

As a copy and content writer, I am always asking my clients “What do you do?” And I mean beyond the obvious.

Yes, you have a store and you sell stuff. (Or maybe you’re a coach or service and inform about stuff.)  But why? Who are you supporting with your “stuff”? How does it make lives easier? How does it give buyers their time back?

In order to find the right terms and keywords to hook readers with your online content (and turn them into customers or clients) you have to delve deep into what you’re doing, and who you’re doing it for.

Enter the customer avatar

How do you know how well you’re supporting your clients and customers if you don’t know exactly who they are?

Creating a customer avatar allows you to nail down your audience, in order to then understand how you are helping them with your product or service. But it’s not easy!

Einstein Marketer states that “it’s crucial that you create a customer avatar of your ideal customer, not your average buyer. Your ideal customer is somebody you really want to sell to, they’re high-spending, loyal, repeat buying, referral monsters.”

Photo by Ben Sweet.

What do businesses need to know about that ideal customer?

The obvious questions to start with are gender, age and location. Then take a look at socio-economic and family status, and consider education level. What do these people like to do in their spare time? How do they choose to spend their money?

The end result should be something like “a woman in her 30s with at least one child in elementary school – family income around $100K – in Kingston, Ontario – enjoys time outdoors – takes a lot of pictures of family, friends and locations” (perhaps this customer is for a framing business, or photo printing/camera accessories business.)

Some businesses will have multiple avatars, depending on the business model and target markets.

I am not an expert in creating customer avatars, though I am happy to support their creation through brainstorming and directed conversations. 

For help, and to learn more about customer avatars, try this helpful website that can walk you through creating those avatars in order to inform your marketing and content needs: 

Once you’re clear on who you’re selling to, it’s time to think about their pain points.

How are you solving a problem your ideal customer has?

Sometimes these customers don’t even know that they have a problem until you tell them.

Maybe your internet is slow, and you just think that’s all you’re paying for (from your ISP), when really your household wiring is bad, or your super-awesome wi-fi access point isn’t really that awesome. Or maybe your computer is old and slow. Enter a network specialist who will come and check out your current setup and tell you where the problems lie.

Who knew that was a service? 

Or maybe your healthy-eating, and workout routine isn’t getting you results. Enter a nutritionist who can analyze your body composition and your lifestyle, and offer realistic and actually helpful steps to take or meals to try to get you back on track.

Potential customers have to be shown these options – and that’s where targeted marketing comes into play. 

Knowing who you’re targeting (building the avatar) is the first step – knowing where to find them also takes work.

As a business, you have to recognize where your target audience spends their time: how do they consume their news, where do they go, and how can you reach them? And we all know that pretty much everyone spends time on the internet.

The fictional woman in our avatar could stumble over an ad for a new cell phone with a better camera, or some accessories to support her hobby family photography. So when she scrolls past a “better camera” phone ad, or a “tiny tripod for super clear cell phone images” ad on either social media, or in a Google search, she stops and takes a closer look.

This is where copy and content writing shine.

Using keywords and the right style and tone for your ideal customer, your website needs to convince your audience that you know what you’re doing, as well as make them think, beyond a doubt, that your product/service/idea is exactly what they need.

There are, at minimum, two ways you should be getting that information to your customer base. Your website copy, and regular content, usually in the form of a blog.

The website copy is crafted to sell your stuff and inform customers that life will be better after they make a purchase. Less is more with website copy – we all know people have short attention spans. If you don’t capture them in the first few seconds, they’ve already closed the tab and moved onto the next link. Short, punchy sentences, awesome visuals, and links to read more work best on a website home or landing page.

The blog is designed to inform your customers, and prove to them that you are an expert in your field. Articles can offer tips and suggestions inside your business model. How to use products, tips from service businesses, and even some “get to know us” or “behind the scenes” content to really connect with your audience. These articles stand well on their own, and are perfect for sharing on social media, especially if they’re written as evergreen content.

Keywords for your business will feature in your website copy, but more so in blog articles. Finding those keywords can be a process, and creating articles around them will take time. Learn more about keywords for your business here.

If you’re thinking, ‘Boy, that’s a lot of work to just get people interested in my stuff online,’ you’re absolutely right.

But, while things like defining your audience are best left to those at the heart of the business, content writing is easily outsourced.

Using the customer avatar and your well-defined business plan, freelance writers, like myself, can create that content to support your marketing efforts. In fact, supporting businesses in this way is a passion of mine, and I love to share brand stories. 

Do you have a well-established blog section for your website or webstore? I’d love to see! Drop a link in the comments so I can pop over and take a look. Who knows, maybe you’ll inspire me in my writing!

Get in touch if you need help brainstorming content ideas, or if I can take writing tasks like blog articles off your plate. I love writing directly to audiences to help solve their problems and pain points.

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