Wouldn’t it be so easy if customers just told us what their pain points were? Like if they could fill out a mini-history of their wants and needs so we could deliver a customized product or service guaranteed to make them happy, that would be great.
Unfortunately, we have to discover those pain points on our own, which involves some detective work. If they aren’t going to tell us directly, the next best thing is to look at what they’re watching and doing, what they pay attention to, and maybe counterintuitively, what they’re not paying attention to.
For example, you sell outdoor fitness equipment and camping gear. Your landing page features top-rated sub zero sleeping bags, carbon fiber snowboards, and a 3-burner camp stove. However, your customer lingers over lightweight backpacks, memory-foam sleeping bag mats, and arch-supporting hiking boots.
The pain point is literally back pain.
Sometimes, by studying what doesn’t work, we find our way to what does. Plane crash investigators unlock the black box to find out what went wrong. Medical examiners study the autopsy results to see how disease ravaged the body. Failure is a valuable learning tool if we’re willing to investigate our mistakes.
It’s easy, and ego-gratifying, to learn from successes. But the brilliant campaigns that customers didn’t pay attention to can tell us even more. Never waste an opportunity to learn from failures. With content creation, this means carefully investigating and comparing the smallest details of each post or video. What’s missing from the first few seconds that could have grabbed attention? How does the lighting, music, dialogue fail to engage the audience? When did viewer retention drop off? The answers to these questions can inform the next creative iteration if we’re open to it.
Likewise, we can find out a lot of data about our customers’ wants by looking at the content they scroll past and analyzing what grabs their attention. Their pain points–what they need–are revealed in those two metrics. We miss the mark when we’re pushing what we want to sell (high end camping gear) and fail to address what the customer is really looking for (a pain-free hiking experience).
As you approach content creation, shift your mindset from “creative” to “researcher.” Play the detective, analyze the data, and uncover the pain points. When you can describe what customers really want, you earn the right to sell.
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