What is the 20% Rule?
First off, I’m not talking about the 80/20 rule of where 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. I’m talking about the 20% rule, now let’s jump in.
If you really think of the core of content marketing, it’s to build trust and authority. I know what you’re thinking, “Alex! Don’t bore me with another build trust blog”. I promise you I won’t. I was reading a book called “The Ultimate Sales Machine” by Chet Holmes and one thing he said in the book stood out really heavy to me. Roughly saying “at any time about 20% of your target audience is looking to buy”. That is extremely powerful when you apply the concept to content marketing!
How to Apply the 20% Rule to your Content Marketing
If you really dissect what Chet Holmes says, “at any given time”, this really means that at any time someone might be down your buying funnel, but no one is at the same level. Roughly, everyone is at a different buying cycle than the last person. You also have to consider that at any given time someone has a problem that they are researching and they aren’t finding you! Yes, I know it seems obvious when you think about it, but it’s true non-the-less.
What you have to do:
1. Map out your entire buying cycle
I mean from the second your persona thinks that he/she may have a problem to all the information they need in order to make a serious buying decision and even down to the price and benefits. You have to map out every single little detail. I will get into the details below.
2. Know where your audience is hanging out
3. Continuous Research
What do I mean by Mapping Out your Entire Buying Cycle?
To Quote Donald Rumsfeld
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know” ~Donald Rumsfeld
If you know how people search the internet, they will go from information to information just jumping around. There is no linear process on how people behave. When one of your potential customer / client has a problem, they want a solution. It’s your goal to be in front of them at the right time with the answer.
Think of your clients and customers. I’m sure by now you’ve put together their entire buying personas. You also have a list of how to create evergreen content. Why can’t you just put everything down on paper? You could, there’s no doubt about that, but when you do it you have holes. Just because you have all of the information on FAQs, it doesn’t mean that you have your funnel mapped out. It’s not your typical awareness funnel, it’s from the buyers or your client’s perspective! That’s right! Look at your content from the buyers’ perspective.
Step 1: Lay it all out
There is this amazing Ted Talk by Tom Wujec, on if you have a problem “First, tell me how you make toast”. The best thing you could do is get your entire team together and draw out how each individual thinks that they see the customer or potential client getting to your website and reaching a conversion.
At the end of the exercise, try to create content for every step of the funnel. I don’t mean, “step 1 the visitors goes here”. I mean write valuable content so that the visitors can naturally and organically keep hitting your information on your website. This is where you can take all of your FAQs & FUQs and plug them in.
Step 2: Where is your audience?
A lot of times people will make content and hope that their audience will come to them. I’m sorry, but it’s not the field of dreams where “if you make it they will come”. It’s really, “if you make and promote it, then if it’s really good, they might show up…maybe”. Let’s face it, driving traffic isn’t easy, with the sheer amount of content that is published on a regular basis, you have to know:
a. Where your visitors are located? Not physically, more so on the internet.
b. What blogs are they reading?
c. What websites, forums, social media platforms are pull up for the FAQs, FUQs and questions your potential clients are asking?
Your goal is to gather as much information as you possibly can on the location of your audience.
Always keep tabs on where your audience is hanging out. You want to make sure you’re active and engaged on the social media platforms they are a part of.
Step 3: Research what your audience is Looking for.
A lot of times, we end up getting so caught up in what we think is right, we stop paying attention to the audience and what their true needs are. Let me put it this way, you wouldn’t go to a lake to fish where there were no fish and you wouldn’t use bait that the fish didn’t like. So, always keep in mind that you want to really look around for information that the audience wants and needs.
By mapping out what you’re going to be writing about, where you can use the information and how to find new information you can easily create content that will give you some evergreen results.
Please share this information with your friends, family, coworkers and anyone else you think could benefit.