It’s not easy to find the right people who want and need your products.
But if you can nail down and identify your customer’s pain points, you can reach out to and attract the core group of people who crave what you’re selling — the people who need your products and services in their lives, because your products solve a problem that’s been nagging them for so long.
Those people are out there, and you’re ready to help them.
The issue is targeting the right audience with your content, your products, and your services.
You may be attracting traffic, but they’re not converting and leading to sales.
Note: Learn how I used cost effective SEO to drive 34,000 search engine visits in 60 days (for free).
It’s alright. Don’t fret. I wrote this article to help you do just that. You’re going to learn how to zero in on those pain points and cure them for your customers, making you a savior in their eyes, and attracting more business.
This is a major step when developing a thriving content marketing strategy, which leads to a thriving business.
It starts with discovering your customer’s pain points, and by centering your marketing strategy around their needs.
I’ve described four methods in this article. Whether you focus on one or employ them all, I’m certain you’ll be much closer to reaching the people who can truly gain something from what you offer.
These people are waiting for you to come knocking on their doorstep.
You just have to find them.
First, Make Sure You Aren’t Creating New Pain Points
Part of targeting pain points is also making sure that you aren’t creating any new ones – that your sales process is as streamlined as possible.
For example, most people now prefer contactless payment.
If you run a small pop-up store that only takes cash, or even chip-and-pin, you’re creating an unnecessary problem, or pain point, for many customers who are used to having more payment options.
In this instance, you can easily rectify the problem by investing in a mobile point-of-sale device (learn more about mobile POS systems here).
For an online business, the principle is the same. Find a problem you can solve, and solve it without creating any further pain points.
Make sure you’re lead generation funnel is as simple as possible for potential customers to move through. Keep payment options easy and straightforward. Make sure your website is easy to navigate.
This could net you additional income right off the bat.
The “5 Why’s” Method for Finding Your Customer’s Pain Points
This article on LKR Social Media describes “The 5 Why’s Method” as a way to hook more readers into your blog content. I think it’s a great way to find your customer’s pain points as well.
Here’s how it works:
- You determine what your audience is going through, what they’re struggling with.
- You prove to them that you understand it.
- You genuinely care about their problems and want to help them.
- You start with a surface-level issue they need solving, and you ask them “Why?” five times to pull out the pain points associated with it. (Kind of like when you were a kid, asking “Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?” to annoy your parents. Same deal, but with a much more profound purpose.)
Here’s an example from my own business (the format of which was stolen from LKR):
Customers: Business owners.
Surface-level issue they need solving: Their blog content isn’t gaining any traction with their audience.
Me: Why do you want more engaging content?
Owners: To attract potential customers.
Me: Why do you want to attract potential customers?
Owners: To get more sales and make more money.
Me: Why do you want to get more sales and make more money?
Owners: So that my business becomes successful.
Me: Why do you want your business to become more successful?
Owners: So I can take more time off to spend with my family.
Me: Why do you want to take time off to spend with your family?
Owner: So I can do the things in life that truly make me happy, and so I know all the work I have put in hasn’t been for nothing. So I know I’m providing a meaningful, valuable service to people.
What pain points have we discovered?
- Their main issue is getting engagement from their audience through their blog content.
- Their main need is to attract potential customers, get more sales, and make more money.
- Their desired outcome is a successful business, giving them more time to spend with family.
- Their true pain point is not being able to do the things in life that make them happy, and knowing they’re providing meaningful value to their customers.
This is crucial information for a content marketer and business owner. But it’s even more crucial for the audience.
Huh? What do you mean?
Let me explain.
If business owners don’t understand their customer’s pain points, how are these people going to get their problems solved?
The reason they have these problems is because they haven’t figured out how to solve their problems themselves.
So it’s your responsibility, your duty, to identify these pain points and deliver products and services that cure them.
Actions to take:
- Talk to your current customers. Ask them these questions. Have a genuine interest in finding out what problems plague their lives and how you can help them.
- If you don’t have customers yet, run a similar exercise like I did above, and metaphorically come up with your customer’s responses. It may not be concrete insight, but it’s better than winging it.
- Take your efforts to Google. Find Frequently Asked Questions related to your industry. This is a good starting point. FAQs arise because they address common concerns of a general audience. However, they are surface-level, so use them to dig deeper.
It may not be an easy exercise, or a quick endeavor, but it’s vital to the success of your business and the livelihood of the people you serve.
When you think about it this way, your motivation to complete this process will skyrocket.
Just remember: It’s your duty to identify and cater to your customer’s pain points.
That was a powerful method, but let’s move on to a few more that will supplement this exercise.
Find Out What Your Customers Are Reading, and Discover the Problems They’re Trying to Solve
Almost every industry has at least one magazine associated with it. If it doesn’t have a magazine, someone is blogging about it.
Other than entertainment, people read these forms of media to improve their lives and find solutions (i.e. to seek cures for their pain points).
Whether big issues or small, you’ll gain insight into your customers by reading what they read, learning what they’re trying to learn, and tailoring this information to your content, your products, and your services.
(Sidebar: If you’re struggling to build an audience for your content, or haven’t found the right way to start, click here.)
How to find what your customers are reading:
- Do a Google search for trade magazines, such as: + . (“construction management magazine”)
- Do a Google search for blogs discussing your industry, using the same method as #1. (“construction management blog”)
- Hop on Quora and Reddit and do a search for threads on your industry.
- Grab an issue of your local newspaper and scan for stories and sections that would resonate with your audience.
With each medium, identify the pain points afflicting your customers, and incorporate them into your content marketing strategy, marketing efforts, and how you sell your products and services (right down to the writing on the home page of your website).
Up next: Taking advantage of the social web to see what issues people are talking about.
What Are Your Customers Talking About on Social Media? That’s Your Insider Information
If you sift through the wacky cat videos and “11 Things Only 90’s Kids Will Understand” type of content, social media is a tool for people to discuss real issues and problems.
Cultural issues spreads like wildfire. Status updates about pissed off drivers and terrible customer service make their rounds in the social landscape.
Groups form, communities come together, and people discuss some of the most pressing issues plaguing their lives.
These are their pain points, and now you know where to find them.
Head over to the main social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Quora, etc) and do a simple search for your target audience.
Here are examples of searches in the top 4:
From there, look for groups, pages, profiles, and/or hashtags they have formed. Check them out and pay attention to what’s being discussed. You can also chime in if you have some helpful insight to share.
You’ll get a direct route into the minds of the people you serve, and the customers who truly want and need what you have to offer.
What Are Your Customers Searching For on the Internet? (Answer: Solutions to Their Pain Points)
This is called “keyword research.”
A vast number of free and paid services allow you to search for what other people are searching for on the Internet. They also tell you how often those searches are being made.
As marketers and businesses owners in the Internet era, we’re extremely lucky to have this information at our disposal. If we know what people are searching for, we know what problems they need solved. If we know what problems they need solved, we know how to position our products and services to meet their needs.
We know their pain points, and we know how to cater to them.
Here are my suggestions for conducting keyword research:
- Search for keywords and phrases related to your industry (typically 1-3 words in length)
- Fire up an excel spreadsheet and record the top searched keywords and how often they’re searched for
- Don’t worry too much about exact numbers. Use your results to get a relative idea of what is being searched for most often. Those are your key pain points.
- Choose 4-6 keywords or phrases to target in your content marketing strategy
- Take note of how these keywords relate to your products and services
Some free services to use (most services have paid options, as well):
Try out each service, decide which ones you like best, and use them to conduct future research as well.
Keyword research is one of the most powerful market research tools we have at our disposal. Don’t take it lightly.
And definitely don’t skip it (unless attracting more business isn’t really your thing).
A Culminating Conclusion
Your customer’s pain points are the driving forces behind their need for your products and services.
They spark the buying process. They spark the thoughts that go something like, “Man, this has been bothering me for way too long. I need to check out some companies that sell this product. Which company should I choose?”
That company is you. That business is you. That person is you.
But in order for them to find you, you have to cater to their needs with a genuine interest in solving their problems.
Because that’s business. We solve problems for people, they pay us for this service, and the reciprocal exchange of value lives on to serve everyone’s best interests.
It starts with determining your customer’s pain points.
And it ends with happy customers.