When you set sail on your journey towards effective content marketing, one of the things you always have to keep in mind is the desire that your audience holds most dear.

Knowing this, or setting out to discover this, should be one of the most important milestones you set up in your content marketing strategy.

The Key to Unearthing Desires:

In Dr. Stephen Covey’s legendary book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he lists the #2 Habit as: ‘Begin With The End In Mind’.  This is a very powerful habit when applied to your messaging because you are incorporating your audience’s ultimate desire into your storytelling, which is sure to lock in their attention.

It helps to place yourself in the shoes of your audience and ask yourself,

“What change do I want to see in my life right now?”

Based on the pains or struggles your personas face daily, you can start to get a clear picture of what types of changes people will have to go through in order to live what they consider ‘their ideal lifestyle’.

By  beginning with the end in mind and focusing your content creation on your audience’s ultimate desire, you can create stories that fully captivate your audience.

I always like to use the weight loss example because it’s something many of us, okay all of us, can identify with. Say your audience is middle age males, who are about 10 – 30 pounds over-weight, who feel their energy levels slipping.

Their pains and struggles could be mental (Self-conscious or borderline depressed) or physical (low back pains, energy deprived, easily short-winded).  Begin to put yourself in their shoes and think, or just ask them, about what their desires are for their health and fitness.

They might say something like, I want to be 20 pounds lighter, more toned, and in better condition when it comes to cardio.  The next thing to think about is why they crave this desire to be a reality.  They may want to be in better shape or have more energy in order to spend more time and be more present with those they care about most.

When you understand the ‘why?’ behind your personas desires you can then craft the best story to tell them that will help encourage them into a place of action where they can begin moving towards the goals they wish to achieve.

REMEMBER: You want to communicate to your audience in a genuine way where your providing stellar value to their lives is of the utmost importance.  You never want to do it from a stance of manipulation, not only will your audience sniff it out right away, but it will lead to the destruction of your content strategy and your reputation online.  If you pursue adding value to the lives of others in this way, you won’t have to worry.

POLL: What are some desires that your target audience holds close to their hearts?