Content Marketing Blog

Your Audience Is the Hero; Write their Story

Sheetal Pinto - Thursday, July 13, 2017

A User Story is a Key Aspect of Content Strategy
Ask content marketers about their biggest challenge. Most will agree: creating content that accurately identifies the needs of their target audience is the most difficult part of their job. Using mere guesswork in the ideation process without strategic thinking and research often leads to content that does not resonate with the reader, and ultimately fails to get conversions. One powerful and highly beneficial tool that helps to eliminate assumptions that marketers make on behalf of their target audience is the user story.

It was from the software industry that the concept of user story came into being, but the technique has now proved valuable across all industries. User story as a tool gained traction when IT companies noticed a disconnect between the software features created by their developers and the actual requirement of the end users. To bridge this gap, they introduced a tool called user story, compelling creators to write down the persona of the target audience, and ask how their software benefits the end user. The charm of this tool is that the story answers all the important questions in a succinct manner—often, in one sentence.

How User Stories Enhance Your Content Marketing

User story is a popular technique in content marketing today. The important aspect to remember is that every piece of content – whether it is a blog post, infographic, white paper or instructional video – has to meet some specific customer needs. Often, content marketers are guilty of producing content that is self-indulgent, and offers no real value to the reader. To avoid this pitfall, creating a user story for every piece of content is essential. Many of those who already use the tool simply write down their user stories on sticky notes.

Before writing an article, fill in these blanks:
As a ……., I want to……, so that I can………..

Answering this simple one-sentence story enables you to stay focused on the audience. If we were to create a user story for this particular article you are reading, this is how we would fill in the blanks:

As a content marketer, I want to read about the technique of employing user stories, so that I can bring precision and better results to my content strategy efforts.

The user story technique helps you to achieve clarity on who, what and why:

  • WHO is the target audience: Using the tool allows you to determine who is your target reader. You can make this part as descriptive as you like.
  • WHAT need does it address: Always clearly articulate the purpose of a particular piece of content.
  • WHY should the audience care: What value the article brings to the reader is a key question to answer.

User stories need not follow a rigid structure; you can tweak them to meet your needs. However, to find success, they must answer the above 3 critical questions.

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