Content marketing has become essential in reaching and connecting with users. However, much of the content published fails to truly connect with audiences on a deeper, more meaningful level.
This is where the concept of people-first content comes in. Content created with the specific needs, pains, emotions and perspectives of readers at the forefront.
But what exactly is people-first content? Why does it matter so much for modern brands? And how can you shift your content strategy to put people front and centre?
This comprehensive guide from the content experts at Reposition covers everything you need to know to embrace people-first content.
People-first content flips traditional content creation on its head. Instead of leading with a focus on keywords, products or services, people-first content starts with putting one’s self in the shoes of potential customers.
At its core, people-first content seeks to provide true value to human readers above all else – before optimising for SEO or conversion metrics. It prioritises identifying and addressing people’s actual questions, struggles, aspirations and emotional states relating to a topic or brand.
Rather than creating generalised, corporate product pages, people-first content offers specific advice, recommendations and insights tailored to different reader perspectives. It gives people the personalised solutions, guidance and community they seek around subjects important in their lives.
People-first content reflects a brand’s deeper understanding of – and caring for – the holistic customer journey. This approach allows you to nurture more authentic relationships with your audience base. You show readers that you genuinely want to assist them in achieving their goals – whether or not they buy from you today.
Reader-focused angles and messaging
Tailored directly to address target reader questions and pain points around a topic.
Empathetic tone and voice
Seeks to relate to customers and “meet them where they are” in their journey with compassion.
Offers specific suggestions tuned to different reader circumstances and preferences.
The goal is to educate and assist
Primarily aims to provide information and clarity that tangibly helps readers make progress.
Non-promotional benefits focus
Centres on communicating universal real-world value from a solution or product.
Made to be easily consumed on small screens with short paragraphs and scannable sections.
Review-centred credibility building
Incorporates validation from other customer experiences to reinforce claims.
Adopting a people-first approach to your content is vital for aligning with modern consumer expectations and establishing true authority around subjects. Here are some key reasons it should be central to your strategy:
Resonates With Today’s Audience Mindset
Modern consumers have zero patience for overly sales-oriented, generic content. They expect brands to clearly understand their position and provide utility suited exactly to their situation. People-first content matches today’s preference for authentic brand interactions focused on actually assisting audiences.
Breaks Through The Noise
Relevant, valuable information tailored specifically to customers cuts through the overwhelming volume of content they engage with daily. People crave content that gets them – and provides real solutions. People-first content gives your brand visibility despite intense competition.
Builds Credibility And Trust
When you consistently create content that puts providing value to readers first, you organically build authority and trust. Audiences come to rely on your content and brand to help them navigate important subjects. This credibility strongly fuels conversions over time.
Enhances Brand Reputation
The empathy, understanding and assistance at the core of people-first content fosters incredibly positive brand associations. Consumers remember the content and brands that meaningfully helped them. In turn, this enhances reputation across channels and organic word-of-mouth exposure.
Supports More Informed Decision-Making
People-first content educates audiences at all stages of their journey – allowing them to make fully informed decisions aligned with their needs. When customers better grasp their options, they’re more likely to appreciate the value in your offerings.
Lays The Groundwork For Long-Term Loyalty
When you consistently create content with customers’ real needs in mind first, you build relationships on shared understanding and care for their success. You move from being simply a company selling something to a trusted ally on their journey. This loyalty pays dividends through retention and referrals.
Transitioning to people-first content requires an in-depth examination of your audience’s perspectives, questions and emotions around topics. But the impact on brand affinity and conversions makes this upfront research incredibly worthwhile.
Follow these best practices from the content experts at Reposition SEO to guide your shift:
Map Your Buyer Personas And Journey
Start by carefully detailing your distinct audience subgroups and the customer journey for each. Analyse the goals, questions, objections and emotional states associated with each persona and stage. Understand exactly who you’re creating content for and what problem they’re trying to solve.
Conduct First-Party Research
Leverage surveys, interviews and consumer analysis tools to gather direct input from your different audience segments. Learn precisely the types of information and content presentation they find most valuable at each point in their process. Let their explicit feedback guide your framework.
Analyse Reader Feedback Data
Review support tickets, product reviews, chat logs and other sources of customer commentary to uncover need gaps your content should fill. Identify where readers are still seeking clarity and tailor content expressly to address those areas.
Embrace An Empathetic Mindset
Approach the research phase by putting yourself in the shoes of each persona – seeking to deeply relate to their emotions, questions and concerns around a subject. Imagine you need to solve these same problems yourself using available information. This mindset shift fuels optimal people-first ideation later.
Outline Content Tailored To Personas And Journeys
Map out document ideas, themes, angles and calls to action directly tailored to align with different buyer subgroup needs at each journey stage. Ensure you have content mapped to assist audiences just entering your funnel right down to those evaluating final purchase criteria.
Optimise For Readability And Assistance
When writing and structuring people-first content, obsess over crafting easily scannable sections, simple language explanations and concrete advice formatted for mobile. Ensure readers immediately grasp how the content can assist their progress.
Spotlight-Specific Use Cases
Incorporate varied real-world examples and “day in the life” spotlights illustrating exactly how different customers benefit from your offerings. Seeing the tangible value others receive encourages readers to envisage solutions fitting their own needs.
Prioritise Visual Demonstrations
Communicate value and recommendations through visual charts, idea frameworks, comparison tables, diagrams and other engaging graphics tailored to reader journeys. Visualise advice through modal examples reflecting personas.
Cultivate An Advisory Voice And Tone
Write all content from the perspective of a caring but knowledgeable advisor seeking the best solutions for readers’ needs – not a salesperson. Craft the tonal voice to feel like personalised advice from a trusted, expert ally focused solely on the reader’s interests.
Promote Content To Aligned Personas
Distribute created content through the channels and communities most relevant to each distinct persona group. Tailor messaging in promotions to resonate given their emotional states and questions. Funnel users to the pieces most valuable for advancing their progress.
Shifting your approach to orient content around customers first – rather than products, keywords, or vanity metrics – represents a profound philosophical pivot. But it’s an essential evolution to build authentic engagement and loyalty in a modern landscape defined by empowered consumers with limitless choices.
People now expect every piece of content to clearly understand their position and provide actual assistance in making meaningful progress. As their trusted guide through important subjects, you become part of readers’ journeys – driving exponential value for them while elevating your brand in the process.
At Reposition SEO solutions providers in London, our team leverages years of consumer psychology study, qualitative analysis and conversion optimisation to help clients reimagine their content experiences through a people-first lens. Learn more about our audience-centred content and personalisation services by connecting today.