Use the 5 Stages of Awareness to Develop Your Content Strategy

Never guess what to write about again

Photo by Felipe Furtado on Unsplash

If it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.

—Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia Cofounder

Copywriter Eugene Schwartz wrote about the 5 stages of awareness in his book, Breakthrough Advertising, in 1966. Today, it’s still one of the most effective frameworks for creating content. If you’re not already familiar, here are the different stages of awareness buyers go through:

  1. Pain Aware — people who are experiencing problems or issues but not any solutions
  2. Solution Aware — those who know they have a problem and potential solutions available
  3. Product Aware — people who know you offer the solutions they may need but have yet to choose your offer
  4. Most Aware — those who know you and trust you

How to Use the 5 Stages of Awareness to Create Your Content Strategy

If you Google “content strategy,” you’ll get millions of results. That just proves how vital creating content is in today’s hyper-competitive markets. One of the quotes I keep going back to is from Mark Schaefer. He said…

Content is no longer the finish line. It’s the starting line.

And that’s true. If you are not writing blog posts and sharing them on social media, you’re fighting a losing battle. Why? Because you’re not even in the competition to begin with.

Step 1: Decide on One Product/Service

Start with one product/service that you want to focus on for this quarter.

Step 2: Create a Table With the 5 Stages of Awareness as Individual Rows

At this step, just take out your notebook or open up a spreadsheet and create a table that looks like this…

5 Stages of Awareness Worksheet
5 Stages of Awareness Worksheet

Step 3: Add Keywords or Phrases Used for Each Stage

The next step is to add keywords or phrases people use at each stage. For example, for people who are unaware of your company and brand, what do they search for online? What do they ask their friends?

Example: Magnet App

It is easier to explain this with an example. So, I’ll use an app that I absolutely love. It’s called Magnet. If you have a Mac, go ahead and get it.

Keywords or Phrases People Use

Getting started with this is difficult for most people because they are so used to only thinking about the product aware and most aware stages.

5 Stages of Awareness — Pain Aware Example
5 Stages of Awareness — Pain Aware Example
5 Stages of Awareness — Solution Aware Example Content
5 Stages of Awareness — Solution Aware Example Content

Step 4: Map Your Existing Content

At this point, if you’re like most businesses, you probably don’t have content at stages 1 to 3. And that’s okay.

5 Stages of Awareness Template Filled Out
5 Stages of Awareness Template Filled Out

Step 5: Create Content to Fill the Gap

Start with writing written content to fill the content gap — articles.

Step 6: Repurpose Your Content

Once you finished an article and posted it on your website’s blog, it’s now time to think of repurposing your content.

  • How would you post it on social media?
  • Can you make an infographic out of it?
  • What about a video?
  • Can you use that video on social media as well?
  • What about adding the video to your blog too?
  • Can you take the audio of the video and turn it into a podcast?

Step 7: Distribute Your Content

While this may seem implicit, I found that a lot of people still believe that once you publish some blog posts on your website, people will find it and get tons of traffic.

Step 8: Analyze Performance

Remember the 10,000-hour rule?

Step 9: Improve and Repeat

After figuring out what works and what doesn’t in the previous step, you now have the data to improve. Without the information, you cannot improve.

Marketer, freelancer, husband | The Startup, Better Marketing, The Ascent, PGSG | Find out how I grew my organic traffic by 110% in 5 mo:

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