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The JTBD formula for content marketing
Marketing Powerup #49: Level up your content by understanding your audience's situation, pain point, and desired outcome.
Hello, and welcome to Marketing Powerups! ⭐️
Today's powerups include:
Automatic captions on your videos.
How one media placement led to 1,600 customers.
The JTBD formula for content marketing.
Ready? Let's go! ⭐️
🎖 Create on-brand content at scale
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From content creation to creating copy and managing campaigns… you’ve got a lot going on! And that work doesn’t stop when you press “launch.”
It’s why more marketers are using Copy.ai (the sponsor of today’s newsletter) to automate tasks that usually take hours but now take minutes.
With Copy.ai, you can quickly generate on-brand content at scale for any campaign.
⭐️ The JTBD framework for content marketing
If there is one framework that has dramatically improved my marketing, it’s the Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) theory.
JTBD theory specifies a consumer “hires” products or services to meet a “job” (what that individual tries to achieve in a certain situation).
Primarily used for innovation in product development, JTBD can be applied to content marketing, too. Just substitute “audience member” for “consumer.”
Let me dig further into how you can apply the JTBD to whip your content marketing into shape. I’ll also share examples from well-known companies to help you better understand the concept of JTBD for content marketing.
The JTBD formula
The secret sauce to applying the JTBD framework in your content marketing strategy is to figure out these three things:
Your customer’s situation (when)
Your customer’s pain point (what)
Your customer’s desired outcome from finding a solution to that pain point (why)
The when, what, and why combine to form the how: How can your audience member get their problem solved? To put it in a JTBD way, how can your audience member get their job done?
With each content asset, fill in the blanks in this formula to describe the job:
When I (audience member) ______________ (current situation),
I want to ______________________ (pain point),
so I can __________________ (desired outcome).
The classic example of the JTBD is the drill. People don’t buy drills because they love the sound they make or how they make you feel powerful when you pull the trigger.
People “hire” a drill to usually make a hole in the wall to hang a picture frame or curtains.
The JTBD formula for this example is as follows:
When I want to hang a picture frame, I want to make a hole on the wall, so I can easily place my picture frame hook into place on the wall.
While marketers are not in the business of making holes on the walls (unless you sell drills!), you do make content. Using the JTBD framework for content marketing can be as simple as asking, “What does the audience want to be able to do their ‘job?’” To be more precise, “What kind of content does the audience want to consume to accomplish their ‘job’?”
Applying the JTBD to content formats
As a content marketer, the trick is to pin down the jobs your audience members will hire your content to do. The JTBD formula helps marketers create content that resonates with the audience because it fulfills your needs. If you continue doing that, it won’t be long before they hire your products or services.
But how do you apply the JTBD to some common content formats?
Blogs (e.g., Wealthsimple)
Wealthsimple provides smart investing tools and personalized advice for retirement and other long-term financial goals. Their blog is full of tips and gues on personal finance topics, such as retirement, mortgages, credit cards, and more.
Take their article, Retirement Planning: A Step-by-Step Guide. The self-explanatory headline spells out the post’s JTBD formula:
When I don’t know how to start saving for retirement, I want to look for simple ways to plan for my retirement, so I can feel better and move toward my future confidently.
Podcasts (e.g., Superpath)
“Content, Briefly” is a podcast show hosted by Jimmy Daly, Founder of Superpath. It’s a show for content marketers to learn how SaaS companies approach content strategy, ops, team structure, and more.
For example, Jimmy chats with Lane Scott Jones, Director of Content Marketing at Zapier, on how she proved a 454% ROI on content. Here’s what the JTBD formula for this looks like:
When I am planning my content strategy for the next quarter, I want to learn how content leaders are proving the ROI of their content for their content strategy plans, so I can feel confident about my next steps and look good to my team and manager.
Videos (e.g., Ahrefs)
Sam Oh, Director of Video at Ahrefs, creates step-by-step video tutorials about content, marketing, and SEO. For example, Ahref’s video on Content Writing for SEO: How to Create Content that Ranks in Google is one of their most popular.
The JTBD formula for this is as follows:
When I am looking for ways to optimize my content for SEO, I want to find a proven step-by-step guide from a company or person I trust, so I can rank my content higher on the search results page and grow my organic traffic.
Free powerups cheatsheet 🔖
I’ve created a powerups cheatsheet exclusively for Marketing Powerups subscribers to create the JTBD formula for your content marketing.
→ Download and make a copy of it here (a direct link with no email required).
✨ Mini powerups
Fun-sized tools, links, and blurbs to boost your marketing.
🎥 Automatic captions on your videos (tool): Adding captions to your videos makes them more accessible and creates a better overall experience for viewers. With Submagic, you can create captions with perfect emojis and intelligently highlighted keywords generated by AI.
📸 How one media placement led to 1,600 customers (article): I love this story from, VP of Marketing at SparkToro and creator of . Her scrappiness, resourcefulness, and persistence resulted in a media placement that led to 1,600 new customers. She shares how you can do the same!
🤑 How Kieran Drew made $142,000 from a course launch in 4 days (thread): Jay Clouse, Founder of Creator Science, breaks down the 5 things Kieran did that resulted in a 6-figure course launch. My favorite one is about building anticipation for the course before building it.
If you enjoyed this, you’d love this Marketing Powerups issue from the archives about how great marketing “upgrades” people in 3 ways (functional, emotional, and social):
That’s all for now, friends!
Have a powered-up day,
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