Pain Triggers: How To Reach Buyers Exactly When They Need You

This is the exact framework I use to find "high-intent" content topics my audiences are actively searching for.

What if you could “hack” your marketing with buyer psychology?

Here’s how to do it:


Let’s break down what that means…

The 5 stages of audience awareness

For every problem your product solves for your best customers, those customers go through the same five problem awareness stages.

1/ Unaware ………………… Don’t know there’s a problem
2/ Problem Aware ………. Know there’s a problem
3/ Solution Aware ………. Know there are solutions
4/ Product Aware ……….. Know about your solution
5/ Most Aware …………… Know why you’re the best

These 5 stages of audience awareness come straight from Eugene Schwartz’s “Breakthrough Advertising” (58 years old & still a copywriting classic).

How to reach buyers at the right time

The ultimate goal of a framework like this is simple:

Reach potential customers when they’re most likely to take action.

To do that, you need to be able to recognize the PAIN TRIGGERS that take them from 1 → 2 on the scale.

Here’s what it looks like:

Unaware → PAIN TRIGGER → Problem Aware

It’s simple really.

Most folks are just going about their day, scrolling TikTok, and living life. Until…

💣 BOOM 💣

Something painful happens.

  • Their PPC campaigns are tanking.
  • Their new user growth decreased MoM.
  • Their top competitor just raised a round of funding.
  • Their coffee machine breaks (sadly just happened to me).

They’re now fully aware of the problem at hand. They don’t know how to solve it yet, but they’re ready to start looking for solutions.


When they’re on the hunt for solutions, position yourself as one of them. They may not be ready to buy right away, but you can still become part of their consideration set. And once you’re in the ball game,

Here’s what you can do:

  • Brainstorm the big problems your product best solves
  • Write down the triggers that “expose” that problem
  • Ask your best customers why they signed up
  • Ask your sales team what prospects say
  • Ask your CS team what users ask for
  • Add to to your pain triggers list

Once you have a list — congrats — you now have the seeds of a product-focused and customer-focused content roadmap.

I’ll save that part for another day ⚡️

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Written by…

Josh Gallant

I help B2B SaaS companies grow with SEO.

Big on building scalable systems & frameworks for growth. I write about how B2B SaaS companies can unlock better results from organic search. Follow me on LinkedIn for more.

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