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Effective content marketing involves reaching out to a specific group of consumers, addressing their pain points, and providing solutions to their problems. You can’t achieve good results unless you have a profound understanding of your prospective buyers. One effective way to gain in-depth insights into your target audience is to create buyer personas. Well-formed buyer personas enable you to speak to your potential customers in a more personal manner and deliver content that’s specifically tailored to their unique needs. Here’s how you can use buyer personas to take your content marketing to the next level.
Building Your Buyer Personas
Image via Flickr by caccamo
The process of developing buyer personas can vary depending on your marketing opportunities and challenges. However, it generally involves the following steps:
Envision Your Ideal Buyer
Your ideal buyer should be the person who’s likely to benefit the most from your content marketing efforts. In order to build a persona to represent this person, you have to create a character sketch based on answers to these questions:
– Marital status
– Education level
Consider the Buyer’s Goals and Challenges
This includes the specific objectives and challenges that the buyer may encounter in his or her life. Consider the following questions:
After identifying the buyer’s most pressing objectives and challenges, it’s a good idea to create brief statements to illustrate how he or she will communicate those concerns. Use the persona’s voice and speak in a simple manner.
Understand the Buyer’s Role in Making Buying Decisions
It’s also important that you have a clear idea of the buyer’s relationship with other people in his or her life who may be involved in making buying decisions. By answering the following questions, you can determine the best way to communicate with the persona and uncover other personas you should target:
Identify the Buyer’s Communication Preferences
The next step is to try to understand the buyer’s content preferences, including his or her preferred formats, delivery channels, and frequency of content consumption. You can identify those preferences by asking these questions:
Using Buyer Personas in Your Content Marketing
Create Content Based on the Buyer Persona
After developing buyer personas based on your target consumers’ identities, pain points, lifestyles, decision-making abilities, and content preferences, you can proceed to create content tailored to those personas.
Before writing the content, you should create a long-tail keyword that the persona’s likely to use when searching for product information. For instance, Diana is a housewife who likes kitchen appliances that are easy to use. If you’re selling kitchen appliances, a great long-tail keyword to use is “easy-to-use kitchen appliances.”
Then, create content based on that long-tail keyword. It’s important that you don’t make it too salesy because the persona may only be in the awareness stage of the buying cycle and need only general information at this point. So, the topic of your first blog post can be something like “5 Easy-to-Use Kitchen Appliances That Will Make Cooking Easier and Quicker.” Make sure the post is conversational and optimized for the long-tail keyword.
Promote Your Content
If Diana uses Facebook regularly, you should promote your content there. Even if she isn’t proactively looking for the kind of content you’re posting, you can still attract her attention and interest. It’ll make your brand name known to her and possibly generate engagement when she needs your products in the future.
Use a Call to Action
After gaining Diana’s attention and getting her to read your blog post, you should use a call to action to guide her toward conversion. Otherwise, she may just forget about your brand after reading your content. By encouraging her to complete a form to get more relevant content or subscribe to your blog, you can start a conversation, provide more value for her, and stay top of mind with her.
Nurture the Persona
Once Diana responds to your call to action, you can start nurturing her with more quality content that appeals to her unique interests and needs. Since you already know her needs and preferences, you can create the next article based on her list of long-tail keywords. If she likes special offers, you can send her an exclusive offer to give her extra motivation to buy your products. Do whatever you can to keep the conversation going.
Developing buyer personas shouldn’t be a one-off effort. The buying behaviors of your target consumers can change over time due to changes in technological, economic, and other trends. You need to update your buyer personas from time to time in order to attract and engage your customers more effectively.