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Using Buyer Personas to Boost Your Content Marketing

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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:

  • Who’s your ideal buyer?
  • What demographic characteristics best describe the buyer? These should include:

– Age

– Gender

– Location

– Occupation

– Income

– Marital status

– Education level

– Interests

– Language

  • What does a typical day for the buyer look like?
  • What are the buyer’s roles and responsibilities at work, in the family, or among friends?
  • What are the reasons that prompt the buyer to purchase your products?

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:

  • What are the buyer’s short and long-term goals?
  • What challenges frustrate the buyer the most?
  • What pain points do the buyer need to solve in order to alleviate the frustration?
  • What may be preventing the buyer from addressing those pain points?

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:

  • How much influence does the buyer have in making purchasing decisions?
  • Which individual, group, or organization has an impact on the buyer’s decisions?
  • Where exactly is the buyer in the consideration process?
  • What questions are the buyer likely to ask to fulfill his or her criteria for making a purchasing decision?
  • What obstacles may prevent those criteria from being fulfilled?
  • What keywords will the buyer use to find the information needed to make the final decision?

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:

  • Does the buyer prefer to access content via a mobile device, computer, or another channel or platform?
  • Does the buyer gravitate toward any particular content formats?
  • Does the buyer access content at home or during work hours?
  • How often does the buyer want to receive and view content?
  • How often does the buyer log on to social media websites?
  • Does the buyer have a preference for daily, weekly, or monthly updates?
  • Which sources does the buyer trust the most when seeking content?
  • Which people or events may influence the buyer’s content consumption pattern?

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.

About the author

John Hsu