When asked how to best begin a strategic plan for content marketing, buyer persona expert Ardath Albee noted that the essential foundation for content marketing is your target audiences or buyer personas. Without a target buyer persona, it’s kinda like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. With a clearly defined persona, you’re crafting the right message that will stick with the right readers.
Why leave your marketing up to chance? In order to create real connections that initiate action with your brand, you need to be targeting your marketing at a customer you know is a qualified lead—someone most likely to want or need your products/services. By specifically identifying and targeting this group or groups, you’ll be able to ensure the content you create is relevant to them.
If you’re part of your business’s marketing team or even working for an agency that does marketing work for clients, buyer personas are a great way to ensure everyone on your team is honed in on the same ideal customer.
Don’t have a persona? Start with these three easy steps.
Creating a Buyer Persona
Dream big. Think of your favorite types of customers. Your best clients. Now imagine if you combined them into one great big super customer—your ideal customer. What is unique about them? What makes them stand out among other audiences? Do you have multiple ideal customers based on multiple service offerings or multiple needs for your products? Use the answers to these questions to narrow in on the right persona (or personas) for your company.
Dig deep. Find out as many demographic and psychographic characteristics of your ideal customer that you can and lay them all out. You can conduct this research with traditional methods like in-person interviews or surveys, or even by auditing your current contact base and using market research to compile key characteristics. Ask yourself great questions like these to discover more about the behavior of your persona.
Now it’s time to take your gathered characteristics and compile them into a personality profile. This can include a variety of facts like name, gender, age, ethnicity, family, education level, hometown, occupation, customer needs, communication preferences, how they prefer to read content, etc. You’ll want to place all of this information (and a stock photo of your new dream customer) into a visually appealing, easily accessible document for you (and your team) to reference. Your target persona should seem almost like a real person when you’re done.
And voilà! Now you have a persona. But how can it transform your marketing technique? You should brainstorm, write and improve your content based on this target.
How Personas Can Boost Your Content Strategy
Cater Your Brand Voice to What Your Persona Will Respond/Relate To
Your brand should have a voice that, when developed and executed well, will stand out to your persona. If your voice and language are able to connect with them, they’re more likely to engage with your company’s content, share it with their friends and ultimately convert.
Use Tools to Target Them Directly
When you’re creating paid digital advertisements or publishing a blog post, there are certain tools or features that will allow you to reach your newly defined persona. Facebook ads and AdWords both have options for targeting ideal characteristics and getting your ads shown to the right people. When you publish a new blog, be sure you’ve targeted the right keywords that align with the interests of your persona. The goal is to get your content to rank in the things that they’re searching for. This might take some deep delving to see what your persona might be searching in your industry.
Reach Them Where They're At
In developing your target persona, you’ve probably realized what platforms they most likely use, enjoy and spend their time using. Do they check email every morning while drinking coffee? Try implementing an email campaign that’s sent during those prime morning hours. Do they love Instagram for visual social engagement? Step up your Instagram content to reach them there.
Create Topic Clusters Based on Your Persona
With your personas, you’ll be able to more effectively create content based on the things they want to read. Topic clusters are the future of content marketing and a great way to strategically organize your website’s content to cater to your audience. These clusters provide a better user experience on your website by connecting similar content to central pages about key topics. This is also great for SEO!
Just like planning for a trip or creating a blueprint, establishing a target buyer persona for your content marketing strategy can help ensure your content is effective and gets where you need it to go. Looking to step up your online presence? Schedule a consultation with our team, we’d love to chat with you about your company goals.
Hearing about growth-driven design for the first time? Learn more about the three pillars of GDD and how this methodology can help you solve your greatest marketing challenges.