One of the top marketing struggles many businesses face is producing enough content. Another is creating content that actually engages.
Have you ever posted a blog or sent an e-newsletter you thought was your best piece of work only to be met with the sound of crickets?
Why did this happen? You spent time crafting that masterpiece, got all your major messages and keywords in place, maybe even appeased the boss by integrating the top features of your organization’s newest product or service, and wrapped up with a gentle call to action. Still no one clicked.
How do you get around this and create content that engages and maybe even gets people talking? Enter…the buyer persona.
Buyer personas: what are they?
What is a buyer persona? It’s a prototype of your customers. It identifies the individuals who may be interested in your brand’s solution (product or service), but are either currently shopping your competitors, are still in the research phase, or don’t know a solution to their problem even exists (yet, that is).
It’s a prototype you create from the research you conduct about potential buyers via direct interviews and behaviors (online and off).
Some marketers believe insights shouldn’t be gathered from existing buyers, only from those who didn’t complete the buying cycle. While this is incredibly important, existing customers were once in that cycle too and may have considered a competitor’s product or have been influenced by other factors. Their journey can provide powerful insights. Studying both of these groups will provide valuable information. Why?
Buyer personas: why you need them
Most buying decisions are driven by emotions initially then rational kicks in and things like price and specific needs become the drivers. Other factors can also run interference on the buying process…a spouse’s disapproval, politics, conflicting priorities, and the list goes on.
Once you know the pathways your buyers take to get to your business, what influences their emotions and rational, the questions, concerns and fears they have around it, and how they ultimately decide to buy, you can use this to plan your content marketing strategy. These insights are gold mines for content marketing.
Keep in mind, buyers on average are now consuming roughly 10 pieces of information before deciding to purchase a product or service. Most complete up to 70 percent of the buying journey before even contacting your organization. Content that focuses on answering your buyer’s questions and provides them value will build trust and credibility. Plus it makes creating content a breeze.
Using the data, you can identify the content you need to create, direct your PR efforts by identifying which media outlets your buyer’s trust, and outline your distribution channels by uncovering the social networks they use.
So get out there and talk to these folks to find out what they want and need, then create, create, create. If you don’t know how to find these people, the next post will cover how to identify your buyers.