Personas for Content Marketing: What, How & Why?
Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Enterprise content marketing is easy; creating and publishing content is relatively fuss-free with the variety of online platforms and tools available to the marketer today. One can start developing content by writing on trending topics, or the company’s accomplishments, or even mention day to day activities and updates.
But the real question is: how effective is your content and how persuasive is it?
As we suggested earlier, today we have a number of channels, platforms, and tools to reach the end customer – the data consumer, directly. Utilising analytics, artificial intelligence, and programmatic advertising, today’s marketer is better equipped for one to one (1-1) conversations with and targeting of the customer.
However, when measured in the cold light of day, many marketers recognize grudgingly that their marketing investments have not been effective and delivering value in acquiring, retaining and growing the customer value.
Resources, effort, and budgets must be cost-efficient and not wasted. To maximize your marketing spend and effort, it’s imperative to create and pin down your buyer persona specifically curated for your own business and customers.
Personas are digital representations – using a mix of speculation and real data – of your customers, stakeholders, and audience. They’re fundamental to marketing because without knowing them, you will never be able to offer anything other than a generic message that is designed to ‘catch-all’ and hope that it resonates with the majority of your audience.
By investing effort and resources into understanding your target audience and creating representative personas, the productivity in marketing efforts increases significantly according to qualitative studies.
Today with the benefit and advent of technology including AI, machine learning, analytics and social media listening, the marketer is able to profile and take into consideration who their customers/ audience really are; what they’d like to accomplish, what their goals are, and just how they behave whenever they are online or on your website.
Best practising organizations are using buyer personas, backed by solid research, to improve enterprise-wide understanding of customers. Creating effective touch-points, which act as links to the multiple silos customers and prospects pass through.
With the tsunami of data that enterprises now collect (consciously or unconsciously), we can develop a broad picture of your customers. But narrowing it down to three to five (3-5) generic types would be beneficial in the immediate term.
These are the must-haves of your persona:
Job title, roles, and responsibilities
Company industry and location
Life outside work and household income
What content do they consume
What are their usual pain points and how to solve them
What do they purchase
Common objections they might have to products or services
Here’s a basic example from Clear Voice:
Here's a detailed example from Buyer Persona Institute:
As you can see, there are many ways to create a buyer persona that will work best for your business. The most important thing to keep in mind when developing them is to not overthink them too much once you have the research and to make sure they seem natural.
Why is developing a persona important?
Personas save you time and money. They provide insights that enable you to make intelligent decisions. Everything from what content to develop, what excites one persona from another to what effective channels, modes and platforms of marketing to utilize means that the marketer today can make agile, and bottom-line driven decisions to benefit the business.
According to several studies, B2B companies who have implemented best practices on becoming customer and buyer-focused have consistently outperformed their competitors. In their efforts, buyer personas were a crucial component of an overall plan to guide their enterprise towards customer-centricity. By understanding one’s target audience also means that you are more in-tune and nimble to changing market trends and requirements.
What does this mean for you then?
You now have the power to create curated content and communications for your “true” audience with reduced resources and time spent. This leads to efforts that actually bring in conversions.
It takes time and effort to properly research and flesh out buyer personas but each persona should be curated with end audience and goals in mind. It’s crucial that you understand them individually as it gives you a much clearer sense of your audience and allows you to effectively tailor your content strategy.
We understand that building and incorporating personas in your content strategy can be a time-consuming action. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you develop effective personas or content marketing strategies, contact us at email@example.com