To make content marketing work, it’s important to understand your audience. But you also have to understand that there are different segments of your audience and different buying stages they are in. That’s why coming up with buyer personas is critical to maximizing the results of your content marketing campaign. Sadly, many businesses choose to ignore the process of developing buyer personas only to see their content miss the mark. If you want to increase the chances of your content marketing strategy succeeding, here are the steps you need to follow to identify the right buyer personas.
Developing Buyer Personas the Right Way
In order for personas to benefit your campaign, you need to make sure they provide information that you can create content around. You can start by looking at your existing customer database, members of communities (blogs, forums, groups), and prospects that your competitors are targeting. This will uncover the various segments in your target audience.
From there you want to develop personas by looking at various factors:
– Demographic (age, salary, location, sex)
– Professional information (job, occupation, family)
– Emotional drivers (needs, wants, pain points)
– Buying stage (research, comparison, decision)
– Traffic sources (blog sites, search engines, social media)
When it comes to B2B content marketing, you need to take extra steps to flesh out the buyer persona. It’s essential that you identify the role that the buyer plays in a company and how much influence they have in the buying decision. For example, it’d make more sense to craft content based on how much impact your solution has on the department rather than talk about how your solution affects the bottom line if the persona doesn’t have the final say.
Map the Buyer’s Journey
The next thing you want to do is to map the buyer’s journey. Every buyer or in this case, persona is at a different stage of the buyer’s journey. There are three main stages which is the research, comparison, and buying stage. Here’s how each stage is step is laid out:
Research – The buyer is looking for information regarding his needs, wants, or problems. This stage is where the buyer will look for educational material and start to identify all the solutions that are available.
Comparison – The buyer will start comparing the solutions that are available. It’s your job here to stand out from your competitors by showcasing your unique benefits, explaining how your solution works, and targeting the right type of buyers.
Buying – The buyer will make a final decision after comparing multiple solutions. In this stage, you need to make sure you have a strong offer. Sometimes the buyer is trying to choose from one or two solutions, so you may need to reiterate your unique benefits. This is where you need to make the final push and win over the buyer.
As you can see, it does take some work to create the right personas. Each persona will also need content specific to what buyer’s stage it is in. This allows you to provide content that’s valuable and relevant to all your major personas. As a result, your content marketing campaign will have a bigger impact and actually move the sale forward instead of acting as filler.