It’s simple really. You NEED Content Marketing Personas because in order to deliver content that is engaging and relevant to your audience you need to define who that audience is. Creating semi-fictional characters that represent your ideal customers helps you to define them, understand them and market specifically to them.
As a business the creation of these personas allows you to internalise the ideal audience you’re trying to attract. It insures everybody has the same vision providing consistency with your marketing message. Most importantly, understanding your audience means you are creating highly targeted content as a business to attract new customers and drive profitable consumer action.
It’s not a new concept. Businesses have been defining their “typical” target audience and marketing towards them as for as long as business has existed. As marketing evolves and companies are relying more on content strategies to communicate with their audience so is the understanding that for this content to be successful it has to speak directly to the individual. Your content personas will help you design content around who they are, what questions they want answered and just what they are interested in.
The personas you create are representations of the different segments of people who can benefit from your products or services. A Corporate CEO with a disposable income of 500k plus is likely to value different content on different mediums than a stay at home mum who’s main income is from government benefits. However, you still want content created that can target both of these and any other type of potential consumer to your business.
By giving these personas a name, face and personal story you are empowering yourself and your team to relate to them as human beings. You are writing specifically to Stacey, Brad or Anna instead of to the masses. You are starting to think like them and communicate with them in their language.
Before creating these personas you need to assimilate who makes up your database, what their motivations are and what lead them to you. Undertaking a substantial amount of qualitative and quantitative analysis is imperative in your information gathering stage. Your quantitative data will give you the measurable information like ages and income details and your qualitative data is information about the qualities of your personas that can’t be measured like their attitudes, beliefs and pain points.
The information you want to gather to shape your personas should include-
- Educational Level
- Job Status
- The industry they work
- A typical day for them
- What frustrations they have at work
- Income Information
- Whether they are the decision maker in their business
- What is their family situation at home
- Are they the key decision maker at home?
- Social interests
- Where are they likely to get their information from- is it TV, internet, Facebook, Linked in Twitter?
- How are they doing this- mobile, desktop, tablet?
- What are the primary influences to their content consumption?
- Who do they trust to get this content?
The best place to start to gather this information is with your current customer base. It’s likely you are capturing mountains of data about them without even realising. Tapping into your Google Analytics will show where your visitors come from online, what keywords they are using to find you and what tools they are using to get there. It also shows what content they view whilst visiting your site so you can start to gage what interests them.
Social listening is a valuable tool in gathering information about your customers. Social media has revolutionised the way we interact with each other and allows businesses and consumers to have conversations in real-time. As long as you’ve set up your pages correctly each social media medium also allows in depth tracking and analyse of who your customers are.
Facebook insight tools provide data of the people who are either visiting your page or clicking on your ads such as their gender, age, geographical location and primary language. Twitter analytics show primary gender, written language and the basic breakdown of your follower demographics. Linkedin shows what sort of professionals are engaging with you. Pinterest and Instagram will help in retail-orientated in insights.
You can also reach out to your current customers through surveys and questionnaires. They are a great way to collect information anonymously -allowing honest feedback. Consider asking 10 questions that will give you insights on their behavioural drivers, what are their pain points to purchasing and what is their mindset during the process. Ask questions like -When did you realise you need a product service like ours? What hesitations did you have before buying? How were you feeling when you decided to purchase from us?
If you have the budget to do so investing in traditional market research is a fantastic way to get detailed information about your potential consumers. Focus groups or one on one discussion’s are effective as they allow the researcher to understand the participant’s emotions, reactions to questions and the group dynamics.
And lastly speak to everyone in your business that interacts with customers. Whether this is your customer service team that speaks to them on the phone, your social media team that interacts with them online or your business development team that catches up with them in person- anyone who communicates with your customers can provide valuable insights that will help with your content marketing personas.
Once you have this information you can now base your content marketing directly towards these personas. You can create ideal content topics, types and channels that speak directly to the archetypal characters you have established. It means you are now directly speaking to the different types of potential customers to your business.
You can only be successful in your content marketing strategy if you understand your audience and what they want from you. Content marketing personas allows you the deepest understanding possible, increasing consumer engagement and ultimately the customers that come to your business.