The most important thing that every single business, whether B2B or B2C, must do as part of their content marketing strategy, is to clearly pinpoint their audience and create buyer personas. Knowing WHO you are trying to reach is essential to actually reaching them through content. This sounds like common sense right? Believe it or not many businesses and brands cannot clearly identify their customer. In actuality, you should know them so well, you should even know them by name. Once you really get to know your buyer, like where she shops and what she does for fun, creating content for her will be as easy as talking to a good friend.
A buyer persona is not just another marketing buzzword, but a useful and strategic tool that will help you create content that connects with your audience and develop lasting, more meaningful relationships. Your content should not be one-size-fits-all. You should get as specific as possible in determining who you are trying to reach.
Now that you know you should create a buyer persona, how the heck do you do it? Here are some simple steps for creating buyer personas.
1. Find out the Facts
Finding out specific demographic information about your buyers will help you create more targeted content and help you visualize who they are. A few questions to answer:
- Are they married
- Do they have kids?
- Where do they live (city, suburb, rural)?
- Are they male or female?
- What’s their HHI?
- What’s their education level?
- How old are they?
Gathering this factual information will create a realistic picture about their needs, wants and goals.
2. Understand their daily life.
Now that you know the facts, try to put the pieces together of a day in their life. Knowing their habits, lifestyle and daily activities will help you create a consistent message with content that is truly useful and makes their lives easier.
- Are they working or at home?
- What do they do for fun?
- What are their hobbies?
- What kind of car do they drive?
- Where do they shop?
- What do they watch on TV?
- What music do they listen to?
- What do they read?
3. Know their job role and function.
Detailed information about a person’s job role and function is crucial for B2B businesses. Understanding your persona’s job level, knowledge, goals, responsibilities and experience is essential for getting to know them and creating content that will address their needs and help them do their jobs better (thus making them look like a star and see you as indispensible to their success).
4. Discover their challenges and needs.
The main goal of your business shouldn’t be just selling products or services, but solving a problem or fulfilling a need for someone. How does your offer help solve a problem in your buyer’s life or job function? Get specific about it and go through a detailed process that identifies how you can help them. For example, if you’re a realtor, one of your personas might be a first time home buyer with limited knowledge of the buying process, financials or home inspections. These are different needs than a second home buyer or a seller, who might want information on interest rates, loan options, renting spaces and staging tips.
5. Identify where they hang out and how they search.
Understanding how your buyer finds and consumes info is essential to creating content that will be found by the right audience. Do they search in Google? Are they active in social media? If so, are they more likely to spend time on Facebook or Twitter, or both? Do they ask friends and family for referrals, or read online reviews from consumers? Do they read industry blogs? Once you know how they find information you can focus on creating content in those channels.
6. Say Hello.
Another great way to get to know your customer is to, well, talk to them! Luckily, social media makes this extremely easy for most companies. Make it a priority to spend several hours a week closely monitoring your audience in social media channels and...actually talking to them! Ask them direct questions about your products or services, their lifestyle and any other information you might want to know about them. You can also send out surveys to current and past customers.
Creating buyer personas is the only way to ensure that you’re creating the right kind of content that meets each of your different audience’s needs and delivering it in the places where they are looking for information. You’ll feel like a proud parent when you’re done creating this wonderful perfect person, so give him or her a name! Are they a Jane or a Jade? Naming your different personas will help personify them and help you create the content they crave.
Need a little jumpstart to help develop your buyer personas? Download our free ebook.