Do you use the power of personas in your marketing? If not, you are missing out on one of the most powerful means of segmenting your customers and creating content that connects with them.

Personas are composites of the vital attributes of your customer. They represent specific demographics of your key customers and these fictitious characters are who you craft your marketing messages for. Personas are essential for content marketing because they help you target your content—after all, if your content isn’t targeted well, then it’s wasted. Developing personas will help you speak your customers’ language.

To create personas, you first need to do some research into your customer and find out key details about them—details like their job title, where they get their information, what their level of authority to make decisions is, where do they get their information, what a day in their life looks like, and the pain points in their business.  If you are doing drip or multi-touch campaigns, even understanding where they are in their buyer journey, or what they typically do in that journey, based on who they are.

A great way to find out this information is to make a list of your best customers and prospective customers and ask them these questions. You’ll get the info right from the horse’s mouth, as it were. Another way is to practice social media listening.

Here are two examples of personas and how to target content to them:

“Traveling Tom”
Tom is an IT professional that takes him on the road a lot, traveling from one site to another. He might start the day on his desktop, work off his phone during the day and then finish out his day in his hotel room with his laptop. Since he travels and uses so many devices, Tom stores his data in the cloud and he values services that work on all of his devices. Because of all that travel time, he likes to carry an e-reader and reads e-books. He does not like fluffy content, because he values data, logic, and science.  When you want to speak with Tom, it better be short, sweet, to the point, backed up with solid references, and accurate.  Don’t try to ”salesy” content with this guy!

“Project Manager Patricia”
Patricia works off her desktop and is a Microsoft Office power user. Her monitor has a screen resolution of 1024×768 and she uses the latest Chrome browser. She doesn’t leave her office except for meetings and her pain points revolve around managing her staff during tight deadlines. She responds to offers to save time, and make her life simpler and easier to manage.

Tom and Patricia may be buying the same product from you, but they have very different jobs and very different interests. Accordingly, different messages and content are needed for them. Don’t forget that content for Tom should be packaged on websites and landing pages with responsive design so he can read it on any of his devices. Content for Patricia should address her pain points and demonstrate how your service will help her manage her team more efficiently, so they can make their deadlines.

You might have personas for the frontline people who will use your product or service and personas for the higher-level executives that make the decision to actually buy your service. If you’re selling through the channel, you need two sets of personas: the personas of your resellers and the personas of your products’ end-users. Personas are powerful tools for content development and marketing outreach.  Getting the tone and message right will help you increase your likelihood of conversion, don’t forget this important component in your planning…this is the power of content marketing!

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