Identifying personas for your business and/or brand is crucial to help you paint a clear picture of your target audience. It’s only then that you will be fully able to understand how to relate to them on a human level.
You can find examples and more on why you should create personas in our Digital Marketing Blueprint.
Once you have your buyer personas created, you’ll need to apply them in a way that can impact your business. We discuss how you can do this through content marketing.
5 Ways a Persona Can Boost Your Content Marketing
People don’t buy things just to buy things. People buy things to fulfill emotional needs. As strange as that sounds, it makes a lot of sense. Think of it this way: you don’t buy the new iPhone because you want to drop nearly $1,000 on a cell phone; you buy it because you want to feel connected, up-to-date, and in-style. You can also think about the way we buy coffee. Sure, a lot of us enjoy the taste, but why might you take the cafe ambience or the other patrons of the shop into account when choosing your morning go-to? Whether you’re in search of a quick cup or a slower experience, you’re looking to satisfy an emotional need.
So it’s important that you look at those buyer personas that you created for your business, identify the pain points of that audience, and provide resources for solving them.
Let’s say one of your personas is Rachael Donald, a senior manager at a property management company. She is hoping to move up to director level in the next year, but she is worried that her CEO doesn’t think she is leadership material. It’s the thing that keeps her up at night.
It’s so important to understand the personas you create. Your business can answer your buyers’ needs and feed their drives by playing to the emotion that underlies them. In the above example, Rachael craves confidence in herself as a leader. After creating and understanding buyer personas, you can follow up with meaningful content that’s designed to cater to specific feelings and to solve specific problems.
For the Rachael persona, you could write a blog titled “5 Things Top Leaders Use to Increase Efficiency Among Team Members.” This directly addresses helpful tips that allow Rachael to excel at her job, draw together a stronger team, and prepare her for a higher role in the company, all while making her feel confident about herself as leadership material.
People won’t remember you for what you create, but they will remember you for how you make them feel. Tapping into that will show your customers that you are intentional about serving them well through your product or service.
Speak Their Language
In order to connect to and really engage with your target audience—your personas—you need to speak their language. How do you do that?
The way you speak to an old friend from high school will be different from the way you speak to a customer of your business. You naturally change your tone to appeal to different audiences, and you should make this a conscious effort in your content marketing.
One of the hardest things to do is to get a customer to come into your store or to visit your website for the first time. Once they are there, you don’t want to lose them to an irrelevant, boring, or even demeaning tone in your content. You need to capture them so that they keep coming back for more.
And part of capturing your customer is by standing out from the crowd. You won’t find many people who are interested in content that echos everything else from the industry. Once you understand your buyer personas—what they are motivated by what matters to them at the core— you can cut through the noise and distinguish yourself from the crowd. And if you can do that, you have also taken the first step in building trust!
Here’s a bonus nugget of advice that will help you translate words to action: speak to one person at a time. Don’t create content that addresses a room full of people—just speak to Rachael. Then Rachael will keep coming back since you’ve built trust with her and you’ve distinguished yourself—then she will tell others who will tell others. That’s where the magic happens.
Ask the Right Questions
One of the best uses of content marketing is to answer people’s questions. You can spend your day writing blogs full of information, even information that is related to your industry, but if you aren’t listening to your customers and prospects, you’re throwing away a huge opportunity.
Instead of speaking only about your business and what you imagine people want to hear, listen closely to your target audience to learn what they are actually looking for from you. If you can consistently give them what they are looking for, they will come to trust you with their questions and needs.
How do you find out what your audience really wants or needs? Refer to your buyer personas. Create a content map that answer questions that they’d have through each stage of the sales funnel.
Ask Those Questions at the Right Time
While asking questions in general is crucial, asking them at the right time is almost just as such. An example of how this would be applied is through automated emails that speak directly to each kind of your personas.
Let’s say there is a program that requires several applications, inquiries, and/or registration forms upon acceptance. For several years, this program had people complete a lengthy and in-depth registration process online, and to no surprise, there was a lot of fall-off once the long-form came up in the process.
Once you know your personas, you can use automated email series to address questions that people likely have throughout the registration process. As they complete each section online, they receive an email that answers a lot of frequently-asked questions and explains the need and purpose of each portion.
Once the participant is fully registered, and attends the event, a few more emails send out to them. This can help debrief them after their experience and help garner future customers through providing prompts that urge them to write a review and share their experience with friends.
No surprise, is that fall-off in a situation like this drastically decreases, what with there being a guide all along the way. It speaks to their questions, needs, and motivations, and it comes along their buying process and they move through the sales funnel, making it available at just the right time.
Be Where They Are
Finally, building a persona boosts your content marketing by tipping you off to where your audience spends their time. Where are they hanging out online? Once you find out, use that when writing content with one caveat: If you try to be everywhere and address everything, you might as well be nowhere, addressing nothing. You’ll be ineffective if you spread yourself too thin, so choose a focus.
In your research to find your target audience’s whereabouts, you will want to scour the most popular social media sites. These are a great place to start, because they typically yield multiple return visits throughout the day, plus a longer time spent in each session on their site. Here, you’ll be able to search for what kind of sites they enjoy, people they follow (such as celebrities or sports), and more. These are all things you can use in your content to make stronger connections with your audience.
Since each social media site is unique, so it’s not smart to send out a cookie cutter message to all forms of social media. You’ll need to mind the nuances and tailor your content accordingly for maximum impact. Start by thinking about different kinds of content that will easily appeal to your personas. Your options include blogs, podcasts, videos, quizzes, downloadables, and more.
Need Persona-Building Experts? Look No Further!
Each of these five methods of content-boosting strategies fuel your marketing efforts individually, but we believe that they are more powerful when you layer them effectively.
And if the process overwhelms you, we are here to help. Part of being well-rounded online is taking the time to create and implement these personas through a consistent message, and our team at Uptick Marketing has the experience and the time necessary to pour into your buyer personas and content strategy. Contact us today to set up a meeting so we can learn how we can best serve you!