Audience is everything! Without knowing whom your audience is, there is no way of knowing what kind of content to create, what messaging to use, or what marketing outlets to use. Discovering your unique buyer persona – understanding your audience – is of key importance and should be the first priority in any content development/content marketing strategy.
HubSpot defines buyer persona as “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” One exercise we have found to be helpful is to give your audience a representative – a mascot if you will. Choose a person (or persons) that meets all of the criteria of your ideal customer. This person could be a celebrity, public figure, or someone completely made up. Develop this figure from head to toe, inside and out. Once you have this “mascot” in mind you can use him/her as a metric when producing and marketing your content.
There are three rules for using buyer personas to determine your message: engage, be relevant, & provide value.
Engage – To engage your audience is to evoke an emotional response, which hooks your audience and helps to develop a connection. You know those Budweiser commercials with the puppies and Clydesdales? Yeah, that’s engaging! They capture their audience by evoking an emotional response. Whether you drink Budweiser or not you remember those commercials and you remember the brand. This is an example of B2C marketing, but the idea is congruent with B2B marketing as well. However, in B2B marketing you cannot just post adorable videos of cats and dogs and babies; your content must be relevant to your audience.
Be relevant – Say, you sell data center services and you create a blog about the first trip to the moon. It might be engaging, but has nothing to do with data centers and is not relevant to your audience. If it’s not relevant they won’t take the time to read it. However, if you post a blog about data centers’ impact on the environment, you are engaging your audience with an important, real-life subject that is also relevant to their field. You are taking a topic that people care about and relating it to your brand and/or services. That is what captures your audience and creates and nurtures leads.
Provide value – In order to establish yourself as a thought leader, convert leads into prospects, and turn prospects into loyal customers, you must add value to your audience’s life. Content that is engaging hooks people and pulls them in; content that is relevant keeps them reading. But content that is valuable is what keeps people coming back!
Stay tuned for Buyer Personas – 5 Ways to Add Value