Using buyer personas in content marketing is a must. Especially for us folks in digital marketing.
People love content, spending around 8 hours every day just scrolling through their feeds. The time spent gives brands a great opportunity to attract users online. However, they also have to compete with many other brands at the same time.
This guide to using buyer personas in content marketing will tell you the ways in which you can solve this problem and surpass your competitors.
Content marketing is crucial to businesses of all sizes since it helps build credibility and spread brand awareness. It doesn't matter if your content is a blog article, social media post, or a short video.
If it helps your users in the present, it will ultimately help your business in the future.
Matter of fact, 73% of B2B and 70% of B2C marketers state that content is an integral part of their overall marketing strategy.
By addressing the needs of your target audience, you can also achieve the following results:
Most importantly, a comprehensive content marketing strategy helps you build a loyal customer base.
Buyer personas should be the foundation of all your content marketing efforts. They can enhance your content strategy, improve customer engagement, and deliver impactful messages.
Furthermore, you can find suitable marketing channels to deliver your content.
That said, here are six other reasons why you should use buyer personas in content marketing campaigns.
Personas give you critical audience insights.
Since their creation involves thorough customer research and analysis, they can provide information about your audience like no other.
You can easily understand customer behavior, goals, challenges, interests, and content consumption habits. This will not only allow your marketing team to create valuable content but also establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
Customer segmentation is a process wherein you divide customers based on their similarities into different groups. It can be on the basis of geographics, demographics, psychographics, or other prominent factors.
Personas can enhance the customer segmentation process. This is mainly because they are based on substantial customer data.
You can use Google Analytics along with personas to analyze your content. This will give you an idea about the type of content working for different user segments.
If you are using tools like Delve AI, you can easily map customer journeys.
The customer journey map will give you information about how users discovered your website, what stage of the marketing funnel they are in, as well as their drop-off locations.
You can use this knowledge to enhance customer experience and modify the content on your website.
Personas help you tailor your content to reflect the voice of the customer. You won’t have to struggle to find out what your viewers are interested in anymore.
Once you know what your audience is looking for, you can easily develop content that gives out information on topics they want to know about.
For example, it won’t just be “tools that help you write faster” but also “ways to get rid of writer’s block.”
Content like this further shifts the focus from products/services to your users. It leads to a positive change in customer experience, increasing customer conversions.
The moment you see the Coca Cola logo or even touch the glass bottle, you know that it’s Coca Cola. That’s the kind of power a brand holds over its customers.
Customer personas enable you to maintain a consistent brand identity, tone of voice, and style of messaging across all marketing channels. Since you know what your users expect at each stage of the users' journey, you can easily develop content that is in line with your brand.
Furthermore, they can be used to rebrand, repurpose, and rearrange your content at any time.
It's hard to get different teams to agree with each other. Especially those in sales and marketing (or at least that’s what they say).
However, personas can solve this problem. You can share them with your PR, customer support, and sales teams and make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your customers.
Since 65% of people are likely to consume third party content, it becomes important to develop content that your users actually want.
And for high-quality content, content marketing personas are just the way to go.
A content marketing persona represents a section of your users, created on the basis of their content consumption habits, preferences, and behavior.
It is very similar to a buyer persona, which is a fictional representation of your ideal customers. However, content marketing personas are unique since they focus on your users' content preferences at different stages of the customer journey.
Here's an example of a marketing persona for a project management software.
Name. Emily Johnson
Job title. Marketing manager
Communication. Email and Social Media (LinkedIn and Twitter)
Background. Emily is a B2B SaaS marketer working for a mid-size company in San Francisco, California. As the head of the marketing department, she wants to boost brand awareness and increase customer retention by providing valuable content.
Job responsibilities. Emily manages an editorial calendar for content production and distribution, collaborating with other teams to meet her business objective. She also has to ensure that her team delivers results and continuously optimizes content for better performance.
Challenges. As a content manager, Emily finds it difficult to overcome communication gaps between team members. Hence, she is on the lookout for project management tools that can help her team perform better.
Content Preferences. Emily enjoys reading industry blogs and attending marketing conferences.
Information sources. Industry blogs and newsletters from MarketingProfs and HubSpot.
Communication preferences. Emily enjoys reading industry blogs and attending marketing conferences.
Role in the buying process. Typically involved in the research and decision-making phase.
Solution. A project management software can solve Emily's problems by streamlining workflow and improving collaboration among team members. By integrating with Google Analytics, the software can also help her measure the success of different marketing campaigns.
Any company selling these solutions can reach Emily via Email, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Since she is a key decision maker, they can find a way to directly address her problems by providing whitepapers, infographics, and customer testimonials.
To deliver content that addresses your customers’ needs, you need to create personas for your content marketing audience. This step is critical to success, which cannot be overlooked if you want to develop an effective marketing campaign.
You can either use persona AI tools like Persona by Delve AI or create personas manually by following these steps:
To create a persona, you need a lot of customer data. For research purposes, we suggest using quantitative as well as qualitative data sets.
According to a study by CMI, 76% of B2B marketers use quantitative data from website analytics to better understand their audience. Which means that Google Analytics is your best bet for getting accurate user data based on website traffic.
You can also use a CRM software like Huspot to get extensive customer information.
Taking this approach will help your answer the following questions:
Customer interviews, feedback, surveys, industry reports, and social media listening tools can be used to get qualitative data.
You can further enrich it by interviewing your sales and customer service teams, since they constantly interact with your customers.
Although it's a time-consuming process, qualitative data will help you:
A deep understanding of the challenges, frustrations, and motivations of your users in their personal and professional lives can help you develop a better content plan.
Furthermore, you can:
Psychographics will further enrich your customer profile, enabling you to analyze how users will react to your content.
Content preferences should include information about your persona’s primary mode of communication, content platforms, social channels, content type and format, and topics of interest.
For instance, you should be able to answer the following questions once you have your personas in place:
This is the most important step of the persona creation process, so make sure that you take your time and do it well.
Once you have your demographics and psychographics in place, you can start drafting an ideal customer profile.
An ideal customer profile (ICP) represents customers who would be a perfect fit for the products you are selling, giving a lot of value in return.
When it comes to content, however, you should build profiles that are most likely to engage with the content you create. Don’t forget to give a name and profile picture to the personas you have created. This makes them more human, allowing you to better connect with them.
You have collected data and built a customer persona. The next step is making sure that your personas align with your business goals.
Because that’s the whole point of churning out content: selling your products/services in a manner that offers valuable insights to your customers along with serving your business interests.
Once you match your business goals with those of your content personas, you will be able to create effective content for all your business activities.
Once you have created content (say, a blog post for a website) using the personas you have built, it is time to test it.
You can test content performance and success based on different marketing metrics like website traffic, bounce rate, engagement, and conversion rates.
Testing content will help you validate your personas and identify formats that work well for your target audience.
As stated earlier, personas can improve your content marketing efforts. They give you insights into what your users want. This allows you to properly plan your content and promote your products without being too spammy.
That said, here are the ways in which you can use buyer personas in content marketing:
One of the most obvious advantages that personas give you is the ability to interpret audience behavior. Which is really important if you want to build customer loyalty and drive awareness as a brand.
You can conduct market research on how users behave on e-commerce platforms and respond to digital marketing campaigns, ads, and events.
If the information is something new, you can always add it to your personas.
For instance, consider a clothing brand that conducts market research to identify their typical customers. They discover that their primary audience is millennial women who prefer shopping online and have a strong interest in sustainable fashion.
Armed with this knowledge, the brand can create a consumer profile that represents this group.
The brand can then tailor their marketing campaigns according to this customer segment. They may choose to run ads that showcase their eco-friendly product range. These ads could be in the form of social posts, display ads, or PPCs.
If you want to boost your website traffic, you need to focus on creating content that speaks directly to your audience and gives them exactly what they are looking for.
Luckily, personas give you the ability to publish content that gains attention, drives more traffic, and builds domain authority.
Just look at the topics and keywords they are interested in along with their preferred content formats.
But remember that simply creating persona-based content is not enough. You need to ensure that you don’t duplicate content. You must cover all customer touch points while being unique.
Content can come in different formats like blog articles, videos, podcasts, webinars, infographics, newsletters, and social posts.
But did you know that companies who prioritize blogging efforts are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI? Other formats like videos and social posts are also found to lower bounce rate and increase engagement rates.
By diversifying content creation to suit persona preferences, you can further maximize your chances of achieving customer success.
For example, blog articles provide valuable insights and information to readers. They also help you reach users at every stage of the funnel. If your target audience is searching for information on certain topics, you can create articles on the same to help them out.
Marketing plans are created with different objectives in mind, like building brand awareness and generating quality leads.
You will be able to meet these objectives only if you deliver original high-quality content.
Customer personas can be used to refine your content (blog articles, videos, podcasts, social posts) and match user expectations.
Next, you will need to optimize it for search engines (using SEO techniques) so that your audience can find it. If your content is up to the mark, it's more likely to appear in search results, attracting prospects to your website and generating leads.
You can optimize your content strategy by building personas for each stage of the inbound marketing funnel.
They can be used to tailor your content to meet the interests and needs of potential consumers at the Top of the Funnel (TOFU), Middle of the Funnel (MOFU), and Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) stages.
This will ensure that it reaches as many people as possible and successfully moves them down the funnel.
Here’s how you can do it.
In the awareness phase, people realize that they have a problem and need to find a solution. You can get their attention by running digital ads, press releases, and posting social content.
It’s important that you directly address their challenges and highlight your solution.
Once buyers enter the research phase, they actively seek solutions to their problems. They want content that helps them make a decision. So it's vital to provide informative content in the form of educational videos, infographics, blogs, eBooks, and more.
These resources will properly address their queries and guide them towards the solution you offer.
This is the stage where your prospects will be comparing your solution with those of your competitors. Hence, you need to advocate your product or service to stand out from the competition.
This will build credibility and ultimately influence their final purchase decision.
Customer testimonials and success stories can further your cause since they effectively showcase the value and benefits your solution has brought to others.
Your prospects have made their decision and are ready to convert into paying customers in the action phase. It’s the best time to use inbound marketing techniques like promotional discounts and exclusive offers.
Since customers love being rewarded and getting great deals, this will be a sure shot way of making a sale.
Persona based content can help you find ways to capture customer attention and take quick action. It also seamlessly transitions a prospective customer into a satisfied buyer.
But creating personas manually is time consuming and expensive. Delve AI makes this process easy.
Our platform uses artificial intelligence to create multiple personas by analyzing your user data. Click on any one of the segments and you will find all the information you need to create a successful content marketing strategy.
Persona attributes. You can discover your customers’ goals, challenges, interests, communication and content preferences along with their sources of influence. Scroll a bit more and you will get a good idea about what visitors like on your website, i.e., the webpages they spend the most amount of time on.
The most important aspect, however, are the resonating keywords.
Industry insights. Industry specific insights will give you keywords according to your industry. These keywords are grouped on the basis of user intent, query constituents, and query length.
Since people will engage with your content only if they can easily find it, it’s important to make it as search engine friendly as possible.
Marketing channels. Under the distribution tab, you will be able to see the different marketing channels that contribute to user traffic. You also get access to brand and generic keywords that perform well in organic and paid search channels.
This feature makes it simpler to find channels to place and promote your content.
User journey. Remember how we said that it’s important to customize content for each stage of the buyer’ journey? In order to do that, you first need to map the customer journey.
The journeys tab gives you sample customer journeys for each user segment.
Use it to understand check-in and drop-off locations and refine customer experience by adding relevant material to your site.
You can not only create persona-based content with Delve AI but also find ways to plan, promote, and test it. No more audience research to create content that resonates with your target customers. We will do it for you!
If you really want your personas to work for you, there are a few things that you must keep in mind:
Using buyer personas in content marketing will result in better collaboration, alignment, and prioritization of topics and messaging. This will ensure an efficient use of your resources, with everyone working towards a common goal.
It might take some time but implementing personas in your content will definitely help you and your future business prospects!