There’s no middle-ground in content marketing. Our strategy either works, or it fails; people either care about our writing, or they don’t give a damn.
Our content is either valuable, or worthless.
Buyer personas are the key to creating valuable content. They’re vital to visitors caring about our brand, and completely essential to our marketing success – and I’m about to illustrate the right way to use them to inform your content marketing strategy.
Content marketing is based upon exchange. We set out to acquire the time and interest of potential customers, and in exchange, offer them something valuable. Visitors are more likely to engage with our business, trust our brand, and even buy from us, if they’ve benefited from our content.
Unfortunately, one man’s treasure is another man’s trash – and what benefits one website visitor might not benefit another. Defining a target audience is rarely straight-forward, and even the simplest of businesses will have several buyer personas. It’s impossible to create genuine value with a broad-brush approach to marketing – so we need to develop separate content for each.
With that in mind, we can focus on creating distinct value for each of our personas. Buyer personas offer a wealth of information, and we can use these insights to create value through four channels:
Many marketers try to write content that appeals to everyone; and in doing so, write content that appeals to no-one. Value is an inherently personal thing, and varies from person-to-person – and any content that doesn’t recognize that will end-up vague and useless.
Buyer personas come close to capturing personal value, and afford us an insight into the issues that affect, motivate and scare our audience. Armed with this information, we shouldn’t be afraid of writing specialized content. Though we might alienate a few people with a highly-targeted piece, those we do attract will find it resonates strongly and genuinely with their needs. This resonance is crucial to continued engagement with our business, the fostering of trust, and our end goal of conversion.
Value is the currency that fuels effective content marketing – and without a clear understanding of who our audience is, and what they care about, we can’t hope to create that value. Buyer personas offer us an insight into our target audience, and allow us to create content that matters – and the more value we can add to our audience, the more we can expect back in return.
[question]Guest blogger Ryan Law writes killer content for some of the brightest and best digital agencies around. When he’s not freelancing, he’s usually working on his content marketing blog, lifting heavy things, or playing a mean guitar. Read more of his great stuff on the Contender Content blog.[/question]