In addition to content strategy, buyer personas can help drive overall marketing direction. They’re based on hard-set attributes like location-based markets and demographics such as gender and income level, but also on values, behaviors, and other fluid attributes known as psychographics. Marketers use these personas for appealing to target buyers (as opposed to target audiences) by essentially using them as a lens through which to view a marketing strategy. Subsequently, utilizing each buyer persona as a lens is an effective way to create tailored content that will resonate with the buyers you’re trying to reach.
Making Personas as Highly Targeted as Possible
Given that different types of customers buy the same product or service, there’s always going to be some overlap in the personas created for each business or marketing initiative. Ultimately though, personas need to be as highly targeted as possible in order to effectively reach out to the buyers in each group.
Using CRM data, engaging in market research, making observations through site analytics, social media, and formal focus groups are a few ways to determine the desired attributes for each buyer persona. But the psychographic aspect is really what puts the “person” in “buyer persona” in order to properly target them and make content that will resonate with this group. How can these attributes be defined, then catered to, with cohesive content?
Markets and demographics are more generalized aspects of buyer personas that can still result in highly tailored and targeted content. Markets can be entire continents, countries, or states, or as refined as zip codes and blocks that have drastically different needs from one another. A telecom servicing major cities and suburban areas has multiple markets right there that have different needs, as well as values, preferences, and behaviors. Demographics like gender, race, and education level might have no bearing on personas designed for certain products, but create a direly needed lens for others, such as makeup brands. All of these attributes represent opportunities to create content the buyers you want are looking for.
Behaviors, Values, and Preferences That Shape Content
After doing enough research to determine the markets, demographics, and psychographics of the buyer personas, then narrowing them down with a greater degree of targeting, it’s time to forge a content plan based on what each group is more likely to be interested in.
What behaviors do they engage in now? How about behaviors after using your products? For instance, travel companies often form several different personas based on people’s travel needs, such as price sensitivity and their behaviors, such as how early or late they book tickets, and whether they travel alone or with others. Creating content around these different behaviors is more likely to resonate than solely going with a keyword focus. Focusing on behaviors is a solid foundation for tailored content since they can be totally neutral (such as a traveler who books for groups) and require content that is helpful or timely, or content that steers the reader in a certain direction if a behavior is perceived as negative (like waiting until the last minute to make travel arrangements).
While psychographics are harder to define than markets and demographics, they ultimately create the most fine-tuned targeting when it comes to personas and marketing to them.
Buyer personas can be effectively deployed when they are highly targeted, and then content is created around the different aspects of each persona’s needs and attributes. Content that solves a specific problem for a persona or discusses behaviors and preferences is more likely to resonate with them than content based solely on keyword scrapers. In addition to getting topic ideas, using buyer personas in content creation also helps you devise different types and styles of content that will appeal to each type of target buyer.
Rachel P is an indie game developer, writer, and consultant. She is also a content strategist here at Writer Access and would be happy to help you with keyword maps, customer journey maps, and buyer personas in addition to writing for you. If you would to like to hire Rachel to devise a content strategy for you, please contact your account manager or send a direct message.