No matter what industry I’m writing for or what particular widget I happen to be describing on a given day, there is one piece of information that is invaluable. Cynics call it a stereotype and content marketers call it a buyer persona. I like to call him Bob.
Who is Bob?
Bob (or Bobette?) is your target audience. He can be anyone or everyone, but the important thing is that Bob is the person you want following your blogs, reading your whitepapers, and downloading your ebooks. Before I write any of these things for you, I’d like to get to know him.
I Don’t Believe We’ve Met
You see, any writer — from a blogger to a copywriter to a technical writer — needs to ask Bob a few questions before they start producing content that he’ll want to read. Why would Bob have an interest in your product or service? Does it solve one of Bob’s many needs or concerns? Does it make Bob’s life easier or more fun in some way?
These questions are only the beginning; they’re what I’ll use to describe the product to Bob, and John, and Jane, and anyone else that happens to be reading. To add depth and interest to the content, I’ll need a few more answers.
- What does Bob like to do in his free time? If I know that he’s into the latest and greatest video games or that he spends every spare minute golfing, I can use that info to make the content more relatable.
- What are Bob’s demographics? I’ll need to adjust the tone and style of the content depending on whether Bob is a jet-setting young executive or a 65-year-old female from Middle America.
- What are the things that make Bob angry? Perhaps he’s sick of customer service representatives that never return messages or maybe Bob really hates being prodded into buying something. This is knowledge I can use to demonstrate why you’re better than all those other brands Bob’s been looking at.
- What kind of education does Bob have? The Bob that just graduated high school will like different content than the Bob that is working on his sixth doctorate.
- What does Bob do for a living? Coworkers are a big influence and knowing what kind of climate Bob works in can help me tailor content to his tastes.
- What are Bob’s purchasing priorities? Some Bobs will only shop at locally-owned businesses, while others prefer to stay home and order everything online. One Bob may like a cheap widget that does the job and the next Bob might turn his nose up at it in favor of sleek black widget with chrome trim.
- What does Bob do when he’s online? If Bob is a social media butterfly, he’ll love content he can share. The Bob that reads The Wall Street Journal will like intelligent, informative content, while the Bob that reads The Onion won’t mind a little humor.
Even though some may call it stereotyping, Bob and his friends are interesting, multifaceted people. The next time you need compelling content, introduce us! There’s so much I can learn from Bob, the Smith family, or even Mr. and Mrs. Doe.
Amber K has met quite a few Bobs in her time as a writer and she would love to learn more about the Bobs in your life.