How Persona Creation Improves Content

By Stephanie Diamond

The first question you may have as a content marketer is whether your content benefits from using buyer personas. When you create a persona, you are mixing your own customer data with your understanding of the marketplace to represent your ideal buyer. This is key because if you make assumptions without having real data to back them up, you risk derailing your content marketing efforts.

The work of developing personas involves a combination of art and science. You need hard data to justify your conclusions. You also need a sense of how that data translates into customer emotions and actions. If you have a poorly constructed set of personas, you may do more harm than good.

Does it really matter if you haven’t developed personas for your teams to focus on? The good news is that developing personas greatly improves the content you create. Read on to see how.

When you use personas, you can:

  • Tap into feelings and emotions in your copy. After you understand how your buyers want to feel when they use your product, you can evoke those feelings with your content.

  • Use buying triggers in emails and real-time messaging. If you know your personas’ buying triggers, you send your emails and messages at the right time to interest buyers. You can also make sure that the same content is on your website and anywhere else where your buyers find you.

  • Directly address problems they are experiencing. Solving problems for your customers is key to revenue generation. Your content, in all appropriate formats, should focus on problem solving.

  • Use influencers to persuade them. Obviously, knowing who your customers respect and listen to is an important piece of the content puzzle. You want to include influencer endorsements in your content when possible.

    Want a great way to find out which influencers resonate with your content? Try a tool called Onalytica, shown in the following figure. It lets you upload a file or add a link to your content and then sends back a roster of influencers who would be interested in that content. It’s also great for finding influencers and new Twitter followers. Onalytica has lots of interesting uses and is free to try.

    Onalytica.
    Onalytica.
  • Rank content priorities. Personas can tell you what is most important to your customers. This is helpful when you have to create an editorial calendar that reflects true customer interest. Some content topics can be categorized as “nice to have” and others a “top priority.”

  • Speak to life goals that customers care about. Personas tell you what life goals drive customer behavior. If your product can be linked to those goals, you will have attention-getting content.

  • Focus on what your customers want instead of what they say they want. When you understand persona motivations, you can focus your content on what they really care about rather than what customers say they want. Customers don’t always know what they want until they see it. By focusing on content that fits buyer personas, you won’t waste time.

Personas keep you laser focused on real customer needs. It helps prevent you from wandering off when someone suggests a tactic that doesn’t relate to the people you want to serve.