For part two in this series, I will focus on audience. Who are you talking to? Knowing your audience is critical to achieving success with content marketing.
As I discussed in part one, there are different types of content marketing methods that produce varying results.
Each of these content types, from educational to transactional, are rooted in one main goal – to connect with your audience in a way that helps you achieve your online marketing goals.
One way to know your audience is to develop Buyer Personas. Think of it this way, if you are telling someone face-to-face what you do would you give them a canned speech that you wrote for the world? Probably not. You would tailor your answer to that particular person if you could.
It works the same way when creating online content. You want to establish a tone and use language that will appeal to your target audience. You don’t simply produce content to fill a void. You create messages that answer questions a specific type of client has.
Buyer personas are incredibly helpful. These can get very complicated. You can base these personas on one or more of the following…
- Buying habits
- Social preferences
- Browser preferences
- Mobile uses
- and more
But, let’s face it, we’re all busy. You’ll want to scale your efforts to match your budget and your bandwidth. If you are the only content creator or part of a small creative group, you will want to stay lean and agile.
If you think you’ll make regular use of an exhaustive study of the specific personas, then by all means, go the distance.
Try creating a buyer persona chart – something fun you can stick on a wall and easily reference…
Using a chart like this, you can quickly and easily segment your audience into manageable and targeted segments. Place this next to your desk or somewhere you can easily reference it.
Now, when you produce content or plan for content, you can look at the chart to remember who you’re talking to. This goes a long way when trying to refine your message to focus on your goals.
This is just basic sales and marketing. We discussed how each type of content from part one helps you build your reputation as an expert and helps earn you trust. Tailoring your message to a specific audience takes that even further.
You are making a direct connection with your audience by talking about things they care about in their language.
Homework: Create Buyer Persona Chart
Here is a quick exercise that might help you make sense of this buyer persona thing. Looking at the drawing above as a reference, think of three distinctly different types clients you have. Now, take out a sheet of paper or use a whiteboard:
- Write the client types in three columns.
- Under each type define their characteristics as a client; include as many as possible.
- Now, make up three characters. Give each character a name and even draw a picture of them. Have some fun with it.
- Go through the list and pick the three best characteristics of each client type and write that under the character name you wish to associate with that client type.
- Under that, write down the three top things they want from you.
So, what did you come up with? Why not share one of your personas with me here in the comments section below.