Often we marketers are overwhelmed with new ideas and strategies. Our minds are hard to slow down as information is consistently flashed in front of us. When it comes to content marketing the same is true. So many steps, templates, and strategies it can be difficult to figure out where to start, even when the answer could be simple. Take it from me as someone who has taken certification after certification and used template after template to develop content. The answer comes from looking at SOLUTIONS. Content is created to solve a problem for a customer. For those customers who are researching what their challenges are and those that are already using your product/service as a solution. Content is creating knowledge about the solution you are providing. Notice I said Solution not a product or service. The one thing you need to know about content marketing is to focus on the solution to customers problems. Break out of the current mold concentrating on a product our service and instead talk about the solution the product/service provides. Answer these questions and think of content that could support your answers.
What is the customer doing when they first show symptoms of a problem?
What is the customer doing when they first show signs of evaluating alternatives?
What is the customer doing when they have defined their solution?
It's Not About the What its About the Why!
Social Media is a great place to conduct research about your customers or potential customers. The research allows a business to create buyer personas. Buyer Personas are fictional representations of your customer allowing you to customize content, needs, and behaviors to different groups. Taking target marketing one step farther and the payoff is worth it, see the infographic below. Start defining Buyer Personas by researching the following about your customer. Start an excel spreadsheet to keep track of your research for each of these categories.
1. Demographics - Where do they live, age, gender
2. What are their interests
3. What are their careers, education, income?
4. Buying Motivations?
5. Buying concerns?
6. Favorite websites and platforms?
7. Competitors – Similiar Web
Finding this information is simple but may take some time. You can start with googling keywords you think the customers are using, going on each platform and joining groups or following key influencers. Google trends or Google alerts also help monitor customers. I have a feedly.com account so I can keep track of the blogs, news and websites I follow in one place.
Once you have some research you can group similar characteristics then describe and name similar personas. Look for similarities on who they are, what they do, why they do it and how they do it. Adding a fictional name and a picture helps you remember the persona. Below you will find an example. Remember take your time creating buyer personas and be willing to edit personas as you continue to research and learn about your customers. Share the persona you have created.
Click on the link below to download the Buyer Persona Worksheet
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Blog Presented by
Dr. Kellie Emrich