Knowing your customers is a key part of marketing your business, regardless of where you focus your efforts. When you’re able to understand the fears and aspirations of the people who enjoy your product, then you’re well on your way to understanding their motivations for doing things – like buying your product.
One of the most tried and true tools that marketers use to illustrate the customers of a business is the Persona. A customer persona is a fictional character created from research on your customers and those in your industry. Your business may use only one persona, or you may create and use a persona for each market segment you want to target.
Businesses use customer personas in a number of ways, the most common being guidance when devising and implementing marketing strategies. Your customer persona gives you a concrete person to target in your advertising campaigns, a blueprint for the type of content you plan and guidance on how to distribute it.
An important thing to keep in mind, however, is that a persona is created from validated commonalities between people in a targeted market segment. This means a persona is crafted from actual research in your market and industry, not from assumptions you or others have.
Personas in Content Marketing
In content marketing, a customer persona also provides a specific person to consider when creating your content. Many writers will tell you that you should always write with a specific person in mind, a person who represents your audience that you can imagine telling your story to as you write it down.
When you or someone else creates content for your business, this imaginary reader is (or should be) the content marketing persona for your customer.
A content marketing persona can contain a great deal of information about who they are, including their name, gender, education level and typical job. It includes the types of activities and products they like (and dislike).
More importantly, a customer persona also illustrates what they want to accomplish, their goals, and how they behave throughout the buying cycle.
This information gives your content creators the background information they need to construct and create successful content. When a writer understands both aspirations of a typical reader as well as their fears, the content they create will more often than not seem to speak directly to your potential customers among those who read it.
Why Bother Creating Personas?
Creating a good content marketing persona takes hard work. Although it can be easy to create a character you think represents your business, creating a character based on research that truly represents your typical customer is a difficult task.
However, having a valid persona to look to when creating your content is one of the real secrets to standing out. Understanding the people you’re creating content for will distinguish your efforts, even in a crowded marketplace. And as we all know, standing out often means the difference between success and failure in business.