Why You Need A Persona-Based Content Marketing Strategy

Arnie Kuenn on
  • Categories: Channel: Content Marketing, Content Marketing, Content Marketing Column, Statistics

  • You’ve heard it before: To be successful with content marketing, your content must be catered to the customer. More specifically, content should speak to customer pain points and challenges throughout the buyer’s journey.

    However, to create content that is truly targeted, you need to understand exactly who your buyers are and what their journey looks like.

    Enter persona-based content marketing: creating and promoting content with a specific buyer persona in mind.

    Defining And Developing Buyer Personas

    Buyer personas are representations of your actual customers — taking into account who they are, what they are trying to accomplish, what their goals are, and how they behave throughout the buying cycle.

    Buyer personas are typically based on both independent and market research, combining insights from your actual customers (gleaned through surveys and interviews) with trends seen in the overall market. Depending on your industry and business model, you could have anywhere from two personas to upwards of 20.

    Many tools, resources and templates are available that can help any business create buyer personas. But in general, the process includes:

    Personas should include a full portrait of your ideal buyer — including information like:

    Consider The Buying Team

    Depending on the product or service you sell, you may have to sell to one buyer or an entire buying team. In the case of most e-commerce businesses, the sale will be direct to one consumer (one persona). However, in many B2B sales, a whole team of buyers, all with different personas, have a part in the decision-making process.

    If you’re selling to a buying team, persona-based content marketing is crucial. Each member of the buying team likely has a different title or job function and a certain role in purchasing.

    Additionally, the bigger the investment, usually the bigger the buying team — making it even more important for businesses selling big-ticket products or services to create and promote content based on buyer personas.

    Take an Internet marketing agency as an example: There will likely be a whole team of individuals involved in the buying process. Consider the following members of the buying team, as well as their challenges and pain points and what type of content each may be interested in:

    Because each member of the buying team has different priorities and preferences, creating content that speaks to each buyer persona is essential in influencing the right people and closing the deal.

    Mapping Content To The Buyer’s Journey

    In addition to creating content that relates to each buyer persona’s pain points, your content should also map back to a stage in the buyer’s journey. Though buyers will fluctuate between stages — the buying cycle is often nonlinear — the following are generally the three stages each buyer goes through before making a purchase decision:

    In Conclusion

    Persona-based content marketing is becoming increasingly necessary to achieve success. Creating persona-targeted content that is well-aligned to each stage of the buying cycle offers buyers a better content consumption and overall buying experience.

    Without a persona-based content marketing initiative, you run the risk of letting your competitors influence buyers by speaking to their needs and addressing uncertainties through targeted content, increasing purchase consideration along the way.

    Though researching and developing personas can be a daunting task, start small and work your way to a full-blown persona-based content marketing strategy to move prospects through the sales cycle and close more business.


    About The Author

    Arnie Kuenn
    Arnie Kuenn is the CEO of Vertical Measures, a content marketing agency with an SEO foundation, focused on helping their clients get more traffic, more leads, and more business. Arnie has held executive positions in the world of new technologies and marketing for more than 25 years. He is a frequent speaker and author of Content Marketing Works. In 2014, Arnie was honored as the Interactive Person of the Year in Arizona.