Developing a content marketing strategy can seem intimidating. How do you begin? How do you know what to write, or who you’re writing for? After all, your clients come to you with varying, often complex needs. Sometimes you work with the CEO, at other times, you’re selling directly to the people in the field.  Ultimately, your goal is to capture the interest of all segments of your audience—and then convert that interest into a sale.

One strategy you can use to help focus your thinking is to create buyer personas. Think of buyer personas as imaginary clients that fit within each of your target markets. Fleshing out your buyer persona(s) with the right demographic, educational and industry-related information will help you to clearly see who your blog posts and other content will be speaking to.

4 Questions to Ask When Creating Buyer Personas

1. Who are your buyers? It might seem like a basic question to ask, but simply identifying who your buyers are is a crucial first step. For starters, are they all in the same industry? Dividing your buyers up by industry can be a good place to start your persona development.

From there, consider what level they are within the organization. The decision makers will likely be interested in case studies and other hard evidence of your business successes. Influencers are probably more interested in blog posts that showcase your firm’s unique perspective.

2. What are their pain points?  Once you establish who they are, it’s easier to understand what issues they wrestle with.  What are the business problems that keep them up at night? CEOs may be most concerned with efficient and accessible solutions, while managers may be more focused on tactical discussions.

Today, buyers search for solutions online. And when checking out a professional services provider, almost 80% of buyers are searching online and looking at service providers’ websites to get answers to questions (see the figure below). Whether they are ready to purchase now, or some time in the future, they are arming themselves with information and looking for trusted resources. By sharing educational content that addresses their problems, in language that they understand, you can become a trusted resource.

3. Where are your buyers online?  If you’re developing content for specific personas, you want to make sure they can find it. Knowing where your buyers are online allows you to publish your content in a place it will be seen.

Different social channels attract certain types of people. For example, LinkedIn doesn’t have the same user base as YouTube or Instagram – but those may be viable marketing options depending on the audience. Identifying where your buyers are online keeps you from wasting time publishing content in a place they don’t frequent.

4. How do your buyers consume media? Now that you know the information your content needs to include and where you need to publish it, you need to know what medium your buyers gravitate towards. Are they more likely to read blog posts or guides, or would they prefer to digest short videos and infographics? Your content strategy will likely be most effective if it includes multiple approaches, but understanding your buyers’ preference is important for maximizing their experience.

Taking the time to create detailed buyer personas helps you understand the markets that you are working with so you can create the type of content they want. This helps you to generate more qualified leads for your business—and reach the ultimate goal of converting those leads into sales.

Elizabeth Harr

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