As more and more content is published online, every second of every day, you may wonder how to get close to your target customers.
In order to understand what makes them ‘click’, why not develop your Ideal Customer Avatar or Buyer Personas for your target audiences? Many marketers and agencies turn to marketing automation as the solution to ‘quantity’ of content published, and whilst this may help in the short term, it won’t improve the quality of content created.
The more relevant you make your content to them, the easier you make it for them to find you.
Develop your Ideal Customer Avatars or Buyer Personae (Empathy)
Developing a set of buyer personae or avatars for your target customers is the best way to make your content ‘hit the mark’. You should focus on the right customers for your products and services and include any other people who can influence the buying decision. In a business, it could be the product user or their manager/director. In a household, it could be the end user or the household member for whom it is bought.
Every organisation will have its own, unique buyer personas or avatars. They will be meaningful to you and provide the inspiration to create content that is tailored to your buyers.
Creating content becomes much easier when you have a clear persona in mind. You can address their role, goals, emotions, desired outcome and common objections.
They are not easy to develop and it can take a few months before you get them right – Part 1 of our online programme, Content Marketing Conquered, takes you through buyer persona development in more detail. Start with what you know about buyers (facts and data), then research and test everything you think to be true about them (hypotheses) until they are accurate.
Try to avoid: a common pitfall when developing personas is to base them on assumption, rather than data.
Put your digital marketing – and your ideal customer avatars – to the test
“In the digital world, randomized experiments can be cheap and fast. You don’t need to recruit and pay participants. Instead, you can write a line of code to randomly assign them to a group. You don’t need users to fill out surveys. Instead, you can measure mouse movements and clicks. You don’t need to hand-code and analyze the responses. You can build a program to automatically do that for you. You don’t have to contact anybody. You don’t have to tell users they are part of an experiment.” Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
Why not try: some tests and experiments. You have data within the digital platforms and tools that you use and could test your hypotheses. Try split A/B testing: images, photography, language, jargon or buzzwords, subject lines, length and format.
Don’t forget to: define your value proposition for each target audience or buyer personae.
Values are the foundation of every company’s identity and personality.Your value proposition is the distillation of the benefits and value that your company promises to deliver to customers with your products and services. It answers the ‘why us’ question and positions your brand in the customers mind.
Your Ideal Customer Avatars need to find find your ‘why us’ content
A nationwide software company we worked closely with to improve their content marketing were in trouble.They were producing lots of product-based content, re-purposing posts and assets created by the software companies they sold for, but were seeing web traffic and leads decline. Software installation sales were becoming harder to win too, due to the ‘commoditization’ of branded software.
They didn’t have any ICAs or buyer personas to help them understand what their customers really wanted. More importantly, they weren’t able to answer the ‘why us’ question to support the field sales team. They had no content that helped customers understand the value they added to the software purchase – often considerable!
A workshop with customer-facing colleagues helped the marketing team to answer ‘why us’, plan content to communicate the value proposition and set the brand apart in a very crowded marketplace
8 strategies to evolve your content marketing strategy
I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of marketers as they embrace or fine-tune their content marketing. Through close observation I have concluded that success is built on three pillars:
- Empathy & Customer Insight
- SEO & Targetting
- Content Planning & Distribution
In this blog series we will explore these 8 strategies in more detail so you learn what you need to develop as you build your content marketing plans.