The chorus about content marketing and how it influences buyer behavior is getting louder.
No-one in Corporate America will argue that content has not emerged as a powerful tool to address buyer concerns, shape brand perceptions and ultimately influence purchasing decisions.
The problem however is that marketers aren’t necessarily creating the kind of content that persuades prospects to buy their products.
Many brands are still investing heavily in content that gives off heavy marketing vibes – product information, self-centered messaging and other irrelevant information that turns off prospects and generates buyer resistance.
In order to create content that resonates with buyers and actually influences their purchasing decisions it is necessary to develop detailed buyer insights that tell why prospects behave the way they do.
This is the reason we develop buyer personas – a research-based effort that allows you to create a detailed profile of the buyer that your company hopes to persuade.
Developing buyer personas
As you develop buyer personas that inform your organization’s content strategy think about the following:
- Start with your target audience – it helps to think of your existing real life customers as the primary consumers of your content.
- What is their job title and their key responsibilities? You want to gain a deep understanding about the role they fulfill in their own organizations. List all the duties that they are responsible for.
- Where do they fit in the buying decision? Are they the initial researcher of the product, an executive decision-maker, or perhaps a key influencer in the organization?
- What are their pain points? What frustrates them about their job or their work processes. Do they have resource or technical challenges that need to be addressed? What do they need to help them do their job better?
- What motivates them to buy? Is it a desire to gain, or a desire to avoid loss? What exactly are they hoping to gain or lose?
- What drives their purchasing decision? Is it cost, efficiency, good service, competitiveness, business benefits?
- What are their media habits? In other words what are their content or informational needs? Do they prefer case studies, white papers, trade journals, business blogs, podcasts, instructional videos etc.?
- How can you craft a message that appeals to your specific buyer? Consider the tone (formal or casual). Is it an instructional article or a research-based special report? Is it text-only or a combination of text and visual enhancements?
The ultimate goal
Keep in mind how all this fits into your content strategy.
Remember that the ultimate goal is to give your prospects the kind of information that will persuade them to buy your product. It involves a detailed understanding of the potential buyer’s behavior.
Developing buyer personas is part of the larger content mapping process that enables you to understand and identify the type of content that will appeal to your specific audience (buyer persona) based on their unique needs throughout the buying process.
In the next article we’ll talk about how different buyer personas behave throughout the buying cycle. Stay tuned.
**This is a series of articles that explains the role of content mapping in your organization and how to create content that overcomes resistance throughout the buying process.