Who is your audience?

If your response is something vague like “chief operating officers” or “marketing managers,” chances are the content you’re creating isn’t getting enough bites from the right prospects. The key to success lies in creating a “buyer persona,” a detailed representation of your ideal customer using market research as well as information from your current customers. This fictional figure serves as your guiding light from here on out, helping you determine where to focus your energy, and how to craft tailored marketing messages that attract the right target customer to your business. A buyer persona helps keep your team on the same page when it comes to company goals as well.

Every single piece of content you create should start with this question: how is this going to help my buyer persona? If the content does not help your buyer persona, you probably shouldn’t be creating it.

Depending on how many different markets you serve, you might have several buyer personas, but it’s always a good practice to start with a couple for which you have the most information before creating any additional ones.

Give your buyer persona a name to personalize the process, then get inside their head to find out how their day-to-day works and what their goals and challenges are. These are the most basic things you need to know about your ideal customer, which allow you to better understand what it is they value in a product or service. This doesn’t have to be done all on your own; don’t be afraid to perform market research, survey people, ask your network on LinkedIn, etc.

 

Solve Their Pain Points

Once you have this information, you are able to craft a marketing message that speaks directly to your new buyer persona and the problems they need solved. For example, a CTO’s biggest challenge may be keeping up-to-date with ever-changing data-privacy regulations, and with so many responsibilities on their plate, they are looking for a trusted way to maintain compliance. Aha! The perfect customer for your IT company’s automated, continuous-compliance service. Now you know exactly what they’re looking for, and can devise a message that touches on their strongest pain points.

 

Confront the Opposition

You also want to list out your ideal customer’s most common objections. Rather than waiting for them to politely decline your offer, get ahead of their concerns and confront any opposition before it arises.

Is the price too high? List out all of the ways the product benefits the customer and use their pain points to emphasize value in your solution before they bring up the budget. Is the onboarding process too complicated? Reiterate the live training calls and 24/7 support you offer before they become overwhelmed with information. Come up with a list of all the reasons they could say no and find a way to combat those objections in your marketing messages.

 

Craft the Perfect Experience

Now that you have your buyer hooked, what type of experience is the persona looking for? As head of their organization, a CTO, for example, will want social proof (a portfolio of clients you’ve worked with before plus case studies), a team with relevant skills that will provide the right kind of support, and confirmation that you’re an expert in their field.

In addition to the case studies needed, now that you know the CTO requires thought leadership, you will have to develop relevant content to demonstrate that expertise. Blogs, ebooks, videos, whitepapers—what kind of content does your buyer persona consume? What industry publications do they read?

From here, you can determine how to proceed in each stage of the marketing funnel and get to work on planning an effective content strategy.

Here is a Google Doc buyer persona template we’ve created containing the key elements your buyer’s persona should contain.

NEXT CHAPTER: Understanding the Buyer’s Journey: The Three Stages >

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