You know your products, but do you know your customers? Content marketing is about publishing helpful, compelling content about your services and products. But that is really only half of the story. Of course, you need to provide awesome products and services. Of course, you need to know your stuff. Of course, you need to be able to tell your own story. But for content marketing to work, you must be willing to put just as much effort into figuring out who your customer is and how they operate as you put into running your own business.
For many of you, this may seem like a “Well, duh, Captain Obvious” moment.
But I have found that a surprising number of very smart, capable business people bristle when we begin to ask questions about who their customer is, how they’ve arrived at their door (virtual or otherwise) in the past and how they plan to reach them in the future.
Why? Let’s be honest, the healthy ego it takes to start or lead a business can be a double edged sword. Accustomed to having all the answers in your own field of expertise, it can be painful to admit you don’t know something, or worse, that your assumptions are wrong. I’ve seen clients give up on content marketing entirely rather than admit they can’t define or even identify their ideal customer. Knowing your customer, and the “why” of their buying journey, is key to being able to create helpful, compelling content that stands out from the competition.
How do you create a buyer persona you can write to? First, try to empty your mind of all the things you think you already know. Then, really think about how you would answer these key questions in the buyer persona process.
You may be saying to yourself, “Well, how would I know what questions they are asking or where they do their research?” A recommendation would be to talk to your sales or customer care team to understand what frequently asked questions customers have about your product or service.
Modern consumers are much too sophisticated to fall for a “Where’s The Beef” campaign to drive sales. Today, they want to know how many calories they are consuming, the saturated fat, how much per pound, the chemicals and preservatives used, and maybe even a couple of great recipes. If they can’t easily find that information on one website, the next one is just a couple of clicks away.
Before you start a blog or create any other kind of content, identify your buyer persona(s) so that you can create content that resonates with them. Once you have identified your buyer persona, plan your content with this free content marketing calendar.
Content Marketing Specialist Regina Gilloon-Meyer is an all-around contributor to the Fusionfarm team – blogging, website writing, search marketing, strategy and web analytics and more. With a degree in journalism and years of technical writing under her belt, she saw the writing on the screen several years ago and made the jump to all things digital marketing. Regina is a regular contributor to the Fusionfarm marketing blog and creates blogs, e-Books, white papers and other multi-media assets for her awesome clients.