As a marketer, you know the importance of setting a goal for each piece of content you create.
It could be industry or product education, or you could be pushing traffic to a landing page to raise sales. However, you need more than that goal to be successful. Establishing a strong audience for the piece is just as important. Writing for everyone is writing for no one!
But what comes when there are multiple potential audiences for your products and services? No, the answer isn't to stress. The better approach is to create multiple personas, so you can improve the focus of your marketing messaging.
When creating content for different personas, you will leverage the needs, wants, budget, pain points, and other details from your persona in an effort to personalize your message and make it relevant.
The Benefits of Persona-Based Content
The data is in. Persona-based marketing content simply performs better. Research shows that 59% of people prefer to purchase a new product from a brand they're familiar with. How do brands become familiar to their customers? By focusing on getting to know their ideal customers and developing personas that become a guide for marketers to create content that resonates with their target customers.
Truth be told, marketers like to overcomplicate persona-based content. At its core, it entails creating content that a specific persona will engage with.
If Bob is interested in your latest product and has industry experience, your content will read different than if you were writing for Susan, who is new to the industry and is not sure which solution she needs. Instead of trying to make one article fit for both Bob and Susan, you should tailor the language for each persona.
The concern, though, is that only 37% of B2B marketers have a documented strategy. Without creating a concise and well-documented persona-based marketing strategy, marketers will not achieve the goals they have set for their content program.
This is why establishing personas to inform your content strategy is so important.
Why You Need Multiple Customer Personas
While multiple personas aren't required for all companies, they are highly beneficial. For companies with multiple products, targeting different market segments and use cases, multiple personas are essential.
Even if you have one core product with more than one use case, multiple personas will help you target the right people with the right message at the right time based on the particular use case of interest.
Taking this information, give's consider your target audience. Can they be clearly narrowed down into one audience, or are they spread across two or three market segments? It's better to get an additional personas that assists you narrow down into individual verticals or preferences instead than one ill-fit persona that struggles to meet too many individual characteristics.
Another reason multiple personas is valuable is if you are looking to expand into a new market segment. While the customer in this new market segment might be purchasing the same product the perceived value proposition, use case, motivation to purchase may be unique to the new market segment.
This means your content must be targeted to the new market segment's individual customer persona in order for it to deliver.
In order to help these personas actually work, though, you need to establish pain points for each persona.
Knowing Each Persona's Pain Points
The best-selling content runs beyond the surface level features and functions in order to speak to the customer's pain points, or what problems they're seeking to solve. Picture a company selling a SaaS platform to medium-sized and enterprise-level companies. Those two types of companies have different needs, budgets, and pain points.
The VP of Marketing at a mid-sized company could be looking for your product, but is more price-sensitive and can manage if all their pain points aren't resolved. The VP of Marketing at an enterprise-level company, however, is less price-sensitive because they want a tool that will resolve all their pain points.
These two situations require different marketing messaging, which therefore requires two different personas. Be sure to keep each persona's pain points in mind when creating content because the pain points are not relevant to across all personas.
If the middle-sized VP reads your blog or opens your email designed for the enterprise-level VP, it likely will not resonate. But, when they're served content that is made for them, they will identify the connection to your product and will be more enticed to contact your company.
So we've established different pain points for every persona. How, then, do we apply personas to create the content?
How To Use Personas to Create Content
Picture personas as a filter. Every single piece of content needs to pass through the applicable filter in order for it to be effective. If content doesn't pass through the filter, then it should be repurposed or taken back to the drawing board.
There are 3 core ways to use your personas to inform your content strategy:
- Role & Responsibilities
Use the Correct Language with Each Persona
Another benefit of utilizing multiple personas for your organization is that you can customize language and jargon to each.
Let's examine 2 different personas and their responsibilities.Jane
- Responsible for the marketing budget and related activities.
- Executive level position.
- Responsible for coordinating marketing campaigns.
- Middle-management position.
This contrast in responsibility deserves to inform your content.
For example, Jane enjoys consuming content that is complex, complicated and comprehensive. Whereas, Jacob is likely more used to content that is somewhat less complicated, tactical and technical.
Your customers are occupied. If you take too much time introducing concepts to someone who is already familiar with them, you risk losing them as a reader and as a lead.
Know Each Persona's Interests
Content marketing, whether an in-depth blog post, an email newsletter, or even an Instagram post, performs best when a piece is targeted to the persona's interests, both in and out of the industry.
For example, If you are a green beauty company, consider related interests like recycling, animal welfare, or farmer's markets when brainstorming content topics.
When you know customers' interests, you will better demonstrate and unpack complex topics, identify design elements they connect with and create a closer relationship that will translate into sales. (Though it may take time.)
Consider Your Persona's Role & Responsibilities
Each of your client's personas likely holds a different position within their company. This is valuable information!
Their job title informs how you write to them. A decision-maker typically wants different information than someone who is doing research to present to the decision-maker.
A decision-maker wants digestible content about trends in the market which will help validate their decision making. Someone else, though, may require long form pieces of content breaking down concepts and features that they can present and help implement.
You also want to consider the size and structure of the company. The VP of Sales at a pre-seed startup, for example, is typically involved with more of the day-to-day activities than the same role at a Fortune 500 company due to constraints on department size and resources.
The more information you collect on the position of the persona, the more targeted your content will be.
Using Multiple Personas to Inform Lead Generation
One benefit of thoughtful content marketing is the ability to improve lead generation. (And 72% of marketers agree, according to the Content Marketing Institute.)
Your personas drive this, too.
Focus on creating content for lead generation like e-books and guides that relate to each persona's interests, needs, and pain points.
Let's continue with using Jane and Jacob as examples. Jacob would be more likely to provide his email address for a webinar on marketing campaign best practices, while Jane would be more likely to provide her email for a benchmarks guide how to achieve the greatest marketing ROI from her budget.
Once you begin to focus on each persona's needs, you can better create content that speaks to their experience, interests, role and responsibilities.
As a content creator, it is extremely difficult to take all of these factors into account. Thankfully, there's a better way.
How to Market to a Persona Using AI
70% of marketing executives say that data-driven marketing is a core element of their campaigns. However, analyzing vast amounts of data to uncover the insights to customize content for a particular persona is a challenge.
With AI, you can focus on creating content and leave the heavy lift of data analysis to the power of the machine. AI tools analyze real-time data about your consumers and prospects and help you use the language that resonates most with your customer's persona, to maximize a specific KPI.
Optimize your content by establishing a readability level and emotional tone for each persona that will increase both brand awareness and sales.
This is impossible as an individual, it requires integrating an AI solution into your workflow to make sure you're reaching the goals set out for your blog posts, email marketing, landing pages and product content.