By now, you’re probably firmly entrenched in content marketing. I’m a firm believer that the role of the content marketer is to help the customer understand how your product fits in their world as they make their purchase decisions. All too often, content is focused on what the company wants to say about itself, rather than what the customer needs to hear in order to consider your product or solution.
Sure, you may be generating content at a record breaking pace, but it is the right content? Is it what your customers need? Perhaps you’ve developed buyer personas, but does your content show it? When persona-guided content looks the same as it always did, it’s a sign that the underlying personas are missing key insights. And, if you’ve not yet headed down the persona path, now is the time!
My thinking on this topic has been shaped by persona expert, Adele Revella. She and I met several years ago when I took several of her persona development classes. Adele and I spoke a few months back and she expressed to me that she’s seen many marketers focus their buyer personas on information gained from their sales people, a product manager, the latest analyst reports, or purely demographic data such as job title, industry and company size. While this is easier for marketers to do, these sources don’t tell you what your buyers are thinking about as they evaluate their options to solve a particular problem.
Here are three tips for more buyer-focused content marketing:
1. Interview buyers to gain real insights. It’s just not enough to know the title, age and gender of the target buyer. And if you make stuff up about your buyer, your marketing content will look the same as it did before you developed personas. You need to have a strategic interview with recent buyers, probing for insights that buyers have not shared with your sales people, your competitors, or anyone else for that matter.
2. Focus on the decisions you want to influence. Interview people who recently evaluated your solution to hear the steps they took to compare your product or solution to your competitors’ offerings. This gives you framework to define a messaging strategy that communicates the right information at the right time to motivate buyers to choose your product or solution.
3. Lose the jargon, please. Have you noticed that many companies sound the same? Probe deeply on your buyer’s use of jargon words like “scalable,” “robust” and other generic words that your competitors use. When you know exactly how the buyer defines “robust”, your content can speak directly to the outcomes and concerns that are most critical to them.
By gathering key insights from unscripted interviews with recent buyers, you will become the buyer expert. When you make your buyer the focal point for your marketing initiatives, they’ll show their appreciation by choosing your company’s solutions .
These insights, and more, are discussed in detail in a new eBook co-authored with Adele designed to help marketers through the process of buyer-centric persona development: “For Compelling Content, Let Your Buyers Be Your Guide.”