So you’ve spent a lot of time and effort developing personas. (If you haven’t, this post about how to develop your personas might make the task easier for you.) What next?
How do you use personas to do content marketing better?
Get more engagement. More enquiries. More business.
Make sure all your marketing is designed to help your target market – your personas!
Every piece of your content should speak to one of your personas – your Debbie, Amanda or Darren.
- It could be helping fix a problem they have.
- It could be making them laugh and entertaining them.
- It could be sparking curiosity.
- It could be educating them.
- It could be touching them emotionally.
- It could be telling a story.
- It must be adding value.
Creating content is much easier when you’re talking to ‘a real person’ rather than an airy fairy target market. Speak directly to your persona, in the tone you would use for that person. It will make you so much more authentic. More compelling. More engaging.
So how do you start?
Review and revise existing content.
You’ve probably got a lot of existing content already. Most of us have.
- Website pages
- Premium content to attract leads
- Ads, online or traditional
- Social media accounts and pages
- Flyers and direct mail
- Blog posts
Take a look at each piece from the perspective of your persona. (Each important piece, anyway. If you have a blog post which has had one view in the last year, it’s probably not worth the time and effort to review it.)
Does it add value? If yes, who for?
Step 1. List all the value-adding content for each persona, by persona.
Is every persona getting attention? Or are you accidentally ignoring some of your target customers? This can give you some great pointers for the kind of new content you need to create.
Step 2. Look again at the content which doesn’t add value for any of your personas.
Can you fix it? How?
If you’re human, you’ve probably got a lot of content in this category. Don’t be overwhelmed. You don’t need to fix everything all at once. Just work out a plan and build some time into your schedule to fix your content. (Or talk to us about how we can do it for you.)
Here’s some thoughts to help you prioritise.
- What’s costing the most? If you’re putting an ad in the local paper every week or sending out quarterly leaflet drops, I’d review the content before spending more on distribution.
- What’s getting the most attention? Your website home page is a good place to start. Also use Google Analytics to check your top landing pages. These are the first pages people visit and so they’re a strong first impression. Make them count.
- What’s easy to fix?
- What will have a long lifecycle? This gives you more opportunity to get a return on your investment. For example, imagine you’re running an events company and consider these three posts:
- Tips to ‘weatherproof’ your outdoor event.
This is truly ‘evergreen’. Weather will always be a concern for people holding outdoor events.
- Ideas for a Christmas themed event.
This has some long term potential – although you may need to update it every year so that repeat visitors get some fresh Christmas ideas.
- We won an award for the XYZ gala dinner we organised.
This is unlikely to go on generating high levels of interest. (Maybe it could be repurposed as a case study – ‘Behind the scenes of an award-winning charity dinner we organised’. But it would probably involve significant rework.)
- Tips to ‘weatherproof’ your outdoor event.
So now you have a plan for your existing content. But what about new marketing material?
Develop new content with a specific audience in mind.
We all know search engines like fresh content. So do audiences. Blogs and newsletters demand it!
If you’re tied into a blogging or social media schedule, you need to keep getting new stuff out.
Once again, start with a plan for your new marketing content.
When you reviewed your content, maybe you found some personas weren’t well catered for. It’s tempting to dive into a whole stack of content just for them. But be careful! Don’t forget the people you have been creating content for. There are probably a lot more of them engaging with you right now – simply because you’ve been giving them engaging content. So don’t ignore them.
Skew your new content towards personas which need some TLC, by all means. But make sure there’s something for everyone.
Here’s some ideas to help with that new content:
- What do you know about your persona’s key goals, fears and frustrations? How can you help?
- What’s the most popular existing content for each persona?
- What social media do your personas use? Now you know where to share which content.
- What words and phrases do your personas use? What’s the tone they want to be addressed in?
- What content format do your personas like? Short or long? Words, pictures, video or audio? (Audio – and audio podcasts in particular – can be really good because they’re so easy to access while you’re doing something else. )
If you’re really stuck, try going to Keyword Tool and entering a relevant keyword. Then look at the questions tab.
Now you can scan the list and pick the questions which will best resonate with your blog. (You can see that this post focuses on ‘how to use marketing personas’, and my previous post looks at how to create marketing personas.)
So there you have it. All about creating and using personas for marketing, with practical, actionable steps to take.
As always, I’d love to know what you think – and especially which parts you found most useful. Or if you have questions, or simply can’t get this to work for you, just drop me a line and let’s try to work it out together.