You’ve spent days, weeks, months building your content marketing strategy, you’ve kicked off your content campaign, predicted a wave of interest, engagement and (most importantly) leads to find…nothing.
83% of marketers cite lead generation as their top goal for b2b content marketing, but when the focus is on driving enquiries, it’s easy to get caught up with too much product promotion.
If you want to build a successful content strategy, it’s time to ditch the content you want to create and start producing content that fits with the concerns and interest of your audience using accurate, data-driven buyer personas.
By following these 6 steps you’ll build an effective, persona driven content strategy, and create lead-generating content in the tone and style your buyers want to see.
Step 1 – Use data not assumptions to define your buyer personas
Buyer personas are the most powerful way to fuel your content marketing strategy and create content that delivers real value to the right buyers. The more factual and in-depth you can make your buyer personas, the better informed your strategy will be. And it all starts with data.
Dig deep into all available data sources to build 360-degree factual personas that truly represent your audience. We’re not just talking customer databases either, use Twitter and Facebook analytics, Google Webmaster tools and Lead Forensics to gain in-depth insight on your audience and their behaviours.
Step 2 – Solve challenges and add value
Being relevant and valuable to your buyers is essential if you want to create content that converts, especially when 60% of buyers are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it.
When putting together your content editorial plans, keep in mind what makes your buyer persona tick and the challenges they face in their day-to-day role. By answering these questions within the content you create, you’ll provide value to your buyers and be well on your way to thought-leadership status in no time.
So you’ve built your buyer personas and have a clear idea of the challenges they face. Nice one content marketer but you’re not finished just yet, especially when 3 out of 4 marketers cite compelling content as a factor in closing sales.
Step 3 – Sniff out the relevant macro moments, topics and events
58% of marketers agree that being relevant and compelling is the No. 1 thing that makes content marketing so effective. While your content marketing goals will shift and change over time, the need to be relevant and engaging will not.
Map out relevant industry events, topics and news across the year, and make use of the creative inspiration they can provide, but remember to keep it relevant! Make sure that every event or story can be associated to your buyer personas’ personal interests because nobody likes an irrelevant news hijack (just take a look at these hijacks gone horribly wrong).
By mapping out your macro moments, you give yourself the opportunity to be more agile and flexible with the content you create.
Step 4 – Serve content in the media form your buyer personas use
If your personas spend the majority of their time on YouTube… you probably need to start serving content as videos… If you find your personas always download whitepapers and guides…you probably need to be creating whitepapers and guides…you get the jist of it.
Most marketers will use up to 12 different tactics to reach their audience, so don’t be afraid to mix and match your media to find what fits with your personas.
Step 5 – Be in the right place, at the right time
Being timely can make or break your marketing strategy – so it’s essential you’re in the right place at the right time. Use your social media and website analytics to find where your buyer personas spend their time, then ramp up your efforts to be present.
Step 6 – Tie it all together
Last but, most definitely, not least you need to know your content marketing goals and supporting metrics inside out. By determining these details now, you’ll be able to focus your content creation later, measure your content’s ROI AND regularly evolve your personas based on real data insight.
Start by identifying your one core content marketing goal and determining the related KPI’s to hit that goal. Then match up your day-to-day supporting metrics to your KPI’s and you’re well on your way to measureable content success.
Whatever your business goals may be, using a persona-driven approach to your content marketing strategy is a powerful way of creating timely, relevant and valuable content.
Want to find out more about persona driven content marketing? Download ‘The Science Behind a Persona Driven Content Marketing Strategy’ guide for free.