07 Mar How to Create Buyer Personas to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategies
By Lisa Kuehl
Content marketing is defined as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action,” The Content Marketing Institute.
In a recent Business to consumer content (B2C) content marketing study, 37% of all respondents said they expect their organization’s content marketing budget to increase in the next 12 months. *
B2C marketers are seeing the positive impact their content marketing efforts are having on their organization: *
- 79% of B2C Marketers agree that their content marketing has increased audience engagement
- 65% agree that it has increased the number of leads
- 58% agree that is has increased their organization’s sales
- 34% agree that it has decreased the cost of customer acquisition
These results show that well-planned, relevant content is necessary to be competitive. If your marketing department is developing content that they “think” is relevant, you may be missing the opportunity to truly connect with your customers.
To be effective at content marketing you need to understand your consumers and their biggest goals and concerns and then create the content that aligns with those goal/concerns. One way to align your content with your audience is by creating buyer personas for your customers and prospective customers. These are partially fictitious, educated guesses, of the different customer segments in your utility coverage area. Identify your target audience as real people with real needs.
For example, if you know that your biggest targets are established home owners, are baby boomers that love to travel, are cost-conscious and do all their research online. You could develop just the right content to speak to their needs. You may post information on reducing electricity bills by turning down heat or air conditioning when traveling, or energy cost saving tips for heavy users of electronics in the home. Also, you might develop a reward and incentives program that adds value to your customer website and helps them save on everyday expenses.
We have developed a Buyer Persona Template to help you get started. We recommend creating 3-6 buyer personas that best cover your target market. Create your buyer personas with a group at your company – it’s best to get cross-functional input. Devote 1.5 – 2 hours to the process and have some fun with the exercise!
The key elements of each buyer persona are:
Persona Name: Who is it and what is their role in the buying process? Do they influence the decision-making process?
Background: Do they work? Stay at home? Are they single or have a family? Are they first time home buyers or do they live in a multi-unit building? This information can be gathered from your own data or by researching Census data in your utility area. Make several personas to cover a few of these ideal customer segments.
Demographics: Age, sex, education, income level
Activities/Lifestyle: What do they do for fun? Do they like to dine out, travel, what are their hobbies?
Communication Preferences: How does the persona likes to be communicated to? Where do they get their information and how does the persona do research? What do they like to read?
Goals as it relates to your product: Persona’s primary and secondary goals
Concerns/pain points: List the persona’s challenges and concerns
Quotes about goals/concerns: Use actual customer quotes gathered during interviews
What we can do for those concerns: How does my utility company help? How do we ease those concerns or help reach their goals?
Objections: List what objections you expect from this persona during the sales process. What stops them from switching to you, or staying with you?
Marketing Message: What is your quick pitch for this persona on what your company can do for them? What are the key benefits you want them to learn? (Will be different for each persona)
If you start building your content before creating buyer personas for your ideal customers, you are missing the chance to truly engage with them. Each customer segment has goals and challenges that your company might just have the right solution or product that they will value. Building Buyer Personas is one way to ensure your content is on the mark.
Lisa Kuehl is the Marketing Manager with the Corporate Marketing Solutions division of Entertainment.