Create a Prospect Persona for More Effective Content Marketing

Sean Johnson
Posted by Sean Johnson on November 19, 2012

The question seems easy enough on its face: How do we create good content? It's something we frequently discuss at Weidert Group, and if you ask anyone on the team, he or she can probably give you dozens of great content ideas in a matter of seconds.

Just as important as knowing what you can create is having an understanding of what your content should say to make sure your marketing is reaching the right people. You want content that's relevant to the prospect most likely to buy your product or service, encouraging them to convert as a lead and giving you the opportunity to close them as a customer.

It's time to create a prospect persona.

Creating a persona for your ideal customers is a critical component of your editorial strategy. Targeting your message to that persona will make your marketing more effective by helping you create content that's relative to your prospect, while also determining its form and where best to share it.

The exercise of developing your prospect personas starts with some simple - yet important - questions:

  1. Who uses your product or service? Is there a particular industry or occupation that uses your product or would have an interest in it? If so, you can start to shape your content to speak directly to people in that industry and occupation. There will be more than one answer, and it's okay to have more than one persona. As you learn who the most likely buyers are, your content will be more effective and should begin to generate higher quality leads.
  2. Why do people buy your product or service? Spend some time in your customers' heads. What need does your product or service address for them? What problem does it solve? Are there challenges or obstacles it helps them resolve? As you distill those answers, you'll have a much clearer picture of the challenges your prospects are trying to address and how you can create content that speaks directly to them.
  3. Where does your prospect live? This doesn't mean their physical address, but where on the Internet do they spend time looking for information? If you can refine their prime locations, it gets a lot easier to reach them with the right message. If your prospects primarily use LinkedIn or YouTube, then it doesn't make sense to spend a lot of time creating content for Facebook.
  4. Who influences their decisions? This can help you determine if you need additional content that speaks to the challenges of getting others to buy into the solution. You can give them the ammunition they need to sell your production or solution for you, even before the first person-to-person contact.

As you begin to better understand who your prospects are, the question of what content to create becomes a lot easier to answer. You'll be able to more effectively shape your message and content offers to provide relevant content your prospects can immediately use.

In additional to building credibility and trust by providing relevant conent, those insights into your potential customers will make further nurturing more efficient while also giving insights to your sales staff that will increase their effectiveness at closing them as a customer.

The hardest part of the exercise is often just getting started. Our friends at HubSpot have some great advice on building personas that can help you quickly move ahead. 

Learn more about creating great content to attract relevant prospects in our FREE "Step-by-Step Guide to Inbound Marketing."

Step-by-Step Guide to Inbound Marketing

Topics: Content Marketing

click here to take the state of industrial sales and marketing survey