You’ve probably heard it a million times: inbound marketing is all about creating and sharing content your target customers will love. In general, it’s an easy concept to understand, but once you start putting that concept into play it can be a little intimidating to create the perfect content strategy.
Of course, there’s always the other end of the spectrum – you may get really excited about all of the things you want to communicate with your prospects and start jotting down a long list of ideas for your content strategy. Being eager and having a good handle on the message you want to get across is great, but if you don’t keep your buyer personas in mind during this process, you could be doing more harm than good.
The secret to a killer content strategy is to find the sweet spot between what you want to say and what your prospects need to hear. Sounds like a winning combination, right? But sometimes, it’s hard to find where exactly that sweet spot lies.
First thing's first: Make sure you have a good understanding of your buyer personas. If you haven’t already set up your personas, check out our helpful outline for creating a target persona. If you already have your buyer personas in place, great! – but you’ll need to consider when your personas were created and tweak them as necessary. Since buyer personas represent real people who grow, develop and change, you should re-evaluate and update your personas at least once a year.
Once you have your personas ready, you’ll need to figure out where each persona likely fits into the inbound funnel: are they at the top, middle or bottom of the funnel? The inbound funnel is the cycle that buyers go through on their journey to making a purchase decision.
When your personas are at the top of the funnel, they are typically doing initial research about a subject and looking for general information. When your personas are at the middle of the funnel, they've done their preliminary research and are ready to be introduced to a specific brand to learn what it’s like to do business with them. Finally, when your personas are at the bottom of the funnel, they are ready to make a purchase decision and are looking for the specific benefits that a brand's product or service can offer over the competition.
Using your persona’s position in the inbound funnel is really where you’ll find the sweet spot for your content strategy. Ask yourself what kind of questions each persona may be asking as they journey through the buying process. Jot down a list of questions and use that as a roadmap for creating your content strategy. Think carefully about the answers that your personas are looking for and how your brand's expertise can offer value as you provide thoughtful insight to your prospects.
As I mentioned earlier, the sweet spot of your content strategy really lies between the message that you want to get out about your brand and the answers that your prospects are looking for as they cycle through the buying journey. Incorporating both points of view into your content strategy will allow you to communicate the best possible message, satisfying the needs of both your business and your prospects.
Need a hand jumpstarting your content strategy? Download our free content worksheets to get started today!
Posted by Laura Sheptoski Laura is a detail-oriented consultant and project manager, with a background in public relations, social media engagement, and client content creation. Prior to her time at Weidert Group, Laura managed PR for an industrial services company, and maintains a strong focus on earned media within our inbound marketing programs.