Congratulations! After a long, diligent process of research and careful evaluation of your best, most profitable targets, you have successfully identified and described your company's target personas. Sure, there's probably some ongoing work to be done, but at the very least:
- You've identified the verticals and key roles that will be critical to your company's growth, and
- You've charted and described their goals, motivations, challenges, and greatest fears
So… now what?
Answer: You have to translate knowledge of your targets into content that serves their needs. In an inbound world, you need to start creating carefully crafted, relevant, attractive content that speaks to your personas and the problems they're facing. In this article, we'll look at how this content creation process works when crafting a blog meant to address persona problems. The five tips below—some role-based and more industry-reliant—will help you deliver the content that your targeted persona is looking for.
1. Good Writing Depends on Understanding Persona Motivations
Suppose your job is to attract leads that have key operations roles at logistics/supply chain companies. It would be difficult to tailor content to this persona without a clear understanding of the persona's primary objectives. What's his/her bottom line goal? What is his/her measure of success?
A content marketer must be able to speak the persona's language, literally (see #5) and figuratively. If you can gauge how a persona envisions and measures their own success, then you can begin to identify what questions they commonly ask online and what kind of content they'll likely search for in the future. If you can turn a persona focused on logistics into a set of questions surrounding pain points they're having in their position, then you have the start of what will become an editorial strategy and content calendar.
2. Set Tone by Grasping Key Personality Traits
Is your persona an early adopter of new ideas or does it take him time to make a decision? Is he a big risk taker? These are some of the questions to ask when identifying the persona’s personality. For instance, if you know that your target persona is a conservative decision maker, the tone of your blog article is likely to shift toward all things practical and logical.
Personality translates into tone, just as motivations translate into topical prompts. If you think you've filled out your persona documentation well so far, check out how many personality traits you have down on paper. As you practice creating content, you'll likely find that most companies need more information about personality and motivations than they think. Intangible data about personality helps you approach marketing more competitively, by refining your contextual connection with visitors—a huge factor in assisting conversions.
3. Use Anecdotes in Content to Connect with Target Audiences
You don’t want your content to sound robotic or too matter-of-factly, and anecdotes are an effective way to humanize any post. Think about developing a case study of another company within a target’s industry. How were your services able to help this company? Did you create a notable increase in the company’s revenue? Your target persona will want direct evidence of why your service should be trusted, and anecdotes are a perfect way of demonstrating that you "get" their niche within the industry.
If a big part of what you do is service-related, integrating case study information into your blog writing is especially effective.
4. Know Industry Terms to Demonstrate Your Expertise
There is nothing that will turn your audience away quicker than using incorrect industry terminology. In short, you need to speak the language of your personas—and the details count. If you sell machinery, then your company is probably already well-versed in the specifications of the verticals you sell to. But is that really apparent in your marketing?
If you operate within several different areas of business, oftentimes the marketing of one product area outshines the rest. Many businesses are known for one thing, but they actually do much more. To build new business in a broader range of categories, learn to write content that shows your expertise in all of them, using the language and jargon of each. If you sell industrial equipment to the plastics, paper, and packaging industries, then your goal should be to differentiate the way you write content for each, so that you make sure to attentively target with the highest degree of specificity.
By the same token, avoid using overcomplicated language when targeting a persona in content. Make sure your advice can be easily digested, and save your audience any extra hassle. To be sure—it's always a balancing act.
5. Match Your Content to the Overall Tone of the Industry
If a vertical you are working with demands efficiency and clear-cut sales production, it’s beneficial to write with this in mind. The “tough, matter-of-fact” tone that pervades many manuacturing verticals should be reflected in how you create content related to the industry if that's a big portion of who you sell to. Have hard evidence (e.g. statistics and demographics) ready to deploy.
Personas are an invaluable resource when crafting a business blog. They allow you to understand targets on a personal level, tailor content, and offer relevant suggestions for business growth. By implementing these five tips today, your business blog will both attract strangers and keep current clients satisfied.