OK, so you’ve finally done it: You’ve set up your business blog. It looks great and you’ve got the new-hire raring and ready to steamroll Google with a flurry of SEO-friendly entries. Simple as that – piece o’ cake, even.
… Well, not quite.
Enter: the art of crafting a buyer persona.
Here’s the 411: Though you can craft well-trafficked blog entries that will inevitably help your brand, failing to understand who you want to be landing on your pages could mean you’re not getting the most out of your investment. Buyer personas are, in short, archetypal (but research-based!) characterizations of people you hope to read your blog – your ideal customers or clients, with all their unique behaviors and needs. Understanding the demographics of customer personas for your business blog is a critical component of your content marketing success.
Knowing who they are is crucial to developing frame and context in blog writing and, ultimately, to pinpointing (and segmenting) your desired audience, generating sales leads and – you guessed it — improving your bottom line.
The question to pose first and foremost when creating a new blog entry? What, you must ask, is the intent of this blog post?
From there, visualize your buyer persona to help make your entries more specific. Below, a few bullet-point notes on how to go about doing that:
- Make sense of what you already know. If you’re an established business, comb through your analytics and data on customer demographics as a jumping-off point.
- Find out where they’re comfortable? Research where you’d expect your customers to spend their time while browsing the Web. You want customers/readers to feel both engaged and at ease with your content.
- Consider what you’re offering. What is it that your business and (by extension) blog is offering to the potential reader/customer that aids them? The trick is to not to just make them click on the page, but to get them to stay there. (And, of course, to come back.)
- Do some anecdotal research. You likely have daily interactions with clients/customers – take advantage of your one-on-one time to learn more about them. What do they do in their free time? What are they most curious about when they’re researching your product/services? Consider it easy access to an on-point, realistic buying persona.
- What’s your client’s background? This is most important if you’re targeting clients – you may want to do some research on who some realistic readers would be. They might be a manager for a medium-sized business, a director at a university or particularly passionate about a certain type of company culture.
Keeping the above in mind, creating your actual profile persona is a bit like piecing together a puzzle. You’ll want to take the above questions/considerations to compile a profile outline as a basic guideline for how to write in a way that is more human and pithy, as well as how to craft landing pages that are proposing desirable sales offers.
Basic outline for developing buyer personas:
Name: Give them a real name, and an identity – say, Home Builder Bob.
Demographics: Is your customer married? Maybe with kids? Are they a city-dweller, or have they settled down in the ‘burbs? How about income? Salaried, or hourly?
Job Title: Combined with demographics, it’s the basis for everything else you’ll fill out in the profile. It’s also innate subtext for the type of language to use – if nothing else, you can use the typical job, age and geographic location of a person to get a sense for how to communicate on their level.
Habits: Are they Facebook types, or are they using LinkedIn? (Perhaps just email?) What words are they likely to be typing into a search box?
Hurdles: Identifying challenges is how you’ll most effectively communicate with your reader – here, then, is how you’ll learn to have a deft, empathetic touch with your writing. Think about: How much free time do they have? Are they organized? Is there a problem specific to their position you can help with?
Goals: Maybe they’re looking for a change in their personal or company perception, or desire new tools, or are looking for a complete change-up in their professional career. Figure out why they found your blog in the first place, and go from there.
I find this system very effective but I'd love to hear from you. Please share any steps in the process that you're using and add to the conversation!