In 2014, “content marketing” became a buzzword amongst B2B marketers. So much focus has shifted to content marketing that according to OutSell Research, it is now a $40 billion industry. Research from Content Marketing Institute found that more than 90 percent of B2B marketers include content in their marketing and 70 percent of them plan to increase the amount of content they produce. Yet, research from Forrester found that as much as 50 percent of corporate content goes completely unused.
Why is that? Because, not all content is actually meaningful and relevant. Prospective customers want access to quality content that addresses their unique pain points and challenges, and they go to the Web and social channels to find it. A quick Google search now provides prospects with instant access to the insight, knowledge and perspective they need to determine if you are a company they want to do business with. That’s why quality content counts.
To create content that delivers optimal ROI, your content strategy must be rooted in buyer personas. Content Marketing Institute found that buyer personas are a critical success factor for increasing the effectiveness of your content and when used properly in the content development process, can increase effectiveness by as much as 45 percent.
Here are seven questions that will help you capture critical personal profile data that is required to develop highly effective content.
- What are the pain points this persona faces? Identify the three to five challenges your buyer commits time, money and political influence to solving.
- What options are they pursuing to address each challenge? It’s critical to know what solutions they are considering with respect to solving a specific challenge they face. This is what you are competing against.
- What motivates this persona? Identify how your buyer defines success — personally and professionally.
- What is this persona’s buying process? Identify how this buyer explores and selects a solution that can help them address the challenges they face and achieve what they define as success.
- What are this persona’s decision-making criteria? Identify their core buying criteria (what they value most in the products/services/solutions and companies they are considering).
- What types of content does this persona consume? Identify whether the buyer is more likely to consume white papers, executive briefs, videos, infographics, blog articles, etc.
- Where does the persona consume information? Identify the top three to five channels the buyer uses to access information (i.e., industry/media platforms, eNewsletters, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).
Whether developing content for thought leadership, social storytelling, brand storytelling, lead generation or sales enablement, buyer personas are critical to the success of your content development strategy and your customer experience.