In a previous article ‘Are you engaging prospects with Digital Edutainment?’ I mentioned that traditional marketing was about reach and frequency. Today marketing is all about making connections and building relationships and content marketing meets this criteria.
Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content to attract and engage a specified target audience with the goal to convert prospects to take a desired action. This content can be delivered in a variety of ways to include whitepapers, articles, reports, eBooks, audio books, infographics, newsletters, videos, press releases, podcasts and more.
Good content marketing works to keep you and your business top-of-mind. Content marketing is meant to help, not sell. Consumers today don’t have time for boring, self-promoting content. Great content is shared through email, social media and video with the intention of being interesting, engaging, and fun. Brands need to deliver their valuable content as digital edutainment; to educate and entertain.
Regardless of who your ideal customer is, it’s going to be challenging for you to create effective content if you don’t understand your buyer’s situation. In other words, in addition to knowing who your buyer is, you must also comprehend what he or she cares about and what’s the process they go through to make a purchase. You will need to be aware what stages throughout the buyer’s journey you need to influence in order to drive conversions and move the buyer through the sales funnel.
To develop content that converts, there are three things you need to know about your buyer:
- What are their motivations; their pain points and their particular role in the buying process
- At what stage in their journey are they likely to get stuck
- How can you get them unstuck and move them forward by solving their problem or answer their questions
The best way to understand your buyer’s journey (from unaware to purchase) is to create a buyer persona by analyzing the buyer journey.
Buyer personas are detailed descriptions of the decision-makers involved in the purchase of your product or service. Developing a persona helps you to clearly see what motivates your buyers as this is vital information when it comes to creating content for them. When you develop content that speaks to their pain points, educates them and helps them overcome any unconscious objections they may have about your brand, you are able to incrementally move them through the buying process and through your sales funnel.
When it comes to establishing a buyer persona, you’ll want to gather some basic information from current customers, your sales teams, and associates or from the company database. If you have more than one type of customer, create a persona for each one.
Develop the persona by asking the following questions:
What is the buyer’s title and their role in the buying process
Who exactly are you targeting within the company? What is this person’s job title and their responsibilities within the company? What is his or her budget?
Analyze the buyer’s behavior
At this particular time, what motivates the buyer? What is the problem that he or she is facing that you can solve? What’s keeping him or her up at night; what are the pain points? What factors will motivate this person to make a purchase? How urgently does this person need a solution?
Research the Company
What is the industry? What’s the size of the company? Is it local, regional or international?
Demographic information about the buyer
What department does the buyer belong to? What are his or her primary responsibilities? Is he or she the final decision maker or a gatekeeper?
Compile as much information as you can, then combine the most relevant details and create a short description or paragraph of the buyer’s persona. Start with his name, title at the company, the company annual turnover and the problem that the company is looking to overcome. Then speak about the behaviours of this individual and what solution that your buyer is looking for.
Once you’ve created your buyer personas you’ll have a much better understanding of what makes your buyer tick. Completing the above exercise gives you valuable insight which then allows you to create content that resonates with the buyer through each phase of their buying process. Now it’s time for you to move your prospects from unaware, to aware and to a purchase.