John Durrant: Without buyer personas your content marketing is screwed

John Durrant
John Durrant

Content marketing is the new rock ‘n’ roll of digital marketing and everyone wants a piece of the action, which is great, but you’re going to have to back up a bit before you go off and start creating content like a crazed marketer.

Before you do anything, you have to create your buyer persona, sometimes known as your customer persona.

What’s that? Yip, you NEED a buyer persona… you might even need several, but what the hell is it?

A buyer persona is a fictional person, or persons, that you create who represent your ideal customer based on market research.

With any content marketing/digital marketing strategy you first need to know who to talk to and what content they like before you create the strategy and content plan.

Think about it: How do you know what content to create and where to promote it if you don’t know who you’re talking to?

The fundamental problem with many business marketing strategies is that they don’t know who they’re talking to because they don’t take the first step of creating these crucial buyer personas.

What should you consider when creating the buyer persona?

Think about the demographics: What gender are they? What age? What’s their profession? Financial status? What do they do in their free time?

What purpose do they buy from you for?

The answers to all of these questions will hugely influence what content you create and how you speak to your potential customers.

Once you know these, you can then craft a strategy that compels and converts to sales using content.

Remember, quality content that resonates with potential customers builds trust… and people buy when they trust your brand.

How do you build your buyer personas?

Look at current and past customers or clients. Use that data to influence how you talk to potential new customers.

There’s a good chance that your past and present customers are your buyer persona in a nutshell.

Look at the data you have, whether it’s from mailing lists, your social media following, customer purchase files… whatever you have, and you’ll probably find there are lots of things that they have in common.

You can also create customer surveys, both online and offline with open questions like:

What problem does our product/service solve in your life?

What doubts or hesitations did you have before buying?

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Most people hate customer surveys so incentivise them in some way. Offer up a prize or a discount for customers who take part.

Don’t have lots of data to go on? Look at your competitors’ social following and use that data to guide you!

Top takeaway: If you don’t know who you’re creating content for, then how can you possibly know what content to produce?

John Durrant is the CEO and co-founder of Juggling Swords, an Edinburgh digital and content marketing agency.