Today's marketing landscape is heavily based on Content marketing instructed. B2B companies use content to build trust and a relationship with potential customers. But questions always arise like: What exactly should I write? What content is my target group interested in and where is it located? Content marketing personas provide this knowledge.
To find the answers to the above questions, you first need to know who your target group is in the first place and what their needs or problems are. This determines your whole Content marketing strategy and, of course, what content you should create.
In the following text, we explain what content marketing personas (or buyer personas) are, why they are important and how they are created.
Table of contents
What are buyer personas in B2B marketing?
B2B content marketing persona or buyer persona is a detailed, data-based description of the people who represent your target audience. This is not a real person, but a fictional representation of the people who embody the characteristics of your best potential customers.
"A marketing persona is a composite sketch of a key segment of your target audience." - Ardath Albee.
A content marketing persona is not meant to describe or be based on a specific person. Instead, it is a composite sketch that should reflect the majority of people it represents. If your target market are 'marketers', it is perfectly acceptable to have multiple personas for the different types of marketers, as long as there are enough differences between them to warrant a separate persona. You may have multiple content marketing personas broken down by company size or industry - or whatever makes sense for your company.
Why are personas important in B2B content marketing?
More than 60% of marketers like to create content marketing personas for their marketing strategy. Because when you convey a message on the internet, it should reach your ideal target group.
Without solid content marketing personas, you may not be aware of the type of content your audience wants to consume. You need to know what your audience needs in order to deliver engaging, high-quality content. People actively search for information on the internet, and every Content marketing strategy should actively seek information about internet users. With dedicated analytics and trends in user behaviour, you can design a content personality that markets your content well across different industries and advertising channels.
An important point when creating content marketing personas is that each persona can go beyond the target demographic. This is because there are a large number of internet users with different interests and priorities spread all over the world. If you can relate to a specific mindset, you can create content that reaches a larger number of people on a specific platform. Whether on a website or social media, if the personas you create are well thought out, they become a universal marketing tool. You can always look back and use online marketing personas to rename, repurpose or reorganise your content marketing strategy. Always ensure maximum efficiency so that all key stakeholders are aligned.
Before you start creating content, creating buyer personas is the first and most important step towards successful Content marketing.
Create marketing presonas
Creating content marketing personas requires a lot of effort. This includes interviews and research. Interviews are the most time-consuming part of the development process. Therefore, take the time to interview enough people until you hear the same things over and over again. When you reach this point, you will know that you have found commonalities that resonate with the segment represented by the persona.
In general, there are four steps that need to be followed to arrive at the perfect content marketing personas:
- Quantitative analysis (collect customer list; analyse the list at both individual and company level).
- Qualitative analysis (arrange interviews with clients, conduct interviews and write down a summary of the interviews)
- Drafting the personas (see section "Components of a marketing persona")
- Socialisation of the personas (present the created personas to the company)
Components of content marketing personas
Marketing personas are not simple representations of a target segment on a sheet of paper, completing a checklist item. Rather, they are thoroughly researched and rounded dossiers that help you understand what is important to the persona, what a day in their life looks like, who they interact with, what type of content best appeals to them and how they want to engage with it. These are the components of a persona:
A first person scenario: Is written from the perspective of personas, as if telling you what and who they are dealing with when trying to achieve a goal.
Goals: Things she needs to achieve and is responsible for, as well as her professional aspirations.
Orientation: Commonalities of characteristics demonstrated in the people representative of the personas. An example could be that an engineer prefers accurate technical information with sources to support claims.
Obstacles: Anything that prevents personas from making a purchase throughout the buying process.
ProblemsAre the flip side of goals. If there were no problems or challenges with the goals, the personas would have already achieved them.
Questions: What are all the questions these personas need to have answered to make the transition from status quo to customer?
Keywords and phrases: What terms are the personas most likely to search for when they want to solve their problem or achieve a goal?
Interaction channelsWhere do these personas spend their time online? Which offline channels do they prefer?
Social media preferencesWhat hashtags does she follow? Which groups does she belong to? Which influencers does she follow? What kind of content does she share with her networks?
Engagement scenarios: How will you attract and continue to interact with these personas as they progress from status quo to customer? What does this path look like? How do they interact with other personas in the buying process?
Content preferences: Which formats do perosnas prefer?
Looks complicated and elaborate? Take part in our Persona workshop and move your buyer personas project forward.
Once you have identified and evaluated your buyer personas, you can use our template to create perfect buyer persona profiles: To DOWNLOAD the Buyer Persona template.