A content persona is a semi-fictional illustration of your target audience based on the data you obtained from market research. It’s also sometimes called the buyer persona. It’s common to have multiple content/buyer personas, especially if you’re trying to attract more than a single buying group.
Without a content persona, it’s very easy to make a mistake in guessing what kind of information your audience is seeking. Having no content persona in your strategy may reduce the impact of your blog posts.
How many content personas do you need?
Let’s say you’re targeting Gen Z as a whole and you’re creating an article about investing and managing finances. It may be relatable to the oldest members of Generation Z, but it wouldn’t appeal to the teens or the younger population of Gen Z.
If you look at it closely, this generation is a vast age range to target because, at present, this generation consists of individuals ages 8-23 years old.
In order to reach more people from a specific generation, you might want to consider creating more than one content persona. But how many personas are too many? You can have 10 or even up to 20.
But Dean Swanich, a senior marketing technology consultant at Huble Digital, emphasized that having too many content personas can be a bad thing. It’s like trying to please everyone, which is one of the mistakes you wouldn’t want to make in marketing.
So, how many content personas will be good for your marketing strategy? Truth is, there’s no single answer in terms of the ideal number. It depends on how many buying groups you’re trying to reach. If you’re targeting 2-3 buying groups, you can also create two to three buyer personas. But then again, 10 is just too many!
Benefits of Having A Content Persona
Are you planning to create content for a specific location, let’s say Malaysia? Developing a content persona can be one of the best content marketing strategies for businesses in Malaysia or in other geographical locations you’re targeting.
Why? Because anyone will surely appreciate targeted content! Roopal Julka, head of Accuen Malaysia, said all consumers want brands to reach out to them on a personal and relevant level.
Have you ever read something online as if it's written directly to you because you were so hooked? That's the same response you'll want to get from your readers and that's the goal of developing a buyer persona.
Developing a buyer persona is not just about stating who your buyers are. It’s about knowing them deeper and identifying what type of information will be effective for them. A well-written buyer persona allows you to get to know more about their pain points, so you can easily address them.
In his book The New Rules of Marketing and PR, sales visionary David Meerman Scott wrote that businesses will be more successful if they use the web to educate important types of buyers with the help of buyer personas, rather than talk about their products/services.
A good example would be the American e-commerce store Goodbye Crutches' strategy. One of their posts, titled, “Woman’s Guide to Dress for Success with Leg Cast,” targets 35-55-year-old moms with an active lifestyle, who are one of their four buying personas.
In fact, a Cintell report revealed that 71% of companies with a content persona were able to exceed their lead goals and revenue.
How to Develop A Content Persona
Creating content marketing personas may seem like an intricate task. Some marketers dread it and some even think it’s unnecessary because they already know who their audience is.
But there are ways to do it without much difficulty. You can take advantage of free templates and even buyer persona generators offered by some websites.
A content marketing agency in Malaysia can save you the time having to create a buyer persona. Some agencies already include buyer persona as part of their content marketing strategy. Still, nothing beats creating your persona from scratch.
In case you haven’t created one before, here’s a guide on how to develop your own content/buyer persona:
1. Paint a picture of your ideal customer.
Are you targeting a specific gender or both? What is their level of education? Are they part of a specific age group? These are some of the basic questions you should ask yourself to start creating an idea of a buyer persona. Don’t forget to give them a name!
For example, your content persona’s name is Liz. She completed high school, and she’s in the sales industry. You can add a few more details like who she reports to and what tools she uses to do her job.
An effective buyer persona goes far beyond the demographics. You can include Liz’s goals, challenges, and preferences. It will even be better if you incorporate storytelling in your approach, rather than putting everything in bullet points.
2. Start your research process.
Now that you have a vision of your ideal customer, the next step is to do your research. The best way to get your information is by interviewing, getting data from your contacts database, and getting your team’s feedback.
Interview real buyers
By getting the opinion of your previous buyers, you can even get information that you don’t already know.
Take note that while a content persona is a fictitious illustration of your target audience, your research should come from real people.
You can get the opinion of your potential leads or individuals who are interested in purchasing your product. You can also include quotes from your interview.
Come up with a list of questions that you can use to get to know more about your audience. This includes personal information, goals, challenges, and values as well as fears.
Check out the competition
More than conducting interviews, you might want to know what your competitors are up to.
Just like what best-selling author Nancy Pearcey said, “Competition is a good thing because it forces us to do our best.” Sheel Mohnot of FeeFighters, a comparison-shopping website, uses tools like Google Trends, Google Alerts, and SpyFu in analyzing their rivals.
In case you haven’t used it before, SpyFu is a competitor keyword research tool for AdWords. Like Mohnot, you can use these tools to identify your competitors and learn their SEO tricks. You can also tap into social media and online forums.
3. Organize your data
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to put all the information in order. A good example is a buyer persona published in Buyer Persona Institute.
Here, Stan, the “persona” is a general manager of a construction company. All the information about Stan is presented in a very detailed manner.
Image Source: buyerpersona.com
You can use this as an example to create your own buyer persona. As you can see, this one even has a picture of what Stan might look like.
His buyer persona profile consists of his top priorities as a general manager of his company, resources he trusts, and his initiative in buying products.
Creating content marketing personas will help you develop content from the perspective of your customer. This, in turn, lets you create something truly relevant and valuable for them.
If you want to have an effective content marketing strategy for SEO, you shouldn’t ignore the value of developing buyer personas. They can help you develop tailored blog posts, which can increase your organic traffic, online leads, and sales.
Finally, developing content marketing strategies for businesses in Malaysia is an effective step in SEO. A content marketing agency in Malaysia, like HotCopy, can help you develop blog posts that resonate well with your target audience.