It’s a statement that’s been done to death - ‘Content is King’. However overused the words are, though, the message is true. The content and quality of said content has a direct affect on the rise and fall of your website. You want to be delivering the best possible content to your customers, with the most relevant facts and figures, generating the best sales results and building a positive working relationship.
There’s many ways to go about this, but the core of delivering good content lies with understanding your customers and their needs. You want to appear insightful and helpful, empathetic to their challenges and acutely aware of their goals.
Given that you might be providing service to hundreds, if not thousands of people, how would you go about developing large scale campaigns without losing the personal touch your customers need? What would be the best way to meet the needs of the individuals seeking your expertise while still managing the greater scale of your company?
The most helpful and comprehensive answer lies in developing personas for your buyers.
Meeting Joe Public
A buyer persona is a fictional character you aim to sell to. They’re an archetype, a collection of traits of your ideal customer clumped together and given a face. What you’re doing when you develop a buyer persona is more than saying ‘I’m going to sell my product to the public’, it’s looking at the needs of your ideal customer and meeting them with content tailored to their needs. An ideal persona will be fictional, but their needs and challenges will be the same as those of your customers, and you’ll be able to secure sales with them because you’re providing exactly what they’re after.
One of the ways you can go about understanding more about your customers and subsequently be building a generic model, is the simplest. Ask your customers - when they sign up or sign in, when you interact with them through email or over the phone, try and understand what their needs are. Through interacting with a small sample on this level, you’ll be able to see where the greater needs overlap, and begin to create your ideal customer. Interaction with your existing customers in building one or more customer persona is ideal, as you’ve already established a good rapport with them. People enjoy telling you about themselves, and understanding the smaller things - like the general layout of an average person’s day - can give great insight into needs and requirements your team may not have considered yet. There’s a multitude of things that go on in people’s lives that look small from the outside but can have a huge affect on how their day actually functions.
The more information you gather, the clearer an image you’ll get of your average buyer - what problems they have and what they want you to do for them to fix those problems. Once you have those averages sorted out, give them a personality, a name, and a face. It’s much easier to address the issues of ‘Simon, the small business owner looking for software he can use to manage his business’ than simply looking at your software and trying to figure out how to market it with flyers or website advertising. Simon might also be trying to understand web design better, as his website needs updating and he doesn’t want to keep outsourcing all of the work. The need here is simple - it’s just been given a bit of a story around it to help your content writers keep writing to humans instead of standing on top of a soap box and hoping someone’s listening.
When you create content that speaks to rather than pitches at customers, they’ll feel like their problems have been better understood, and they’re far more likely to engage in business with you.
When creating website content, it’s incredibly helpful to create a persona to market to. Your fictional buyer will be an archetype; a rough sketch of your average customer that you’ll be able to create content for. In turn, your customers will feel like their problems are being personally addressed, as their problems are the same as those of the persona. Because your content is being tailored to the needs of the ideal customer, you’ll spend more time interacting with the contacts you want, and your customers will feel that their problems are being correctly addressed and will be far more likely to head down the path towards sales with you.