It is very crucial that your message swims through the tide of tough competition, and reach your customers safe and sound. In addition to the competition, we need to ensure that the message is prepared just as the users want to receive it. This is where persona research proves to be a savior. It should be considered as an elementary part of a content marketing strategy to make sure that the content that’s created is successful in being loud and clear – to the right kind of people.
Persona research is a science in itself, where the basic idea is identifying your audience. It is unavoidable to have a clean understanding of the audience’s requirement, the discovery process, their knowledge and their interests in order to deliver appealing content, ultimately helping in your conversion process.
This post focuses on how to create content based on the persona research, and what exactly do you need to research on.
First, let us understand persona research?
We will first understand the concept of persona. Most of the audience would already have the idea on the content they would like to discover. Also, today’s audience is smart enough to find the desired content online through various platforms. In addition to this, there are many aspects of the customers’ behavior which needs to be observed in order to come up with the best content based on their behavior. This is what persona research is all about. In order to get the traffic to your content, you need to understand what your audience base is craving for.
Ask yourself the following questions before creating a content marketing strategy:
- What is the kind of content that your audience prefers to see?
- Which are those various platforms used to discover content?
- What queries are entered by your base audience?
- What do the customers like most, propelling them to spend their time and money on?
- What drives the customer to take purchasing decisions?
- How could you keep your customers engaged?
So, let’s explore the world of persona and find answers to all these questions, to build an ever-lasting rapport with your customers.
#1: What is the kind of content that your audience prefers to see?
The content that you create should relate to the needs of audience. The prime motive of the content is to show the benefits of your products and services. And the whole game is about how effectively you do it. Although you have all the information in the content, it should be engaging and entertaining enough to grab eye-balls. The content should be unique. There are various forms in which you could prepare unique, informative and catchy content, namely infographics, articles, videos, blogs, webinars, how-to-guides, e-books and the list goes on….
There is a lot of research and time spent on finding an answer to this particular question. The best tool for this is Google Analytics, which gives us a very clear understanding of what is liked most by your audience. There are a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) which helps in this process like social engagement, organic searches, referral visits, bounce rate, to name just a few. You could check out the various metrics to measure the performance of your existing content.
You could also check out your competitors’ content and see what works for them. This could be determined by the number of shares and likes. Online surveys could also prove to be helpful, through which one could determine what it is that the audience wants.
#2: Which are those various platforms used to discover content?
There are numerous mediums available to discover content. Google is the undisputed leader and there are tons of content that shows us how useful Google is. Yes, you will get a whole lot of content through a number of options available, whether web-pages, images, videos, blogs or any other form, you know you could resort to Google, and in that case, other major search engines as well. One of the current hot favorites is Twitter chats, which give details on all the topics currently being discussed by people who are looking for the products and services that you have to offer. Basically, people are looking for reviews from people who are already using such products and services. They do this to make a purchasing decision or just for knowledge, however this is where you could actually come to know what kind of information they are looking for.
With the help of various social media monitoring tools, you could discover those places where your target audience looks for information. By tracking the number of likes, shares, comments, you could make up which kind of content is best preferred by your targeted audience. This makes the whole brainstorming process quite easy. Doing a quick search on various social media communities, will help in generating awesome content ideas.
Another useful platform is forum discussions, where loyal fans of a particular industry or a topic gather and discuss and also give suggestions.
#3: What queries are entered by your base audience?
The intentions behind searching on social networks or a search engine could be many. Check out if the audience is looking for some information, entertainment, or are they willing to purchase?
Your website’s own internal search can prove to be helpful when understanding a customer’s intentions. This is because customers may use it to find some of the things that you may or may not offer.
Look out for Google’s auto suggestions which will present the queries that are applicable to your industry and you could also enter some other keywords that you might not have considered earlier, but are related to your industry.
#4: What do the customers like most, propelling them to spend their time and money on?
People will spend money and time on products and services which are likely to meet needs. You could identify this motive of your audience, by understanding how your products or services could genuinely help them.
Once you understand this, you could tailor your content, so that it speaks directly to your audience and puts the message across efficiently.
For example, SEO helps in increasing the traffic to your website, which in turn returns more conversions and the overall Return on Investment of a campaign. Keeping this in mind, content should be created in a manner that it helps the targeted businesses in understanding the importance of SEO by efficiently communicating the whole process. The message should entice the audience to take your desired action.
#5: What drives the customers to make purchasing decisions?
What motivates the customer and what is the process around a purchase? Do your customers go by their impulse when buying a product, or is their buying process more strategic? When dealing with a small business, the purchasing decisions could be made by the owner himself. In case of an MNC, there may be an entire department handling the purchasing process.
The best way to see how the customer was driven to take a purchasing decision is by checking out the Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics, which is a good place to start seeing conversion paths. It is the most convenient tool to identifying the whole sales process, including which page encouraged the customer to purchase the product.
In addition to interacting with your audience and conducting surveys, the various analytics play a major role in helping you to craft that perfect message with an effective call to action.
#6: How to keep your customers engaged?
A content marketing strategy could be said to be effective, if all the parts of the content successfully work together to make an efficient call. It should give out an engaging story that drives your customers into the conversion funnel. That’s why it is inevitable to find out different ways to keep them engaged on your content.
A good way is to check out the content’s bounce rate. If it is high, it is a matter of concern. It means that the visitors are losing interest from the content half way or are getting turned away once they reach the landing page. Try to identify the reason for the higher bounce rate.
Your brand, with effective content, should get the customers’ time, and you will be rewarded with higher conversion rate and appreciation. This is only possible with an effective and an efficient content marketing strategy, which drives the customer to take your desired action.
A piece of content is only meant to connect with the viewer. Regardless of the content being on your own website or somewhere else, your target should be to connect with the audience. Successful content is the one which bridges the gap between a “window-shopper” and a “buyer” – A content marketing effort that will definitely bring your more ROI.
*This is a guest article by Sanket Patel*