Many marketers are doing a good job building brand awareness and stimulating interest in the marketplace for their product and services. Where they fall short is:

 

  • Producing content that connects to their different buyer types
  • Mapping that content to where the buyer is on their journey to purchase.

 

Having great content is critical but knowing who to send it to and more importantly, when to send it, is just as vital.  The alternative is a “carpet-bomb” approach that rarely produces quality leads and new business.

 

If you want your content to resonate with your buyers and move them closer to purchase, follow these four steps:

 

  1. Develop your Buyer Persona(s)
  2. Inventory your content
  3. Connect your content to your buyer persona(s)
  4. Map your content to the buyer’s journey

 

Develop Buyer Persona(s)

It all begins with the buyer.  Changes in buyer behavior necessitate marketers ask themselves anew:

 

  • How well do I know my customer?
  • Do I understand how my customers want to buy from me?
  • What is their path to purchase?
  • When do they want to engage with a sales rep?

 

According a 2011 Sales Executive Council study, 57% of a consumer’s buying process happens without a rep being present.  In other words, buyers have made it over half ways down their “purchase decision timeline” before ever engaging with a sales rep.  This represents a monumental shift in buyer behavior.  World class marketing leaders are acknowledging this fact and adjusting the way they engage with prospects and customers.

 

Want to know more about changes in buyer behavior and how your peers are adjusting to these changes?  Click HERE for more information.

 

The first step to successfully engaging your customers is developing Buyer Personas.  Buyer Personas are research-based modeled representations of who your buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behaviors, how they buy, and why they make decisions.

 

The infographic below illustrates the four steps to building Buyer Personas.

 

4 Steps to building personas resized 600

 

Buyer Personas are the foundation of your marketing strategy.  If you want help building your Buyer Personas, send me an email and I will walk you through the process.

 

Inventory your Content

The 2nd step to maximizing your content is to inventory what you have. Here’s the best practice:  Inventory your content by mode or channel of delivery.  For example…

 

Inventory your Content

 

A simple way to accomplish this is to create a database or spreadsheet that captures your content by title and lists your assets by:

 

  • Date Created
  • Topic Covered
  • Where to Find (Ex: URL Address)
  • Date of next review or update of material

 

This simple exercise will reveal patterns and gaps in your content.  For example, you may be heavy in some types of content while light in others.

 

Connect your Content to your Buyer Personas

Delivering the right message to the right person is critical for marketing effectiveness and producing quality leads.  Not all buyers are created equal.  Each Buyer Persona has their specific goals and objectives that drives how and why they buy.  A savvy marketer will develop content specific to their buyer personas. 

 

To connect your content to your buyer personas, take the output of step #2 and begin linking your content to your different buyer types.  Look for patterns and gaps again.  Make sure you haven’t developed tons of content for one buyer persona while neglecting others.

 

Next post, I will cover the last step in the process: Mapping your content to the Buyer’s Journey.  In the interim, if you want to know more about what your marketing peers are planning for 2013, register for SBI’s 6th Annual Research Project HERE.

 

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