The old rules of journalism are enjoying something of a rebirth in the world of content marketing according to a July piece posted on the Fearless Competitor’s website. Looking at the current state of content marketing, Joe Pulizzi (@juntajoe), of the Content Marketing Institute, notes that one of the major challenges is that there’s seldom agreement on content within many companies.

In what Pulizzi dubs “silo organizations,” the social media team is off in one direction, another group is busy with email content, still others are focused on public relations, and no one is talking or sharing ideas with anyone else.

Buyer Personas
Recognizing the problem is the easy part; the challenge is getting everyone on the same page and singing the same song. Buyer Persona InstituteThat’s where our old, familiar stand-bys—who, what, where, when and why—can save the day.

But it’s not just a matter of asking questions to get everyone aligned; it’s really a question of creating answers predicated by buyer personas, detailed creations of individuals who represent your real audience: decision makers like “James the CEO” and “Judy the Purchase Agent.” Each and every stakeholder in the process of whether or not to purchase your product needs to be represented by a buyer persona.

The personas must accurately answer certain key questions:

  • What is their job?
  • What is their background and education?
  • What is their personality?
  • Why should they consider your company and its products?
  • Where are they most likely to encounter your products or brand message?
  • What are their goals and pain points?
  • How can you share their goals and alleviate their pain points?
  • How do they define success and failure?
  • Why have they or why haven’t they considered your products?
  • How do they acquire new information?
  • What value can your products/services offer them specifically?

Above all, each buyer persona should be based on actual information gleaned through a series of detailed interviews with <gulp!> real people.

Once you know who, what, where, why and when, you’re ready to reassess your marketing programs to address the needs and demands of these buyer personas. The payoff, agrees Adele Revella, president of Buyer Persona Institute, Inc., is that you’ll derive insights into your buyer’s decisions that tell you:

  • What they are influenced by as they go through the buying process.
  • What options they compared to make a purchase.

In turn, the information gleaned from those insights can help your teams tailor content and a brand identity that offers the perfect solution to fit the targeted buyer’s definition of a problem AND do so across multiple channels, thereby becoming “un-siloed.”

The result? When the real life James the CEO and Judy the Buyer have questions about whether or not your company has the solution for their organization’s needs, your multi-channel content is already in place to address their concerns and pique their interest.

Kathleen Gossman – Project Manager

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