To get the most value from personas and buyer journeys, look for insights that apply not just to content creation, but also to your strategic content planning.

4 ways to apply persona and buyers’ journey insights to content planning

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Understanding your audience is the bedrock of buyer-centric content creation. That’s why marketers invest time researching buyers to create personas, and map those personas to a buying journey to help identify what each persona is looking for in each stage of a buying journey.

In order to get the most value from these findings, look for insights that apply not just to content creation, but also to your strategic content planning.

Let’s look at four ways you can apply persona and journey map insights to content strategy:

1. Define your themes based on current needs

Create themes, or focus areas, for your content production calendar. You can use what you learned from your buyers to guide these themes, along with your company’s top-level marketing and sales initiatives. Look for the following when you plan your content themes:

  • Using insights from your buyers to look for themes
    • What day in the life pain points did you identify in your personas?
    • Did they have common upcoming initiatives?
    • Were there patterns in their perceptions about the industry?
    • Tip: check out examples of personas insights.
  • Learning from your journey maps
    • Are your leads stuck in a certain point of the funnel or buying process?
    • What are they looking to learn in that stage?
    • What content preferences do they have in that stage?
    • Use this type of framework to determine a sales-focused theme
    • Tip: Creating content at each stage of the buying journey

2. Choose your audience focus groups based on your personas

  • Do several of your personas share common concerns or needs?
  • Group your personas by similar needs, preferences and styles.
  • Audience focus groups help you target your content ideas to the needs that those personas are motivated to fulfill.

3. Plan your content coverage

Evaluating content needs at each stage of the funnel, by persona and need type, allows you to create a rich buy-centric content plan that ensures you’re empowering sales and marketing to reach all their buyers with the right messaging and the right time.

  • Inventory your existing content, compared to the needs of each persona at each stage, and look for any gaps. While you’ll always be producing core thought leadership content on an ongoing basis, you’ll want to make sure you’ve covered the foundation of your buying journey.
  • In addition to creating new content, look for opportunities to repurpose existing pieces to get the most value from your content creation investments.

4. Apply insights to content creation

Once themes, audience and coverage had been applied to your planning, it’s time to get to work. Below are five buyer-centric questions to ask in early content planning:

  • Which persona/audience is this content for?
  • What would motivate this person to consume this content?
  • Why should they listen to me?  
    • Show your expertise or do excellent, cited research.
  • Where do I think this audience will find the content (or how will I deliver it to them)?
  • What action am I hoping to inspire with that learning?
  • Tip: Learn more about conducting successful content brainstorms.

 

 

TL;DR: To get the most value from your persona and journey mapping research:

  1. Define your themes based on persona motivations and insights.
  2. Identify your audience and look for commonalities in different buyer types.
  3. Plan content coverage for all personas at each journey stage.
  4. Apply insights to ideation and creation.

Check out Brafton’s guest blog over at Akoonu for more insight into how personas and buyer journeys enhance your relationships with external digital marketing agencies and other vendors.

Kathleen Atkins
Kathleen Atkins is Head of Services at Akoonu, a strategic marketing platform that empowers B2B marketers to develop and operationalize the essential elements for successful buyer-centric marketing from planning through execution. Before joining Akoonu, Kathleen was Senior Director of Content Marketing here at Brafton, where she brought her love for content marketing and analytics to hundreds of content strategies.

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