It’s quite simple. A content strategy without buyer personas is like a racecar without an engine. It might look cool but it won’t go anywhere. Here’s why your customer or buyer must be the star of your communications program.

A content strategy without buyer personas is like a racecar without an engine.Click To Tweet

Buyer personas matter. Selling is about your buyers’ interests, not yours.

According to ITSMA, buyers are 48% more likely to consider solution providers that personalize their marketing to address their specific business issues. Unfortunately, marketers often assume topics they think are interesting will automatically be of interest to their prospective customers.

It’s easy to take this misstep because the need for a communications initiative often stems from the need to share a message. You have something to say, so naturally you immediately start thinking about how you are going to say it. But really great content strategies – the kind that generate demand and spur buying conversations – start with what’s on your buyers’ minds.

What problems are they struggling with? What do they already know? What do they want clarity on? What matters to them in the purchasing process? Whose opinions do they seek?

But wait, you say: I already know my buyer! Think again.

Life happens in context.

An effective buyer persona goes far beyond a general profile: title, demographic, etc. Those are important facts, but you also want to consider context: how they feel and why, and what drives them. Aim to more deeply understand the buyer’s life and what matters most to them, today and at different moments in time. In our industry, new issues, trends and pain points seem to arise monthly – prompting new approaches and patterns of behavior. When is the last time you really considered the actions and reactions of your buyer? What is their story in the context of today’s challenges?

You want to win the series, not just the race.

Keep in mind that content marketing is not a process of download, click and buy. Instead, it’s one of generating awareness, building a relationship and earning trust so that when your buyer is ready to make a purchase, they think of you and are confident in your product or service. With in-depth, thoughtful buyer personas, you can create content that is more meaningful and will help you connect with your audiences emotionally.

We’ve come a long way from one-directional communication strategies where we blast out information on our products; today’s best campaigns listen and respond. They resonate with the issues, wants and needs of the buyer.

If you want to do just one thing to get your content marketing strategy on track, put your buyer in the driver’s seat.

For more than 15 years, Jen Zottola has helped bring clients’ stories to life – through media opportunities, digital and marketing content, executive presentations, employee communications and more. Fusing creativity with strategy, she crafts compelling, award-winning copy proven to reach and resonate with the right audiences in the most impactful ways. As editorial director, Jen collaborates with clients and account teams to provide counsel on messaging and voice, as well as writing and editing support. Her creativity isn’t reserved only for writing; Jen also gets a kick out of party- and event planning.