Customer Personas: What is Your Audience Looking For?

Customer Personas: What is Your Audience Looking For?In B2B marketing, there’s a lot of talk about customer personas. “It’s a logical place to start, as it’s next to impossible to develop a content strategy without a keen understanding of the people involved in buying complex B2B offerings.” – Ardath Albee wrote on her Marketing Interactions blog.

But don’t be fooled by the idea of customer personas. It’s not just a matter of understanding who’s reading your content – it’s also important to understand WHY they’re reading it. After all, clicks and shares don’t tell you anything about what a reader was hoping to get from your content, right?

So how do you determine your reader’s intent with your content? Here are three ways.

1. Mine your long-tail keywords

Keywords are a good starting point for anyone looking for reader intention. They don’t tell the whole story, however. Delve a little deeper into the keywords, more specifically the long-tail keywords to get that insight.

For example, someone searching for “data visualization”could be looking for:

  • A definition on what data visualization is
  • A list of software providers that help with data visualization
  • Information on how other similar organizations are using data visualization

That covers a lot of ground, but if you see the long-tail keyword “enterprise data visualization vendors”, you've got a better idea of what content they’re seeking, and these users represent higher quality traffic.

2. Look deeper at the content shares of your readers

Monitor your online channels and see which of your content is being most shared by your readers. Perhaps it’s a How To video that explains how to use one of your products, or a white paper that talks about the latest trend in your industry. The content they’re sharing will tell you immediately what their intent is.

In this situation, they wanted to know how your product worked, perhaps as a sort of “try before you buy” idea. Matching the behavior to your content will give you a clearer idea on their intention.

3. Listen in on your customers’ conversations

Make it easier to match your content to your readers’ intention by listening in on what they say. That means talking to your Sales and Support teams, and see what topics they’re talking about with customers. It’s an easy way to create content that’s tailored specifically to the topics they’re interested in. Monitor your social media channels and the comments your corporate blog receives, and use that as the basis for your content.

Add the notion of reader intention into your marketing programs and see how that works for you. It’s a less-formal way of tapping in to your readers’ minds and seeing what makes them tick. What are you doing to discover your readers’ intention? Let us know in the comments.

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