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What Does an Effective Content Strategy Look Like?

Content strategy using personas

There are two phases to effective strategy creation. The first is creating the persona and then the second is creating content that appeals to each stage of that persona’s buying cycle.

Let’s take the purchasing of real estate for an example and create 3 personas and look at the content that will appeal to each stage of each persona.

First let’s assume that Bob, Dave and Mary are looking to buy a condo. Bob is an investor that has multiple properties already and knows the industry and issues well. Dave is a first time buyer looking to get into the market but not looking to be an investor yet, and Mary is a wife and mother that is looking for a city apartment for her husband and their two children.

We can agree that these are 3 very different persona’s that are all looking for the same thing, a condo to buy and that, as it so happens, is exactly what you’re selling.

For each persona there are different content strategies that need to be developed that will attract the customer to your site at all stages of the purchasing process.

Personas for content strategy

The most common stages are the awareness stage. (we call that stage one) This is content that is created for users that are not looking for your product but are the type of people that may use it in the future.

For Bob this content will take the shape of general area news, maybe rules and regulations updates, or tourism numbers for a particular area. For Dave, it’s probably things to do in the local area, information about the nightlife and so on. Mary may be interested in services and schooling about the town. As you can see they have all very different interests, but none of this content is about buying a condo.

Once you have made the content, you need to distribute it.

Distribution can be with either a blog post that is pushed to social media or so on. It’s made for bulk views and should always be free to view and easy to push out into their social media channels. Be sure that you brand all images and that you make the og: tags relevant to your market, as its going to get shared on Facebook and so on.

The second stage content, is for the consideration stage customer; the customer that is looking to have a problem solved or looking for a solution to a business issue that you, as it just happens, can solve for them.

Again, for Bob, this content will be about loans or tax deductions when buying off a plan, or it may be consortium’s that are being created to offset costs and risk when buying multiple apartments in the same building. For Dave it’s rules that apply to someone like him. It’s about permits and permissions that he may need to acquire, but it’s also about the stability of the market and assurances that the purchase isn’t a bad one. Lastly for Mary, it’s about safety and quality, about the services in the area and how they can currently apply to her and her family, more than just bus timetables, it’s about hospitals, market shopping and quality of education from the local schools. This content is more targeted to issues that arise within their business

For Pattaya Design Studios, a web design agency and one of the DSA Global family, we develop content that provides a guide for users to assess an agency when they are looking for a website to be built. This content is delivered via an eBook. While there are branded images and we put users that download this eBook into a marketing automation workflow, we do not do a ‘Hard Sell” to them.

This content has the dual purpose of providing high quality content but also, converting these users into leads, and that conversion is the first step into a sale.

This content should be distributed with some sort of gating, getting consumers to give you their email, or fill out a form. It’s very important for this as it’s the way you’re going to get the leads.

The last part of the content stage is the content to close the sale. This content is built specifically to get the customer to make the purchase. This can be product reviews, discounts, coupons, free assessments or free trials to tools, whatever you have that will make that purchase decision that little bit easier.

For Bob, content that may make him close the sale and go with you is sending all the documents pre-completed so all he needs to do is sign. It may be offers for flights to see the developments and so on. For Dave, its possibly going to be additional offers and incentives that you use to sweeten the deal, offers for local gym memberships or free technology subscriptions, and lastly for Mary, it may be profiles or information about the security guards at the building and so on.

So you can see that there are very different tactics you can take to sell the same product to 3 very different types of customers, and when you combine that with offers to appeal to each stage of consumer, and some smart marketing automation technology, then you can really develop a winning strategy.

Something to note however; you should continue to make content for the separate personas well after they make the purchase. This may be to help keep that customer engaged in the brand, it may be to assist in the up selling of products to that persona or just to assist that customer in using your product.

The sales process does not finish at the paid invoice stage. The lifetime of the customer is the total value of what that customer is prepared to pay for the entire time that they are your client.

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Benjamin S Powell

CEO & founder at DSA global
A Digital Marketing expert and CEO & founder of DSA Global. Ben has over 10 years experience solving complex business problems in both client and agency-side roles.

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