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One of the basics of content marketing is this: You’ll never be able to produce relevant, custom content (or deliver it in a way that is meaningful to customers) unless you first know who your customers are. In other words, you can’t create stellar content without first creating your target audience.

So, how can you go about doing this? I understand that for businesses just venturing into content marketing, this can seem like a daunting task. You may think it requires endless historical, transactional and behavioral data and real-time insights into customer decisions. While it would of course be great to have all of this information on hand, it’s okay to take smaller and more manageable steps towards this goal.

The first step, which is very important, involves understanding who your target audience is. This means having a finger on the pulse of multiple buyer personas within your target audience. It seems complex at surface level, but Adele Revella, CEO, Buyer Persona Institute, explains it quite simply:

“Understand the difference between a profile and a persona. A Profile is the kind of person who would buy your stuff. Persona is insight on how buyers make decisions.” 

It’s critical that you understand who your target audience is, including their wants, needs and challenges. Below is a blueprint to help you identify and expand on your ideal audience. Start by creating three personas within your target audience. Consider the below example for brands competing in the hospitality sector:

  • WHO: Property Manager
  • CHALLENGE(S): Unexpected maintenance; property damage; guest complaints
  • WHAT MATTERS MOST TO THIS PERSON: Ensuring a satisfying experience for hotel visitors, while ensuring priority tasks are efficiently taken care of
  • BOTTOM LINE: WHAT THIS PERSON NEEDS: Better time management; improved communication techniques
  • RESOLUTION: Trusted time management practices; proven customer service strategy

Don’t forget! A percentage of your content should also appeal to readers outside your target audience. This content is very easy to produce—requiring little to no strategic planning—and is the kind of lighter, engaging content that will draw more eyeballs to your site and more attention to your brand. You don’t necessarily need to create personas for this type of content (but you can if you want!)

This simple and easy system should help you lay down the groundwork for a sustainable content marketing plan. If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out!

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