As I sit here fiddling with the best way to approach ‘content strategy’ in this article, I’m reminded why Personas and Business Goals are foundational to content strategy. Let me explain: If you’re reading this, you could be any of the following:
- Ready to create content to build your brand and engage customers.
- Struggling to find ROI in your existing content initiatives and looking for answers.
- A content creator trying to find a method to apply to the ambiguous madness that is CONTENT.
- An extremely busy businessperson looking for a silver bullet to kill the content beast that lurks under your desk so you can get back to doing actual work that will win you the promotion over that stooge Geoffrey who spends half the day caffeinating himself.
Without knowing which above persona/s apply to you, my reader (and for the duration of your readership my customer), trying to write the perfect introduction is a crap shoot. If I knew more about you, I’m confident I could write a better blog. For example:
- What unique problem are you trying to solve?
- How long is your attention span? (Hopefully long enough to get this far.)
- What is your organization’s size, resources, and timetable?
- Are you a content creator, decision maker, or savant janitor?
Everything starts and ends with the customer, as you well know. This includes content strategy, and applies equally to internal and external customers. Without knowing personas, you are digging your content strategy’s foundation where you don’t know the water table, soil contents, or if it’s on sacred burial ground. Fortunately, many organizations build customer personas for their external customers. Interpret and apply these personas to the structure, format, voice, and tone of your content.
A content strategy is tailor-fit to an organization’s objectives and span anything from ‘less typos in internal emails’ to ‘grow global business opportunities ‘x’ percent.’ Defining business goals, and building content that addresses those goals, steer organizations away from the ‘Creating Content for Content’s Sake’ money pit. All content should have a purpose, period. And if that purpose is measurable, all the merrier.
Business goals help define the messaging of content. For example, if a goal is to grow qualified leads 3% in North America, then it would be good to include a strong call to action in your marketing collateral. Easy, right? But, without knowing your goals up front, these connections can be elusive.
Personas and business goals are the foundation of a content strategy. To make that foundation as strong as possible, personas and business goals should be dependent on each other. Personas should keep business goals honest. For example, if a persona prefers a certain frequency of marketing communications, pushing that frequency to accelerate growth could do just the opposite. Business goals should help an organization prioritize its personas. For example, if Gillette wanted to increase its long-term stickiness and return customers, it might be better to focus on younger audiences than seniors.
These are basic assumptions and examples, I know. But, the key point is to mix your personas and business goals together like brick and mortar for a more effective content strategy.
What challenges are you having with the foundations of your content strategy? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!