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SearchLove Boston 2013_Rebecca Churt_Why Personas should be central to your content strategy
 

SearchLove Boston 2013_Rebecca Churt_Why Personas should be central to your content strategy

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  • More and more, online marketers are using buyer personas – fictitious characters that reflect various user types within their target demographic- to effectively reach new and existing customers. Similar to a marketing persona, creating a search persona helps marketers to accurately identify their target customer, to understand how users are actually searching for their business online, and to ultimately drive higher conversion. To help you get there, B2B buyer personas can be an essential, since understanding the goals, needs, and limits of a buyer are important to crafting the right content needed for SEO and social media marketing.
  • Representation of a group of peoplePersonas are archetypal characters created to represent the different user types within a targeted demographic, attitude or behavior set that might use a site, brand or product a similar way. Personas are often combined with market segmentation to represent specific customers.
  • What devices do they useAre they mobile users?Which browsers do they use?As an SEO you have the responsibility to understand and define user goalsWhat motivates themWhat keeps them engagedHave that drive your contentAssign value for personas Missed attributable ROI for SEOsOrganize focus around high value personas first
  • Without personas you have this
  • Without personas you have this
  • What motivates them
  • “What keywords would the buyer use to search for a solution like ours?”An (hopefully) obvious starting point for uncovering an initial list of terms and phrases to begin keyword research.“Where would the buyer look for information on a solution like ours?”This question helps uncovers possible link opportunities and social media destinations for outreach strategies.“What influencers and thought leaders is the buyer familiar with in the industry?”Similar to the last question, this helps define social media and third party site focus, which in turn impacts link acquisition and referral traffic.“What type of content would the prospective buyer want to see and use to learn more about a solution like ours?”This question uncovers opportunities for content development to be used for link acquisition, keyword strategy, and lead generation.“What other companies is the prospect aware of that offer a solution like ours?”This helps uncover competitive websites to review for SEO, social media, and content marketing strategies.“What trends does the buyer see in the industry?”Not only does the answer to this question help keyword research, but it might assist link building and competitive research.“What are the typical titles and roles of the prospective buyer?”The answers to this question can lead to LinkedIn exploration for industry groups, organizations, and important publishing websites; in turn generating link building and social media opportunities.“What is a problem in the industry that our business can solve?”The answers to this question help spearhead keyword research and enable a more refined search for third party sites and social media conversations to investigate for link outreach and social networking.
  • what makes B2B buyer personas different than general user personas is the complex sales cycle of B2B solutions. There are usually multiple decision makers involved in the process. B2B Internet marketers need to think about SEO, social media, and content marketing efforts meant to satisfy a more diverse set of requirements across multiple personas.
  • Houston says there “were a couple of important inflection points.” The first occurred after Dropbox released a demo video that captured Y Combinator’s attention and helped Dropbox secure an invitation to join the exclusive startup program. Milestone two occurred a year later when Dropbox released a separate video on Digg during its private beta launch.In that second video, Houston says his team layered “easter eggs… aimed at the Digg audience” into the otherwise mainstream presentation. The splash of creativity worked. Within 24-hours Dropbox “had 75,000 people signup for the wait-list.” They were expecting 15,000, tops.Not wanting to risk testing a buggy product on all 75,000, Dropbox carefully screened who could kick around early versions by extending invites through “a Gmail style closed beta.”  Their strategy paid off. Just seven months after public launch Dropbox hit 1-million users. Roughly a year later they counted 10 million.One of two big reasons he cited for his success was Social Media Optimization.  He built a cool video of what he was planning to build and posted it on Hacker News and got some initial momentum.  He built a better video and posted it on Digg.com and it hit the front page and stuck there for awhile building a huge b/l of potential beta users.  His video was SMO'd -- he studied how digg worked and built the video just right to encourage folks to digg it...he put a bunch of easter eggs in the video for the digg crowd.
  • Everything in one place. The intro video on the homepage even explains that exact scenarioHouston says there “were a couple of important inflection points.” The first occurred after Dropbox released a demo video that captured Y Combinator’s attention and helped Dropbox secure an invitation to join the exclusive startup program. Milestone two occurred a year later when Dropbox released a separate video on Digg during its private beta launch.In that second video, Houston says his team layered “easter eggs… aimed at the Digg audience” into the otherwise mainstream presentation. The splash of creativity worked. Within 24-hours Dropbox “had 75,000 people signup for the wait-list.” They were expecting 15,000, tops.Not wanting to risk testing a buggy product on all 75,000, Dropbox carefully screened who could kick around early versions by extending invites through “a Gmail style closed beta.”  Their strategy paid off. Just seven months after public launch Dropbox hit 1-million users. Roughly a year later they counted 10 million.One of two big reasons he cited for his success was Social Media Optimization.  He built a cool video of what he was planning to build and posted it on Hacker News and got some initial momentum.  He built a better video and posted it on Digg.com and it hit the front page and stuck there for awhile building a huge b/l of potential beta users.  His video was SMO'd -- he studied how digg worked and built the video just right to encourage folks to digg it...he put a bunch of easter eggs in the video for the digg crowd.
  • A lot of brands struggle with agility in marketing: thinking on their feet, coming up with original and fully custom responses, being innovative in the way they influence conversations. Marketers are used to running campaigns that take three to six months to produce.Everyone wants the perfect flying experience: cool, fun, comfortable and most of all, VIP. I mean ... who doesn't want to feel like they're part of the cool kids club? Virgin America does something that all of the airlines don't by not only promising this kind of experience in their marketing, but actually providing it in real life. Take a look at this ad, for example, that shows a cool and hip flight with blue lights, sweet TV screens, plenty of leg room, and wireless internet.
  • A lot of brands struggle with agility in marketing: thinking on their feet, coming up with original and fully custom responses, being innovative in the way they influence conversations. Marketers are used to running campaigns that take three to six months to produce.appeal to your customer's ego through the fully personalized experienceEveryone wants the perfect flying experience: cool, fun, comfortable and most of all, VIP. I mean ... who doesn't want to feel like they're part of the cool kids club? Virgin America does something that all of the airlines don't by not only promising this kind of experience in their marketing, but actually providing it in real life. Take a look at this ad, for example, that shows a cool and hip flight with blue lights, sweet TV screens, plenty of leg room, and wireless internet.
  • Nothing like appealing to your customer's ego through the fully personalized experience
  • But what if you are not them. What can you do?
  • Your personas will generally stink if you are doing one or all of these:YOU are not your persona. You think they are real. You are too general. Many don’t go in-depth. Forget to actually talk to people. More detail to followYou don’t target first touch. Often times people will target the C-suite, forgetting that they aren’t the ones necessarily doing the research or work in the end. Be realistic. They may be the decision makers, and you will need their buy in but don’t target just them.You forget about customers. Personas help us relate to our idealcustomers as real human beings.You don’t REALLY listen. You think you already have the answers.You forget to adapt. You have to update these regularly as your business and the market changes.You only have a primary persona. But there are secondary as well as negative personas. And then determine which is most important to your business.You forget about their needs You confuse personas and job titles. there's overlap between personas and roles, you can have multiple personas with the same role or one persona with different job titlesEnd result:You’ll attract less than ideal customers and business will not be funNo matter how hard you work, you’ll struggle to reach your business goals, yet won’t know why
  • So ask yourself this. Do you want your business to be effective? Your seo to succeed?To be effective you need to understand the space you are working in and who you are solving for, which should be your customers.
  • So ask yourself this. Do you want your business to be effective? Your seo to succeed?To be effective you need to understand the space you are working in and who you are solving for, which should be your customers.
  • Wanna be like them
  • When customers have a problem, they feel desperate and alone – like nobody in the world could possibly understandKnowing irrational fears lets customers know you understand exactly what they’re going through and that your product/service is the perfect solutionKnowing deepest desires demonstrates you have a vision for them; you believe in them and can help them get where they want to goWhen customers feel YOU understand them better than they understand themselves - you’ve established a deep level of trustDeep trust = sales, repeat customers and a long-term business
  • Important for searchers and businessa good site plays an enormous role in your sales process and can help you to reinforce your brand, generate leads, and supportcustomers. think of your site as a storefront that serves different groups and converts visitors into prospects and customers.
  • a good site plays an enormous role in your sales process and can help you to reinforce your brand, generate leads, and supportcustomers. think of your site as a storefront that serves different groups and converts visitors into prospects and customers.Keep product and company info up-to-date on the website Preferably manage old (archived), current (live), and future (draft) contentWHY: when someone is looking for information on our product/company/keywords, they can get it online / we get found by potential customers and analystsWHY: present ourselves as a legitimate companyComplete market research and establish positioning WHY: understand who are our customers and how to craft sales and marketing contentCreate tools to attract more people and engagement Tools include calculators, games, mobile apps, social media appsWHY: attract more people, increase engagement (vs. just a one-time visit)Publish content Includes blog, ebooks, whitepapers, datasheets, videosPublish fresh content to attract more traffic and leads and maintain engagement via subscriptions and syndications, expanding your reachMeasure and understand how pieces of content contribute to SEO, social media, traffic, and market researchWHY: attract traffic, leads, engagementWHY: thought leadership / branding
  • a good site plays an enormous role in your sales process and can help you to reinforce your brand, generate leads, and supportcustomers. think of your site as a storefront that serves different groups and converts visitors into prospects and customers.Keep product and company info up-to-date on the website Preferably manage old (archived), current (live), and future (draft) contentWHY: when someone is looking for information on our product/company/keywords, they can get it online / we get found by potential customers and analystsWHY: present ourselves as a legitimate companyComplete market research and establish positioning WHY: understand who are our customers and how to craft sales and marketing contentCreate tools to attract more people and engagement Tools include calculators, games, mobile apps, social media appsWHY: attract more people, increase engagement (vs. just a one-time visit)Publish content Includes blog, ebooks, whitepapers, datasheets, videosPublish fresh content to attract more traffic and leads and maintain engagement via subscriptions and syndications, expanding your reachMeasure and understand how pieces of content contribute to SEO, social media, traffic, and market researchWHY: attract traffic, leads, engagementWHY: thought leadership / branding
  • Content Level – Lists: Comparative
  • Rand will be there. Special musical performance (not yet announced) at inbound rocks What is INBOUND?INBOUND 2013 is the largest gathering of inbound marketers on the planet with over 5,000 HubSpot customers, prospects, partners, and employees in attendance. INBOUND 2013 will take place on August 19-22 at the Hynes Convention Center, and will feature:over a dozen inspiring keynotes including Nate Silver, Seth Godin, Nancy Duarte, and Scott Harrison100+ sessions on marketing, sales, and the HubSpot producta rock concert (aka INBOUND Rocks)lots of networking opportunitiesmultiple evening eventsan awesome new experience called Club INBOUNDand more! 
  • When should you be using them?New Product LaunchMarketing Campaign DevelopmentSEO StrategySEM StrategyUser CommunityFacebook Fan Page/Twitter AccountWebsite Redesign and More
  • Content Level – Lists: Comparative