Accelerate Content Marketing Effectiveness With The Power of Buyer Persona Stories

"Story Road"

“Story Road” (Photo credit: umjanedoan)

(This is part one of a three part series on the use of Buyer Persona Stories™, Buyer Persona Scenarios™, and Buyer Persona Story Mapping™ to drive effective content marketing strategy.)

One good trait of a storyteller is they also know about the story of the person or people they are telling a story to.  Knowing how to tell the story in a way that draws them in.  Creating an experience, which can suspend time and make a person believe they are in the story.   This is the goal of content marketing – to tell good stories compelling a buyer to act.

A Story Frame of Mind

Two of the difficulties in content marketing effectiveness today are first to understand the story of buyers and two translating this understanding into powerful stories to tell. The difficulties lay in filtering through data, requirements, bullet points, presentations, and more to derive a compelling content strategy designed to spur action.

A powerful modeling technique, Buyer Persona Stories™, can help you understand the story of your buyers as well as guide your content strategy development.  A good Buyer Persona Story™ provides context for understanding buyer goals, topics, activities, and values.  Designed to help us understand how to zero in on why certain values are important to a purchase decision.

Elements of a Good Buyer Persona Story

There are several elements to creating buyer persona stories accelerating the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.  This is a good place to point out the elements require a stage prior to the actual creation of buyer persona stories.  A level of buyer insight research is required to gather the necessary insights, which characterize the essential elements of valuable Buyer Persona Stories.  Not doing so will amount to guessing and lost of effectiveness.

The creation of powerful Buyer Persona Stories requires the following elements:

  1. Buyer Persona – this becomes your central character in the Buyer Persona Story.  As mentioned above, you will need to perform buyer insight research to identify your target buyer persona.
  2. Goal – buyer persona story development is a goal-driven effort.  It is important to identify the central goal and purpose for your buyer’s story.  The goal also is helpful in identifying the behavior your buyer will engage in to accomplish a goal.
  3. Topic – identifying what information buyers seek is crucial for this element.  Topics and information tie back to both the buyer persona and the specific goal.
  4. Preference – this element hones in on the specific output preferences a buyer will have for the topics and information sought.
  5. Value – the buyer story development must clearly end in a specific business or decision value.  This requires us to understand “why” this story is important to the buyer.

Buyer Persona Story Construction

Constructing a story is a process of combining the elements into a meaningful story statement.  Providing the context needed to see how a buyer’s story is both relevant and important.  We borrow from approaches which exist in both agile and waterfall methods for development as well as design.  Buyer Persona Stories can be developed with this recommended approach:

As a  (buyer persona)

I want/need to (goal)

The information I need (topic)

And is most helpful (preference)

So that I know/ in order to (value)

Writing the Buyer Persona Story

As you can see, the elements and construct of a buyer persona story requires good input from buyer insights and buyer persona development.  Without it, the story structure, even in its simplicity cannot be filled out.  Let us use an actual case of an IT Director buyer persona seeking information for a specific problem:

IT mgr buyer story.jpg

Buyer Persona Story™: Available below is a link for a helpful modeling tool

I have purposely used a real story of a fairly complex situation.  Although this buyer persona story consists of a few sentences, it breaks down the complex to a level of meaningful simplicity, which can often be missing in content creation.  And, this is what we want.  To enable sharpened focus on what we need to understand about buyers at a particular stage.  Buyer Persona Stories offers a powerful technique for teams to get on the same page about buyers.

It does not end here.  As mentioned at the start of this article, this is part one.  Next, I like to share how this technique can help you understand Buyer Persona Scenarios™.  Introducing elements related to activities and context.  We will examine how to bring completeness to the true story of buyers.   Looking at how Buyer Persona Stories, Buyer Persona Scenarios, and Buyer Persona Story Mapping can help you be on target with content strategy.

(The Buyer Persona Story™ modeling tool is available here for you: Buyer Persona Story Model.  I welcome further conversations to help you adopt Buyer Persona Stories™ to improve content marketing effectiveness.  I am very interested in getting your thoughts and perspectives on this powerful technique.  Please share widely – your peers and colleagues are trying to get the right story to their buyers.)

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Tony
Article by Tony Zambito
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