Everyone these days is talking about social listening. In fact, it’s kind of old news.Our friends over at Salesforce are talking about emerging models of social listening, while brands complain that Facebook is limiting their organic reach. It’s a very confusing world out there when your trying to determine if your social content is actually getting to your audience and if your investment in organic and paid social media efforts is worth it. Audiences respond best to fresh and unique content that’s useful and informative – the 90/10 rule of content marketing. But budgets are stretched. If you’re a marketer in a mid tier organization that doesn’t have a free flowing budget for creative or paid media, you need to make every dollar of your budget count. What can you do?
If you hold to the inbound methodology of marketing, this means that you understand that spam will destroy your brand. You know that the best way to expand your brand awareness, to create volume, and to generate leads is to create engaging, shareable content. But you can only spare so many labor hours to do this. This is where the buyer persona comes in. Buyer personas combined with social listening can give you an edge over competitors in the same space. Social listening informed by a fleshed out buyer’s persona.
Buyer personas are an essential foundation in inbound marketing. A buyer persona is a sketch of your ideal customer. A buyer persona might look something like this:
Brand – Great Baby Strollers
Products – Infant products of all kinds
Typical buyer– Female, age 20-35, median income $55,000 to $75,000, is interested in childhood development, family fashion, home decor. Interested in self improvement and personal health.
Social Listening is monitoring digital channels to devise a strategy that will better reach out to and influence customers and prospects. Tools like Buzzsumo enable the monitoring of multiple social media platforms, blogs and other channels. Social listening and buyer personas can be combined to great effect.
Social listening and persona research
By use of social listening platforms, search terms and hashtags can be researched to get new insight into an existing buyer persona. For example – In the infant stroller persona we discussed earlier, you can monitor keyword phrases such as baby stroller exercise or baby stroller fashion. By monitoring such stats that measure reach and engagement, you can measure how much these content aspects matter to your customers. This will guide your content creation. Part of your brand promise is to address (via your products and services) the problems and issues of your customers.
In all content creation, it’s important to ask and truthfully answer questions. The entire point of content creation and inbound methodology is solve the customer’s problems. Solving problems is not just simply answering the technical, execution based question, but creating content that examines the prospect in terms of their lifestyle, daily activities, and other factors. Social listening tools can be used to listen to the customer’s narrative, as they talk with you, other brands, and other prospects.
A few questions to ask in regards to the baby stroller persona:
- Where and when do you and your children use a stroller?
- What features makes a stroller easier to use?
- What price points do stroller buyers prefer?
- Do parents buy the same brand of strollers as they have children?
And so on.
The important thing to understand is that listening to customer conversations yields to organic insights, and will thus lead to creation of organic content.
From these questions, you can create articles, social media posts, infographics and videos that address these concerns. As you continue your content stream, tracking article performance. In turn, this will be invaluable in helping your sales efforts, as well as delivering on your brand promise.
Do you have questions about social listening or buyer personas? Reach out to us.