It’s one thing to know the value of audience personas. It’s another to actually come up with them. Of course, your data can help you with that, but still you need to name and describe them in terms that translate to the creation of relevant content.
Luckily, there are people who pay close attention to these things. A recent study conducted by Netline Corporation and the CMO Council looked at 352 business buyers to determine how content influences them in their purchase process. Six categories of buyers emerged, and they are a good place to start when defining your own personas. Here they are, appearing in order, based on percentage of respondents that fit into each category:
Grazers/Sharers: Tend to read with the goal of sharing the insight with colleagues. Content of choice: research reports and studies.
Critical Contributors: Typically little to no budget. Not a purchaser, but a primary influencer. Content of choice: that which addresses specific problems and needs within their organizations—quick tips and summaries, research reports, studies, data sheets, white papers. Avoid blogs.
Decision Drivers: Primary decision makers who seek content to inform their decisions. Content of choice: research reports and studies, technical specs, data sheets, analyst intelligence and white papers.
Hunters/Gatherers: Look for and identify relevant content, but engage with it less. Content of choice: new best practices, trends and marketplace advancements.
Authority Leaders: Make the calls and are highly influenced by industry peers. Rely on outside content from valued colleagues to inform them. Content of choice: research reports and analyst intelligence .
Informed Influencers: Highly valued by their colleagues who sign the contracts. Content of choice: infographics and pictograms; analyst insights, use cases and research papers.