Do you know one of the biggest aspects of my job?
You read that right: I pretend for a living and, no, I’m not an actor. I’m just your average awesome word-smithing content writer, and pretending is one of the biggest and best parts of the gig.
But what does pretending have to do with content writing and marketing? Well, I’m glad you asked.
The official term for what I’m referring to is known as creating a “buyer persona”. Buyer personas, as the name implies, are fictional, generalized personalities that reflect your ideal customer. Developing these personas is vital to anyone in the marketing or sales industry because they’re the people in which you’re speaking. By knowing them, you know how to relate to them and attract them.
In short, buyer personas help you understand what your clients (and prospective clients) are looking for. In my case, buyer personas are the patients (and prospective patients) of my clients (which would make the word “buyer” a bit of a misnomer, I suppose, but you get the point). For this task, I wear many hats as my clients run the gamut in terms of specialties and serving a variety of demographics.
Why are buyer personas important?
As I said, a buyer persona is an important tool in truly understanding the mindset of your audience and communicating with them. By fully adopting these personas, it becomes easy to customize your content and its messaging to fit their needs; the more in-depth the personas are, the easier it becomes, and there is no end to what you can do once you create one.
For example: say one of my family medicine clients has recently opened up an urgent care or has begun offering urgent care services at a location. What would I want to say on their landing page and/or marketing materials to encourage patients to visit and utilize their services? How would I know what to say?
Allow me to reintroduce “Soccer Mom Suzie” (who made a brief debut in another blog: Writing Healthcare Marketing Content: What You Need to Know). She is an ideal persona for this task as she is the embodiment of what a family medicine practice is looking for.
Suzie is –as her name states– a “soccer mom”. She is the quintessential stereotype*, complete with the 2.5 (well, we’ll say three) kids, the minivan and yoga pants. She’s busy, her bun is messy and she’s always shuffling the kids to some kind of practice or extracurricular activity.
Given this general background information, what are a couple of things we can infer about Suzie when we put ourselves in her position?
- She’s busy and pulled in a lot of different directions
- She’s juggling a lot, so she needs things done quickly and efficiently
- She has three kids to support, and children are expensive (and so are their activities)
Now, suddenly, Suzie finds herself in a predicament: one of her children (Johnny) has taken a hard hit in the field during practice. He seems okay for the most part, but Suzie is very concerned about a possible concussion.
Knowing what we “know” about Suzie, how do we apply this knowledge to the content that will be generated for the urgent care?
- Break it down for short, to-the-point reading. She doesn’t have time for long-winded explanations of services and needs a call-to-action that stands out
- Highlight efficiency. She needs to sort this out fast; concussions are not something one sits on, and she still has to get her kid looked at, assessed and treated while wrangling two other children
- Speak to her pockets. Tell her that urgent care visits are easier on her wallet than an emergency room visit
Creating “Suzies” for your practice can be an invaluable tool in your content arsenal. By knowing the wants, needs and desires of your targeted personas, you know exactly how to cater to your audience and what will drive them to do what you want them to do, such as visit an urgent care or see a specialist for a condition.
With a little bit of homework, the only limit to your personas and what they can do for your content is your own imagination.
And if pretending isn’t your thing and you need someone to generate fresh, audience-specific content for your practice, contact Points Group today. We have a hat for everyone.
*Disclaimer: While I fully understand that stereotypes may be offensive in some cases, I would imagine that many personas are based on them in one way or another and their true intention is to be helpful for content writing. That being said, my apologies for anybody who finds this offensive.