A pastor once told me it’s 10x harder to write a sermon when he didn’t know the congregation. He didn’t know what they were struggling with, how they were hurting, or what gospel they needed to hear.
Honestly, it’s harder to write anything when you don’t know who you’re writing to. In the end, we end up talking about ourselves or getting so painfully generic that our message gets lost.
In behavioral health, that just won’t do. Too much is at stake. Even if we’re not working directly with clients — we’re in an industry where we help people. We need to make sure our message is clear and we’re reaching who we need to.
A Persona Works Around This Difficulty
What is a persona? In Jungian archetype theory, it’s the social masks we wear when we interact with the world.
What I’m talking about isn’t that… just so we’re clear.
Who is your ideal customer?
When we create a persona (also called an avatar or an ideal customer), we’re creating a fictional person who personifies the type of customer we want. Then, when we write our copy — webpages, landing pages, blog posts, etc., we write to that person.
Some questions to help you create your buyer persona
- What is their name?
- How old is your persona?
- Where do they live?
- What’s their job/position/specialty?
- What do they drive?
- What’s do they enjoy?
- What are their biggest frustrations?
- What’s their stage of awareness? (Do they know they have a problem? Do they know you’re the answer to your problem?)
- How do you help them do their job?
- How do you reach them? Social media (which one?)?
- What type of regular content do they prefer?
Go as deep as you want to create a person that typifies your ideal customer. Take the time. Bring in elements of other customers or people that you know. Make them real.
I’ve even seen businesses create an infographic complete with a stock photo of their customer persona. Then they hang it on the wall for the whole office to see.
Like what you see? Subscribe to the Email Newsletter
Alba Content Studio’s Behavioral Health Content Strategy Ideal Client Persona (You).
Personally, I’m writing to a 30-something marketing director named Fiona who drives a Toyota Highlander (Hi, Fiona!), and gets her energy from consuming two French press’s full of coffee per day.
Fiona is in the throes of organizing a digital marketing strategy for the behavioral health SaaS that hired her 4 months ago. I’m also pretty clear that she may be sharing this article with the company founder/CEO.
My Content Strategy — Understand Fiona’s Pain Points and Address Them
Fiona has needs:
- Find a way to address the pain points and the protests that therapists and treatment centers encounter as they care for their clients.
- Show why her company’s app is the answer to their dreams.
- Create content that walks with them through the whole decision-making process.
- Move them through the education process and build trust because their product requires a higher-than-average investment of both money and time. (That’s why white papers and case studies are perfect for her content strategy).
Fiona is also trying to balance working at home since COVID hit and she needs to get her job done between all the Zoom meetings so she can relax in the evening with her husband and their rescue mutt, Athena.
My job is to show Fiona how I make her job easier… And make her look brilliant.
How Having a Customer Persona Helps You With Your Content Strategy
- Your message is clearer.
- You can hit pain points harder and make your solutions more personal.
- Your reader feels more understood and that builds trust.
- You have a baseline for your client interaction.
But What If I Have More than One Type of “Ideal Customer?”
Create a persona for each type of customer or client. But whatever type of content you’re writing — it should have one persona, whether it’s a web page, article, landing page, etc. Don’t try to make your content piece a one-size-fits-all or you lose the clarity of your message to that particular persona.
A Persona is Crucial to Doing Content Marketing Right
Content strategy is about building relationships. Good content that’s relevant to your prospect’s experience builds trust. Prospects who trust become loyal customers.
Whether we’re working directly with clients or we’re working to make life better for them in other ways — we’re in an industry where we help people. We need to make sure our message is clear and we’re reaching who we need to.
But to do this, you need to know your customers. Even when you’re digital, knowing your customers — their hopes, their joys, their needs, and their frustrations makes you more effective at reaching them.
Personas make this so much easier to communicate through your content instead of some nebulous and inconsistent idea.
So don’t hesitate to engage your customers through voice of customer research so you can make your personas grow closer and closer to reality. Your first persona is your baseline. As your behavioral health content strategy grows, your friendship with your persona will grow deeper.