Shakespeare’s Guide To Content Marketing For Multiple Personas

ContentMarketingPersonasHow can content marketers write and present multiple products for multiple solutions for multiple personas and not lose their minds? Good question! In fact, it’s one we’ve been thinking about a lot at Nectafy—as our company grows, we’re seeing the need to tailor an abundance of content to multiple audiences. Of course, as a young company, we don’t have it all figured out, so we did some research on the best way to handle it.

It turns out, there’s a British guy with a good grasp on the whole “content marketing” thing. His writing struggles may have looked a lot like yours and ours—he had several different types audiences, with varying goals, interests, and education levels, and he knew that how well he wrote to each of them would either make or cost him money.

He’s not traditional marketer, but his brand recognition is undeniable. His name’s William Shakespeare, and 400 years later, we’re still talking about him, using terms he coined, and modeling ideas after his.

Here’s how the Bard can help you find solutions for writing for multiple personas and products.

“To Be Or Not To Be” Clients
Let Your Customers Identify Themselves

Self-identifying clients are a tremendous resource when you’re writing for multiple products, clients, and personas. That’s one of the most powerful things inbound marketing offers—by identifying clients by the content they’re interested in, you already know you’re probably looking to the same goal and very likely a good fit to work together. You get to bypass the guesswork, cold calling, paying for advertising, and marketing rigmarole that may or may not actually help you.

“For My Own Part, It Was Greek To Me”
Do Your Research; Use Your References 

Writing for multiple products and personas isn’t going to work for you if you don’t have an understanding of your clients’ products. That doesn’t mean you have to know everything about every industry you’re writing for, but it does mean you have to do the work and research required to effectively answer the questions your prospects are asking.

It’s your credibility on the line, so it’s important to not only do your research, but to use your references. Figure out whom within your clients’ organization you can rely on to interview, bounce ideas off, and clarify answers to your questions. By partnering with your clients in this way, you’ll not only make sure you’re approaching the issues correctly, but you’ll also be able to uncover more questions that you can answer.

For example, in conversation with one of our clients, I often try to re-explain what it is he’s just told me. Often times, the gaps in my own understand are points that we need to work to clarify; sometimes, those gaps turn in to lightbulbs: if I don’t understand it well or have a question about it, there’s a good chance a prospect has a similar question or needs more information.

“To Thine Own Self Be True”
Know Your Brand/Company/Capabilities

If we want prospects to self identify, we need to make sure we’re sending them the information they’re looking for. By fulfilling a need or answering questions they have, it’s our foot in the door; and if we really are helpful, and they want to know more, they’ll tell us more about themselves.

With inbound marketing, every single step we take is on purpose: we’ve written intentionally for the questions of our personas; we’ve evaluated who we want our audience to be; what our style is; and what we can offer that will make the difference to our clients.

“The Course Of True Love Never Did Run Smooth”
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

One of the dangers of content marketing for multiple personas and products is working so broadly that you’re confusing your clients, prospects, and yourself. That’s why it’s so important to go through every step—detail by detail—when you commit to inbound marketing. If you don’t, you could waste your time and money… However, if you do take the time to do it right, your attention to detail will almost certainly pay off.

In order to successfully present multiple products to multiple personas, we have to be intentional throughout the whole process, making every action and word count—after all, “when words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain.

Now it’s your turn—Did I miss anything? What tricks do you have for writing for multiple personas?

  • Peter Caputa

    Hey Emily. I love the connection you just made to Shakespeare’s work and the quandary most marketers have of marketing to multiple industries and roles for the same product – or worse: the challenge of marketing different products to different types of prospects from the same company!

    However, I thought you were going to get tactical and talk about the importance of personalization. Follow up piece, maybe?

    • Peter, that’s a great suggestion for a follow-up article. We’ll have to make that happen. Have you read anything lately that you think speaks well to that topic? I’d love to know. Thanks for your comment!

  • Marcos Lenine

    Awesome text =D!

    I believe that there are some key steps in working inbound marketing for multiple products to various persons:

    1- Find your company’s unique proposition.
    At the same time that it’s very important, it’s also very difficult to find a company that have it clearly defined. So, it’s marketing’s responsibility to check on these, using the next step below;

    2- Listen to costumers and audience (seek demand – and understand it) – as you brightly has described in your blog post!

    Listening to audience will grant vital information that will provide you not only awesome insights, but also will lead to the next step:

    3- Create Patterns – Like in college, we know who are the ‘geeks’, the ‘athletes’, the party people, the hard workers, etc. We can easily create these patterns in our minds when we remember college’s time because we know those people around us. I truely believe that we should understand our clients as we understand our friends. So we can define these patterns in – guess what – personas! Which are the patterns? Think about the benefit that people are looking in each of your products (if there isn’t one, you should think about adapting your product(s). So, after this, the next step is:

    4- Outline strategies – it’s nothing more than matching needs and features/topics/details. Even if you were looking to leverage just 1 product, we shall remeber that it has a lot of specific details (or features), and sometimes our costumer is looking for just one of them (not the whole solution). So, inbound marketing strategy may look to these as oportunity to design amazing content on specific details. They can be the decisive contact point with different kind of costumers!

    5- Execute/ Create Activations – We can’t think about content as just blog posts, ebooks or videos. There are ridiculous amount of good ideas that can make our leads engage, share, convert and also self-define themselves (like you wrote!). Some of the good content for these goals are, spreadsheets, games, surveys, jokes, complex actions (do this, then do that to win this and then, your friend will tell you this…).

    6- Measure results, test, adjust and modify as needed.
    Because we can’t be sure of everything.

    Hope that has contributed to the discussion. =D

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