Ask the Experts: In building an online presence for a product, where do I focus my content?

Every time I find myself in a new role or with a new product, I always start with engaging the market. Working with customers and prospects will provide insights into what your users value and the problems that they want to solve. This will help you determine what content to focus on.

You should also engage with your sales team to see who the typical buyers are and then perform win/loss calls. Once you have identified the buyer and user personas through these methods, spend time with the team to do a positioning exercise for those personas. Now you will have a core message established and an understanding of your buyers’ criteria for solving their problems. This is in essence the DNA you need to start creating content for the web. And content that focuses on the buyers’ needs is significantly more engaging than product-focused content.

You may have heard that nearly 70 percent of the buyer’s journey is complete before they even reach out to sales. That means when buyers find your content, it’s because they have a particular challenge to solve and are evaluating the options. So make sure your content explains how you can help your customers.

Your online presence should also extend to other places your personas congregate online. This is another place a buyer persona is helpful, because when you interview buyers you can find out what they read (blogs, journals), whether they use social media, and if so, which networks. This will help you prioritize your content channels, mirror the language they use and understand how your content resonates with readers and drives engagement.

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  • Jon Gatrell brings more than a decade of experience in product management, marketing, sales, and corporate development to Pragmatic Institute where he is an instructor. Prior to Pragmatic Institute, Jon served in senior product management and marketing positions at a number of companies, most recently at Stonebranch and Inovis. He has successfully implemented the Pragmatic Institute Framework at multiple companies, and integrated it into several acquisition plans. He has held leadership positions in numerous industry organizations. In addition to his role at Pragmatic Institute, Jon writes the Spatially Relevant blog on product management and marketing best practices. Reach Jon at jgatrell@pragmaticmarketing.com.

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