Does Your Content Have an Accent?: Why Localized Personas Matter
By Justin Gray, CEO of LeadMD
As a content creator, you know that the more personalized the content, the better reception—and qualified leads—it will get. So as a good content marketer, you spend the time to research your target audience and carefully craft buyer personas to help guide your content strategy. These personas become the reference point for all of your content, from white papers and articles to social media and videos and infographics.
Hate to break it to you, but that level of “personalization” might not cut it.
The hard truth is that just like marketing can’t be one-size-fits-all, sometimes, neither can your content strategy and personas.
That’s not to say you have to develop a brand-new content strategy for every single area in which you distribute content, but you do have to be mindful and make necessary adjustments if you hope to be successful.
The benefits you get from localized marketing efforts are definitely worth the effort. As we know, relevance is key in response rates, and the more relevant you can be, the higher your conversion rates. You also gain brand loyalty and trust. People appreciate when companies take the time to speak directly to them—it makes them feel more connected. And, you can create a competitive advantage by being present in a way that other companies are not.
When you’ve identified the local markets you want to target, try incorporating some of these suggestions in to your localized content strategy.
Tailor Your Existing Personas
You’ve done the work to create personas. Great—you don’t necessarily have to start from scratch to make them local. Just carefully research your target markets and enhance your existing personas with the unique flavor of that area—words, phrases, work/life behaviors, etc.
Remember that your personas should go much deeper than just demographic information, so really dig into details. Talk to customers or partners in those areas to learn their views and ways. Don’t skip the research and stoop to stereotypes; make it real so your content has the ring of authenticity.
Create Unique Regional Content
Targeting content to a regional or local market can be a fun and effective way of showing you know what their world is like and you have some valuable information to help them navigate it. Maybe it’s creating a white paper called “The Southern Business Owner’s Guide to SEO”, or designing an infographic for New Englanders with suggestions of unique tools to use while building a snow sculpture. With marketing automation tools that enable you to segment, it’s easy to promote localized content.
With social media, it can be as simple as addressing a certain area in your post. This works especially well with timely events—for example, a tire distributor may address an area that’s gotten a lot of rain with “Hey Tampa, we’ve ranked the top 10 rain tires. Looks like you’ll need them!”
Let me ask you this: Do you say soda or pop? Sub or hoagie? Tennis shoes or sneakers? If you’re looking to target or expand into new areas, you have to be aware of regional differences, preferences, culture and language. Push out a social media reference about pop and your Southern audience will see you as an outsider (Southerners generally refer to all soda as Coke, even if it’s a different brand). Make a reference to supper to an email list of New Englanders and they’ll know you’re not one of them.
You’d be surprised by the affect knowing or not knowing regional specifics can have on your brand’s perception. Just like any other audience you consider while building personas, regional audiences just want to be understood. Make them feel understood (and speak their language) and you’ll have a better chance of earning their trust.
Pay Attention to Keywords
Some areas have a different way of referring to things, which leads them to using different words and phrases when searching for something. Take a look at your website or other content’s keyword results for your target areas and see what words and phrases they are specifically using to find your company. Then, incorporate these keywords into your SEO strategy and keep them in mind as you’re writing content. This will help prospects or customers in those areas find your content a little easier.