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Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing by Lee Odden

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CHAPTER 6

Know Thy Customer: Personas

The first phase of our journey toward an optimized state of mind focused on planning and we covered a lot of important ground from the applications of social media optimization and content marketing for small, large, B2B, and B2C companies to the principles of content discovery, consumption, and engagement. With a holistic approach in mind, we discussed business objectives and strategies for integrated search engine optimization, social media, and content marketing. It’s a lot of groundwork, but there’s merit to the saying “He who fails to plan, plans to fail” (anonymous) that makes it worthwhile. In phase two, “implementation,” we’ll put that planning into action, starting with personas.

THE WHAT AND WHY OF CUSTOMER PERSONAS

Demystifying better search, social media, and content marketing often starts with doing a better job of connecting with customers in more relevant ways. But how can you connect with customers if you don’t know who they are or what they care about? Most SEO efforts are focused on creating and optimizing content against a list of keywords. But keywords don’t buy products and services—customers do. To really make a difference with more effective online marketing, businesses should become more sophisticated in their understanding of customer needs, behaviors, and preferences. That means optimizing for customers and outcomes by researching and segmenting customer data to develop customer personas.

So, what is a persona? According ...

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