When it comes to CRM: The Magical Key to Your Customers’ Innermost Thoughts If there is one resource that can point you to exactly what your customers care about, it’s your customer relationship management platform, also known as CRM. This is where you are (or should be, anyway) tracking interactions with customers, storing data about their behavior online, and following them down the sales funnel. Whether you’re a solopreneur or you have a sales team, CRM can be invaluable in helping you understand your customer. There’s some super useful data in your CRM system, and it’s not just handy for closing sales. That same data can be used to help you craft your content to best address what customers really care about. Here’s how to get the most out of it. #1. Improve Your Buyer Personas There’s a reason why marketers love buyer personas: they help them drill down to specific types of buyers, which is the next best thing to actually marketing to each individual customer. You might have a certain type of customer who is female, a mother, between the ages of 30 and 40, who has an advanced degree and frequently buys products online. She’ll respond to different marketing messages than another buyer who is young, male, and single. Your content should be broken down into different messages and types of content for each persona. Your CRM keeps the guesswork out of developing those buyer personas. Spending some time with the information you have about your customers, you can start to see patterns. Add tags to each customer contact so you can see who fits which persona. Then, use what you’ve gleaned there to first flesh out those buyer personas. Create a narrative that illustrate who this person is: “Lori is a 43-year-old mother of two active children under 15. She’s busy taking them to soccer and piano, and doesn’t like to waste time shopping in local stores after she gets off from work at her accounting firm. She prefers to shop online (sometimes while waiting for Jed to be done with soccer practice) to buy 75% of her household goods.” Everything in your description you learned in your CRM. The data may come from surveys you send customers, conversations you have with them, or purchase behavior, and all of it is useful when you start to craft your content marketing strategy. Next, craft your content to each buyer persona. Remember: each article should target one persona, not all. You will never be all things to all people, so it’s better to speak to a single audience, even if it may turn off another. #2. Be a Better Partner on the Buyer Journey As your leads move from discovering your brand (maybe through your content) to assessing your product as a potential solution and then onto making a decision to buy or not, you have some wonderful opportunities to be helpful along the way. Your CRM can help. If you know that this Lori buyer persona is strapped for time and quick to make a decision, you know she’s going to respond well to content that provides value and time savings for her. Let’s say you sell online party supplies for the well-heeled. Lori’s planning a party but wants some guidance on the process, so you craft a series of articles that help her plan, and eventually lead her to your products: Plan Your Bash in Just One Hour Your Cocktail Party Checklist 5 Crowd-Pleasing (and Easy-to-Make) Apps and Drinks The articles are informative, but they also include links to products that support the content. Because you know how valuable Lori’s time is, you can cut to what she wants the most: articles that help her plan her party with minimum time spent. It’s an easy nudge to get her to then buy party supplies from your online store. #3. Measure Your Content Results Once you’ve published your blog post, ebook, or other content, pay attention to results, because they’ll help you shape future content. If you have offers targeting specific buyer personas, measure how many people signed up via email to get that offer, as well as how long they stayed in your email funnel over time. You may notice a specific place in the automation where people unsubscribed, so assess what’s going on there. Maybe the frequency of the emails got to be too much, or maybe they simply don’t find value beyond email #4. Tweak the content and keep measuring. If you can link specific customers’ behavior to specific content, make note in those customer files. If, for example, you can track that one new customer signed up for your email offer and then ended up buying a week later, you know that that particular content channel is doing its job. Also pay attention to blog analytics. Which articles are getting the most reads and shares? How can you expand that effort by writing complementary articles around a similar subject? The more closely you can align your content strategy to what your actual customers are looking for, the better you can support them on their way to becoming lifelong brand supporters. Custom content isn’t challenging to create once you use the tools you’ve already got at your disposal, specifically your customer relationship management platform. It’s just a matter of knowing how to take the data you and your team have already gathered and making it work for you.