Do you remember the last time you called a toll-free number and were routed through phone-tree hell (“Press 4 for customer support. Press 5 for sales.”) and then had to wait on hold? How did that make you feel?
Or consider the Web sites you’ve visited recently. How many were dull and uninspiring and didn’t answer any of your questions? Did it feel like these organizations cared about you?
Of course not.
People want to do business with people. We're human, and we crave interaction with people who know us. When you build content especially for your buyer personas, you build a relationship with people before you’ve even met them.
How about the opposite case? Have you recently visited a company Web site or blog and said, "Wow! These guys understand me!" Didn't it make you feel different from how those boring old sites you usually see do?
When online content seems created by some nameless, faceless corporate entity, it doesn’t entice us. And we're just not interested in doing business with that company. A corporate-brochure site will never start a World Wide Rave.
We all want to do business with other humans. We want to know there's a breathing person behind the Web site or blog that we're reading. And we want to know that those humans on the other side understand and want to help us. A great site or blog or YouTube video, created especially for us, drives us to action. We want to do business with people who understand our problems.
There's no secret to building great online information. Start by understanding your buyer personas, not by hyping your products and services.