As content marketers—and professionals in the marketing outsourcing business—we are always searching for new tools that will make us better at our jobs and therefore make your content marketing strategy that much stronger.
One tool we talk a lot about here in the cubicles is buyer personas. They aren’t a piece of software or a neat gadget that makes life easier. Rather they are descriptions of our client’s target audience that help us hyper-focus our writing and create the top notch copy you come to expect from us here at Content Boost.
Unfortunately, not all of our clients are able to provide us with buyer personas, as they can be quite time consuming to create and difficult at best. When we don’t have such information readily available, we still create industry-leading content but hey, if we can find tools to make our jobs easier we are all for it.
As a self-proclaimed technophile, I always have my ear to the ground for new technologies that will make MY life easier. Luckily, while searching the twittersphere the other day I came across a new piece of technology that I think could revolutionize content marketing as a whole; it’s called, Crystal Knows.
While the creators of Crystal tout the free service as “the biggest improvement to email since spell-check,” it is really much, much more. Essentially, Crystal is an algorithm that searches the Internet for any given person’s online presence and boils it down into communication suggestions. Crystal tells you how confident it is in the accuracy of the persona it has created for whomever you’ve searched and breaks down exactly how to speak to them.
After requesting an invite (Crystal is still in beta) and being accepted, I immediately searched myself and the results were frighteningly accurate. Here is a screen grab with what Crystal knows about me:
After testing this out for a bit, I immediately ran to tell the rest of the team. This was big news in my eyes. For one, Crystal can help fill the gap when we are left without a buyer persona for any given client. All we have to do is ask our client if there is a particular person in their company they might target, plug them into Crystal, and boom: we know what kind of language to use when writing, have a better understanding of our target audience and are even able to determine whether more formal or casual prose should be used.
Another insight Crystal gives us is to our clients. The web-based algorithm bills itself as an email add on because it is most interested in helping us with this function. Often, when a member of our editorial team is introduced to a new client, it is virtually done by email prior to a phone call. In a social profession like ours, building rapport is key to a successful working relationship and so an email where words can be interpreted incorrectly is always worrisome.
However, with Crystal we have a better idea of what our client prefers in an email, making first contact that much less stressful. Needless to say, this tool even in its infancy has a ton of potential and if content marketers can learn how to use it the right way could see some big results.
Plus, it was a great team building exercise to search the whole team and see how Crystal stacked up.
Shoot us a comment below and let us know how you would use Crystal at work.
At 12-years-old, Salvatore Trifilio scored in the 99thpercentile on a New Jersey standardized test in the category of “reading, writing and comprehension.” It was all she wrote, so to speak. Over the next 11 years (and counting) Sal has made writing a central part of his personal and professional lives. When not writing, Sal enjoys watching and talking sports, riding his skateboard down by the beach and jamming out to punk rock music. Most recently he has worked at “The Daily Voice” and “The Suburban News,” and has been published in the Contagious Optimism series for his piece on the Boston Marathon bombings. Sal holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English/Journalism from Fairfield University, where he also minored in Philosophy. He’s also extremely Italian, if his name didn’t already give that away. Follow him@SalTrifilio