Good morning/afternoon/evening/middle of the night. I would like to grab your attention briefly to talk a little bit about buyer personas and how they fit into your inbound marketing efforts.
When it comes to developing your marketing and branding strategy, there is nothing more important than having a clear understanding of your target audience. In order to market successfully, you must first understand who you are marketing to.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. A detailed buyer persona will help you determine where to focus your time, guide product development, and allow for alignment across the organization. As a result, you will be able to attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers to your business.
Usually your buyer persona is a short, single-page summary of one type of person in particular within your target market. It includes information such as:
- Demographic Information
- Headshot (recommended)
- Details about Employment
- Educational Background
- Values and Goals
- Problems Faced
- Day in the Life
- Common Objections
- Main Sources of News and Information
Have you created buyer personas for your ideal customers?
Buyer personas can be created through research, surveys, and interviews of internal stakeholders as well as real customers. Also, you can utilize your contact database and other online tools to identify trends and patterns in the way leads are consuming your content online. Lastly, don’t forget to talk to your sales team when constructing buyer personas. If anyone if going to be able to tell you about your prospects’ and customers’ concerns, questions, and pain points, it’s your sales team.
Tip: If you are lacking data for a characteristic that would be beneficial towards segmentation for marketing purposes, add new fields to your web forms that will capture important persona information. If you want to segment based on job title for example, be sure to add “Job Title” as a field on your web forms.
To learn more about creating buyer personas, check out this infographic!
How can you leverage your buyer personas throughout your inbound marketing campaigns?
If you have successfully created your buyer personas, you should have a fairly accurate sketch of the demographic information, educational background, problems faced, common objections, and motivations of each audience segment represented by your personas. It is crucial to leverage all of the information gathered when cultivating your messaging. You should create unique messaging targeted toward each buyer persona, and then consistently apply it throughout key marketing touch points such as website content, email campaigns, and social media channels.
Build your website with your buyer personas in mind. For example, you may have two distinct buyer personas that need to consume different information before they are ready to buy your products or services. If that is the case, it may be a good idea to think of your website as having two divergent tracks. One persona might be interested in using your product in a completely different way than another. Your website should be tailored to both of those personas and feature messaging/content that reinforces the unique pain points each persona is experiencing. Make sense?
Tip: If you have a blog, be sure to write articles that target and attract each of your buyer personas. Don’t just write blogs for the sake of writing blogs. Within your master editorial calendar, I suggest including a column titled Buyer Persona. Before each post is conceived, it should be determined who the target audience for that content is.
Email is one of the most powerful tools for building and sustaining customer relationships. In order to connect with your buyer personas via email, segment your distribution list based on characteristics within each buyer persona, and implement the messaging that speaks to each personas’ pain points and motivations.
Keep in mind, the amount information in your database determines your ability to target and segment. If you want to send an email to C-Suite employees only (key decision makers), you need to first make sure you have that information in your contact records. If so, create a new distribution list for these contacts and use the messaging that best pertains to this group of people.
Tip: If you are using HubSpot, you can segment lists based on contact information such as job title. Therefore, you can make a list that includes anyone with the job title CEO, CFO, etc.
Also, I encourage you to use content personalization if possible. People love to feel like brands are reaching out to them personally; try including the contact’s first name, company name, job title, or any other information throughout the email to see the impact of personalization.
Social media is another avenue to connect with your buyer personas. Similar to blogging, be sure to create social posts that target and attract each of your buyer personas. Don’t just post on social media for the sake of doing it.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to take advantage of certain groups on social channels such as LinkedIn groups. You may find that specific groups are in sync with your buyer persona; this is obviously a great place to take advantage of targeted messaging.
It’s simple, really. Without first creating buyer personas for your brand, you are never really sure who you are marketing to. If you aren’t sure who you are marketing to, how the hell can you successfully create inbound marketing campaigns that attract and compel visitors to convert to leads, and leads to convert to customers? I’ll tell you the answer: you can’t.