To successfully capitalize on inbound marketing you need to have a good understanding of your intended audience. To fully understand your audience you should start by crafting buyer personas. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research, real data about your existing customers and a few educated guesses. When creating your buyer personas, consider including customer demographics, behaviour patterns, industries, positions within companies, motivations and goals. The more detailed you are, the better. You need a literal picture of who this person is and what information is important to them.
Buyer personas provide tremendous insight into your target market. A detailed buyer persona will help you determine where to focus your time, direct your outreach, guide your product and service development, and allow for alignment across your organization. As a result, you will be able to create content and craft messages that will attract your most valuable visitors, leads and customers.
One of the most important things about your buyer persona are their pain points. In other words, what is causing them trouble or what are their greatest challenges? Once you have figured out their pain points you can start to create content that will help solve their problems. Your task is to provide them with helpful human information that they can use to overcome their pain points.
These pain points can guide you in all of your content marketing. When creating content, you need to think: How can I create a resource that actually helps my customers? What pain points am I trying to solve through this information? How am I going to help them solve it? What do they need most? What makes their life easier? Creating some kind of helpful content, whether in a blog post, guide or an infographic, is the first step to reaching your buyer persona. If your content is helpful, it will be shared.
Locations And Habits
Knowing where you can find your target market online is essential. You need to know how and when they access information on the Internet. The how and when are important, because those answers will direct your outreach. For example, each social media channel attracts a different demographic. Not only does each have a specific demographic, each also has specific times during the day that see more activity. Alternatively, some people go directly to industry websites for information while others rely on search engines to provide direction. Without knowing exactly where your buyer personas go for information, you could be speaking to the wind and wasting your marketing budget.
If you are a business-to-business company and you know that your persona spends a lot of time on LinkedIn, you will want to start concentrating on LinkedIn Groups. If your personas are business consumers and you think that they're going to find you through organic search, then you need to focus on putting your content out by blogging or maybe paid search. If you are a retail business, you are going to want to concentrate on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and engage in social interactions with your personas. Where do your buyer personas spend their online time and what social media sites do they use to find answers?
The "how" is important, but it always has to be done in tandem with the "when." There are many studies that will reveal the best times of day to do your online outreach. Alternatively, another strategy is to look at some of your most popular tweets or posts. Did they attract engagement from your buyer personas? If so, when were they were made? If a pattern emerges, recognize it and integrate it into your strategy.
Also, think about what keywords your personas would use when searching for a solution? Search under those hashtags in Twitter or Facebook, etc, and you will find your personas.
At the end of the day, this persona conversation can be a very large one. The most important thing to answer for yourself is this one question:
What groups does my client base break down into, and how can I treat them better by treating them differently?
Ask questions that help people self-identify. Things as simple as, which of our services are you interested in? What is your biggest need? What is your biggest issue? What are you interested in learning more about? Those questions are usually what is most significant to your buyer personas, and you can ask them in a way that is really helpful to them. Once you get that question answered, you can understand which of your buyer personas you are interacting with.
Your buyer personas are vital to every strategy decision you make. In taking the time to develop buyer personas by meeting with your existing customers and prospects, and looking at existing market data for your contacts, you have identified how your customers think, react and respond. From there, you are able to draw conclusions—how they will react to specific marketing campaigns, where will your information will reach them best and what type of content is most helpful/valuable to them in solving their problems. Developing buyer personas takes away some of the guesswork.
If you have any questions about crafting your buyer personas, please reach out to us. We would be happy to help.