Customers are the lifeblood of every business; the ideal customer, however, is a dream come true and can lead to higher profits. But is it unrealistic to identify and attempt to capture the perfect customer? It’s easier than you think if you develop buyer personas.
What exactly is a buyer persona?
Simply put, it’s a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real information about your existing customers. The more you know about your ideal customer, the greater the chances for successfully landing them. This process goes a long way toward establishing goals for your inbound marketing program, while enabling your sales team to set its sights on the best fitting prospects out there.
How do you go about creating buyer personas? Here are some tips to get you started:
Contact segmentation is critical to an effective marketing automation effort. A segmented database gives you specificity in your marketing messaging, allowing you to focus on prospects with relevant, personalized content. Developing accurate buyer personas can be pivotal to successful segmentation.
Buyer personas give you a roadmap for communicating effectively with each prospect — what topics to discuss, and how to approach them. Your personas let you refine the tone, vocabulary and content types you adopt in reaching out to specific contacts. This goes a long way toward meeting prospects on their own comfortable turf and showing you understand their industry and business issues.
Another way that developing buyer personas can lead to smart segmentation is to separate prospects by persona and by their current stage in the buyers’ journey. A prospect who demonstrates interest in learning about a topic is certainly of value; and may convert to a sale over time. But one who is currently in the market for your specific products or services elevates the level of importance — and their value to you.
Planning Your Content Strategy
Anyone deeply involved in marketing automation knows that content creation is a big investment in time, effort and company resources. This being the case, naturally you want to develop content that’s as specific to your target as possible. Armed with your buyer personas, you can do just that!
Persona development tells a great deal about your prospects, so now it’s time to map your content with your personas top of mind. Your personas are, in essence, a guide to what content to create now, and down the road, depending on the types of content they engage with and their stage in the buyers’ journey. For example, if you have prospects that presently fall into the “consideration” stage but don’t have the content to reach them, now is the time to start creating it. In short, rather than creating a ton of upfront content to accommodate your personas, your personas dictate the content you should create. It’s a smart way to move forward with your marketing program while using insightful data to achieve maximum results.
Keep it Simple and Keep it Smart
Your buyer personas needn’t be complicated; in fact, they shouldn’t be. Try summing them up in two to three sentences; if you can, then it’s a good indication that you’ve nailed them. And remember you can always add more detail to them later.
There are a lot of ways to go about gathering the ingredients of the perfect customer. Guesswork shouldn’t be one of them. And asking your sales team can skew the information. You know what works? A simple, honest approach: just interview your best current customers!
Ask questions such as, “How would you describe yourself?” “What are your biggest challenges?”, “How do you obtain industry information?” “What are your favorite types of content?” It’s a simple way to gather information, and because it comes right from the source, you can be confident of its accuracy.
Buyer Personas Can Be a Game Changer
The beauty of creating accurate buyer personas is the multiple uses for them within a company. Marketers can refer to them when developing campaigns and content. For your sales team, buyer personas are an invaluable tool that can determine the tone and content of prospect interactions. The same holds true for your customer service team; their knowledge of personas may help them to better solve customer support issues. It’s just smart business!
Interested in learning more about inbound marketing for your business? Contact the experts at Brainstorm today for a free inbound marketing evaluation.