Are you still marketing to broad demographic groups instead of individuals? If so, it's time upgrade your approach. Generic sales leads come from casting a wide net, which can result in low conversion rates from prospect to lead to customer. Targeted marketing has proven much more efficient, increasing those conversion rates by appealing to potential customers on the basis of who they are and what they care about as individuals. To do that, you must have a working knowledge of what makes your potential customers tick, making buyer personas an inbound marketing necessity.
What are Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are detailed profiles of hypothetical individuals you will be targeting with your marketing content. Knowing who a person is and what motivates them makes it easier to predict future behavior and decide what sort of appeal will shape that behavior to your advantage. Personas allow you to step into the shoes of a potential customer, producing marketing materials that will appeal to their specific personalities and needs and nurture then down your sales funnel.
Creating Accurate and Effective Personas
As the old saying goes, the devil is in the details, and in terms of effective inbound marketing, so too are those all-important conversions. So how, exactly, do you compose a profile of potential customers that you have never done business with? You start by analyzing your successes, looking into what type of customers have bought from you in the past and what motivated them to make that leap from browser to buyer.
Get your team together, especially those who have direct contact with customers - the account, sales and marketing folks. Spend a day brainstorming as a group. Have each of your team members offer their own perspective on specific personalities they've encountered in day-to-day business.
Work with one personality type at a time, assembling relevant information, such as career details, background information, demographics, and common characteristics, values and interests. What questions do customers of this particular type commonly ask? What answers did your staff provide that convinced them that your product was the one to best suit their needs? What factors made them hesitate and how did your representatives overcome those challenges?
Putting Buyer Personas to Work for You
Once you have a window into the personalities and priorities of your customer base, you can target your marketing materials to attract more customers that fit those profiles. Knowing what makes your customer base tick can help you provide information that keeps them engaged and interested in what you have to offer once they make contact. You can produce content that gives your prospects and leads the answers they need before they think to ask the questions, streamlining the process for quicker and easier conversions.