What are buyer personas, and how can you effectively use them in your inbound marketing strategy? Personas can transform your marketing strategy as you transition from guessing what your customers wants, to understanding the issues they face, and how you can solve them.
What are Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are fictional representations of a segment of your target audience. Buyer personas include more than basic demographics—they include information about how they go about their daily life, what problems they face, and how they evaluate possible solutions to their problems.
How Do You Create Buyer Personas?
Kick off your persona development by meetings with your sales and marketing team to get the best insights about what type of customers are purchasing your product or service. Be sure to hone in on the sales team about what objections prevent them from closing sales, and what reasoning usually helps them close sales.
Utilize your marketing team to reveal insight on website data—what pages on your site are most visited? Which pages have the highest bounce and exit rate? What channel or strategy has led to the highest lead generation? What coupon codes are used the most?
After gaining internal insight, it’s time to interview your customers to gather the rest of the data you need to complete your personas. Be sure to ask open-ended questions, instead of questions that will only lead to “yes” or “no” answers. Focus on areas such as what their work-life entails, where they do their shopping—how do they research before making a purchase? When they shop online, do they use a mobile phone or desktop more frequently? What causes stress in their lives?
Start off by interviewing 3–5 people for each persona you create, and add more depending on how much useful information you gather from each individual.
Divide your customer questions into the following categories to ensure you gather the important insights you’ll need to accurately develop personas:
- Daily Life
- Consumer Habits
- Pain Points
All of this information will help you develop thorough and accurate personas that will lead to understanding the needs of your target audience.
How Do Buyer Personas Help Your Marketing Strategy?
Once you have an understanding of what type of information, products, and services appeal to your target audience (based on the persona research) you can tailor your messaging and content to make it feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Personas will also help you focus in on which channels will be most effective in reaching your targeted audiences.
Because you have a vast array of different types of customers, create multiple personas to appeal to multiple perspectives of potential customers. Take the data, insights, and customer information to create personas that will impact the majority of your current and potential customer base.
You’ve Gathered Buyer Persona Information—What’s Next?
Once you have the information surrounding your various personas, put each persona into a document to build off of that data. Brainstorm blog post topics that would appeal to each persona. Include keywords each persona would search for, and their corresponding search traffic.
Lastly, how will you promote your campaign to each persona? Think of a few content offers (checklist, webinar, ebook), and pick the one best suited to their lifestyle. How will you promote the offer? Email drips, CTAs in the blog posts, remarketing ads, and social media posts can all be effective channels to get the word out about your content offer.
With the guidance of your personas, you will have a more optimized inbound marketing strategy. To get more inbound marketing tips and tricks, download our traffic generation checklist—it’s free!