Most of us have been asked at one point or another to describe our target market and usually we rattle off a series of factoids. Historically these demographics shaped how marketers constructed their message to potential buyers. But in recent years the rise in popularity of social media giants like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter have changed the way we market. This dynamic shift requires that we go deeper than just a target market to creating a buyer persona.
The Next Step
Inbound marketing has become the way to reach customers in our new communication age when people are hungry for content. The whole goal of effective marketing is now not to interrupt what people want to consume, but to be what they want to consume. Content is king and unless you have the right content, people will not stick around long enough to engage with your company, your products and services. Personas are key because they help you create the right content. The right content is the most effective way to attract the ideal visitors, covert them into leads and then close them as customers.
What Are Buyer Personas?
According to leading inbound marketing company Hubspot, they are “semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about customer demographics behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.” In short, they are who you are trying to reach. Look at it this way, instead of trying to attract and engage some 3 billion people on the internet, focus instead on those most likely to become the type of clients that excitedly promote you to their connections.
The most effective buyer personas are always centered on the “why?”. When crafting the questions to ask to build the persona, search out the motives, not the actions. These drive the reason people search for and consume content. It gives context for why and when prospects will make buying decisions. “When you intimately know your player personas and communicate to them in a personal way,” explains Hatchbuck Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Jonathan Herrick, “you skyrocket your chances of turning them from just a contact in your database into a lifelong customer.” (as quoted in this Inc. Magazine article)
The real power in developing and using personas is that when businesses are armed with well-crafted personas they become more competitive. Their focus on the right target buyer leads them to craft the right message to attract and convert the client who is perfect for them. Their marketing dollar is more effective because it is honed with intent instead of scattered to the market at large. In fact, designing your website for your identified persona can make it 2-5 times easier and effective for customers to navigate.
There are three steps to follow in creating the right buyer persona. Tune into my blog later this week for detailed information on creating the persona and how it effects the content in your Inbound Marketing campaign.