This is the second post in our Inbound Marketing 101 series intended to help B2B marketers boost brand visibility and generate better leads for their sales teams to convert into customers.
You think your products and services are pretty great. We can’t blame you there.
But we have to break it to you, no matter how great your products and services are, not everyone (gasp!) is your ideal customer.
Why is that an important distinction? Consider this: Do you have a better chance of catching fish in a barrel or in the ocean? Enough said.
Zeroing in on your ideal customer allows you to precisely target your marketing strategy and message, increasing their effectiveness.
According to The Institute of Common Sense, 100% of customers like engaging with content created specifically for them.
And how do you create the personalized content buyers crave? Buyer personas.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a snapshot of your ideal customer. What are their job title, age and education? What are their goals and challenges? What influences and motivates them?
These criteria and more comprise a persona profile. However, a buyer persona is more than an inventory of characteristics.
It provides actionable insights into how your buyers make purchasing decisions—allowing you to provide them the information they need about your company, when they need it.
Why do you need buyer personas?
Buyer personas help you build a persona based marketing strategy that places your target customer at the center.
Every marketing activity you embark on should take your buyer personas into account. Depending on the size of your company, you may have one buyer persona or ten.
Buyer personas not only inform what you create, but how you distribute it.
Does your target audience prefer to engage with your company through social media, email or by phone? Your personas can tell you that.
When you create content that speaks to your target customers and distribute it in their preferred channels, you attract buyers to your business.
How do you create buyer personas?
You’ve decided buyer personas are great and you have to have them. Awesome. Now what do you do?
Get your hands on as much data as you can. Perform research, identify trends in your database, conduct surveys with current customers and prospects and interview your sales team.
Uncover what motivates your buyers, what their problems are and what they are looking for in a vendor. Then compile all that information into a profile and create content that speaks to it.
Personas help you get a better understanding of your ideal customers, including their needs, wants and behaviors.
The more you know about your ideal customers, the better you can personalize your content and meet your buyers on their own time and in their preferred space.
With personas, you draw your customers to you instead of actively searching them out—saving both time and money and helping you sell more of your great stuff.