By Andrew Macey

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We all know how important it is to define personas.  These “characters” are the basis of inbound marketing; making sure content is targeted, contacts are nurtured properly, and analysis is well executed. Having these personas developed in the early stages of marketing helps to determine exactly who your target audience is and what aspects of your business will resonate best.  Managing and perfecting these personas, however, requires a tool that is integrated with all aspects of inbound marketing.  As to be expected, HubSpot has developed a Personas tool to do just that.  To really leverage personas in your inbound efforts, we must discuss three crucial steps in the process:

Adding Your Personas to HubSpot

First and foremost, it is important to setup your personas properly in the HubSpot tool.  At the top of your dashboard, you will see a link to “add personas.”  This link opens up a series of setup steps required to build out a persona, including an image, name, roles, goals, and challenges. Here are two screen shots demonstrating the above:

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Create_a_Persona_HubSpot_Roles_and_Demographics 

When building out personas, think about your existing customers and the sales conversations you frequently have.  Additionally, it can be helpful to look back on business that has closed recently and take note as to what objections or interests that particular contact presented.  Once these characteristics have been defined, HubSpot prompts you to create a persona form field, which can be used on forms throughout your site, for visitors to self-identify as one of your pre-defined personas. It looks something like this:

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Utilizing Your Personas in HubSpot

Once configured, there are a number of ways to use personas throughout HubSpot and various marketing initiatives.  One powerful way to do so is with smart lists.  Now that a contact property for your persona has been created, it can be used to build lists and segment your database.  Furthermore, these lists are often used as building-blocks for more powerful tools such as workflows and smart content.  Consider building a workflow based on one of these lists, by targeting specific aspects of your products or services that are of greater interest to that persona.  By doing so, you can uniquely nurture leads with persona-specific content. See an example of a smart list below:

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Another successful way to target these personas is with smart content on your site.  Because smart calls-to-action and smart content can be based off smart lists, we can leverage these particular lists to tailor website content specifically.  Imagine a CTA in a blog post that speaks directly to one of your personas, or specific text on a thank-you page encouraging further communication.  Working these personas into your middle-of-the-funnel efforts can greatly increase your overall conversion rates as well.

Analyzing Your Personas

Ask any marketer, and they’ll tell you that analytics are fundamental to successful marketing.  It’s important to consider data when planning your next campaign or making website changes.  The HubSpot dashboard provides some great analysis of your various personas and how they are moving through your funnel.  By default, you are presented with a total number of contacts, leads, marketing qualified leads, and customers, and how those break down by each persona.  Laying out data in this way shows marketers which personas tend to close more often as well as which ones never make it past the lead life cycle stage.  If you notice a particular persona not moving through the funnel as efficiently, you might consider editing the corresponding workflow or updating smart content.

For those customers on Enterprise, using Contacts Reports can help to visually graph the total number of personas and break down the data even further.  Having a smart list created, as mentioned above, we can graphically display personas based on life cycle stage, forms submitted, or any other information collected on the contact record.

HubSpot has done a fantastic job integrating persona best practices into their Inbound Marketing platform. From initial development, to analyzing success metrics, make sure to revisit your company’s personas often and adjust them as necessary.  Utilizing advanced marketing tools such as workflows and smart content can help tailor content appropriately towards each persona and increase your overall customer conversion rate.  

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Andrew Macey

About the author

Andrew Macey is a HubSpot alumni and Senior Consultant at SmartBug Media. He has more than 5 years experience in inbound marketing and is a graduate of the University of Vermont. He is excited to share his knowledge with you! Read more articles by Andrew Macey.

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