By Ryan Malone
When done well, buyer personas give you insights into the way your customers think and act. This information is priceless, but a surprising number of marketers do not take the time to develop buyer personas.
Even the smallest business can benefit from interviewing customers and creating profiles for the various consumer types that most frequently make purchases. For those businesses that use inbound marketing to generate new leads, creating buyer personas is essential in developing a campaign strategy.
Why All Marketers Should Use Buyer PersonasYou can't effectively market a product or service if you don't know whom you are trying to communicate with. It's true that you might reach some potential customers and convert a percentage of those leads simply by casting a wide marketing net. However, you won't get the best return on your investment unless you conduct the fundamental research that tells you which customers are most likely to make a purchase and what you can say or do to increase the likelihood of a sale.
Creating buyer personas offers three primary advantages for marketers:
- Strategic marketing - Most businesses have limited marketing funds that are allocated to different tactics. Personas allow you to develop the most cost-effective marketing strategy based on how potential customers are most likely to act. For example, if you know that the majority of your audience reads online and not print news, you can allocate your budget accordingly.
- Objective planning - Creating marketing messages and materials for a specific target audience can be difficult (or impossible) if you don't understand how that audience is likely to respond. A buyer persona gives you the information and perspective you need to make objective decisions about how to craft your marketing messages.
- Strong messaging - Of course you want your marketing messages to reach as many people as possible. However, the more diluted a message gets, the fewer people it actually reaches. Buyer personas allow you to truly tailor your marketing messages so you can get the best possible response.
Why Inbound Marketers Should Use Buyer PersonasYour goal as an inbound marketer is to 1.) capture new leads and 2.) convert them to loyal customers. Each of these critical steps requires understanding how your ideal customer thinks. The only way to do this is by creating buyer personas.
As you develop new inbound marketing campaigns, you can use personas to help you:
- Invest in the most appropriate media channels
- Use the tone that is most likely to generate a response
- Develop content that will attract new leads
- Create calls to action that are truly effective
- Tailor your leads funnel to get the best conversion rate
Virtually every decision you make when creating inbound marketing campaigns should take personas into account.
How do you use personas in your inbound marketing strategies?