The art of inbound marketing lets customers find you rather than spending time, energy and money soliciting qualified (and sometimes unqualified) leads. This marketing strategy is the quintessential manifestation of fishing where the fish are. In plain words, you simply place your product in the path of your potential customers and let them do the work for you.
Okay, we might be exaggerating a little here. For inbound marketing to successfully attract value able customers, you need to know exactly where to place your product and ensure its perceived value appeals to your prospective customers. Don’t worry, inbound marketing won’t put you out of a job … it’ll just make yours a whole lot easier.
So, you may be asking yourself: What is a buyer persona, anyway? We’re glad you asked.
Buyer personas 101:
A buyer persona is a snapshot into your ideal customer’s psyche. Typically, a product may have several personas based on different customer archetypes that successfully engage with your brand. Many companies create a persona profile – complete with name, photo, educational background lifestyle, profession, and business needs. This makes it easy for marketers to role play or think as their buyer persona when discussing how to develop a marketing strategy or what content might resonate with them most.
How do you create a buyer persona?
To create a buyer persona, the recipe is simple. Data, data, and more data. Get your hands on as much qualitative and quantitative research about your customers as possible. Ask customers why they cancel their subscriptions, poll customers leaving your website, set up a focus group, or reach out over social media to gather sound bites and directional insight into your customer’s pain points and needs. On the flip side, consider investing in third party research, set up AB or multi-variate tests, and do some data mining to gather information about your buyers’ behavior.
When you translate all this data into a buyer persona, you’ll find “ah ha” moments that can lead to prototyping and commercial innovation that will lead to success. Anyone can create a buyer persona, but seasoned marketing strategists and agencies and product managers are highly adept at this type of task.
How does my persona drive inbound marketing?
Once you have several buyer personas, you can use them to tailor your inbound marketing efforts. Paste your personas onto poser board and bring them into meetings. Let someone role play as a persona each session to generate customer-centric ideas. Give each persona to a marketer and have them research where they surf online, how they behave, and where they are shopping so you can advertise in those naturally aligned spaces.
Having a tight buyer persona not only lets you think like your customer (and deliver better marketing content), but helps you frame where your inbound marketing efforts will be most effective. The results are more personalized and authentic marketing and a better customer-product fit. This leads to happier customers, greater customer lifetime value, and a bigger bottom line. In other words, everyone wins.