You may be wondering to yourself what exactly a “persona” is and how is it a secret weapon? It is critical to be aware of your prospects' personas along their buyer’s journey with your company. As an inbound marketing company, you will see someone go from a stranger, to a lead, to a customer, all the way through to a promoter and the persona comes into play every step of the way.
Creating the Persona
To put it simply, personas are representations of ideal customers you create to help your team develop focused content formation and nurturing strategies. To create personas, you will use information you already have about your target market or current customers. There are several aspects you need to consider to make a comprehensive persona. Here are some questions you can begin with followed by examples:
- What kind of roles does this persona play in their personal and professional life?
- E.g., Account Executive, Avid traveler, Originally from Ireland
- What are the persona’s goals?
- E.g., Work cohesively with sales team, Build team trust
- What are some examples of challenges your persona faces when attempting to achieve their goals?
- E.g., Not enough resources, Miscommunication
- What is the marketing message we want to send this persona?
- E.g., Upgrade social media usage, Create a common goal
The next portion to consider is the buyer’s demographics. This includes age range, income range, education, location, and general information about how they spend their free time. It all comes down to research. The more research you do to fill out your secret weapon, the more you will be able to connect, educate and delight. You will also want to attach a picture to the persona to enforce a more visual representation of the type of person you are conducting business with.
Fill in the Blanks
Do a little bit of social media investigating on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to help fully develop the persona and find those small connections. Building a connection on a more personal level will make the lead feel comfortable and speed up the inbound marketing process. When looking at LinkedIn, you can view the common connections that you as a salesperson or marketer have in common with the persona such as news outlets and hobbies. When it comes to Facebook, check out what similar pages you may like or places they have recently checked in that you may share in common. On Twitter investigate to see who they are following from celebrities, to politicians and news outlets.
Secret Weapon BONUS
Once you get the general demographics, take it a step further in the analysis of your buyer to strengthen the persona. Think about what motivates them. What do they embrace, avoid and need? For example, your persona is the VP of Marketing and through research you have found that he has risen through the ranks of his software company. He has only worked for tech companies in the past and seems to enjoy off road bicycling according to his Facebook. He is also still single and in his late 30’s. This shows that he is highly dedicated to his job and embraces action, being on the cutting edge and immediate results. He avoids lengthy decision making processes and minor details since he is higher up. But, he needs personalization and constant updating so that he still has the hands on role. This can be determined after fully filling out the persona and taking a step back to assess how each component plays into each other.
The way someone goes about making a decision when purchasing, relies a huge amount on personality temperament. You can essentially break it down to four different types of temperaments:
- The competitive – this type of person compares prices and features to make sure that they are paying the right amount for the best product.
- The methodical – this person researches everything about the product and plans out the timing of the purchase. They pay attention to their purchasing experience and consider every element such as analyzing reviews, quality scores and may even write up a pros and cons list.
- The humanist – this kind of person assess how the purchase will affect their life, the people around them and the earth. They really focus on how it makes them feel after they make the big decision.
- The spontaneous – this type of person buys what is convenient, quick, and easy. They do not consider competitors but instead what attracts them initially and how it will help them in the then and now.
Putting the Persona into Play
So how do you put this secret weapon into action? Any inbound marketing company will tell you that you must keep the buyer’s persona in mind with every decision you make. For example, when deciding on keywords, take a look at your buyer’s persona and create them based on what kind of language your buyer would use. Even the topics of your content should be based around the persona. Does it solve your persona’s problems? Is it popular within their industry?
Let’s say the goal of your inbound marketing team is to convert a visitor to a lead. How can referencing your buyer’s persona help? If you said creating content specified to them, then you were right. Everyone wants to feel special and as if his or her problems can be solved by a trusted resource. Your company can become that trusted reference by creating unique content to help your visitors solve their problem or reach their goal and ultimately become your customer.
There is also value in creating “negative personas” to help provide characteristics for poor quality leads that aren’t worth pursuing. This can help out the sales team determine whether or not the potential customer is an actual sales qualified lead. This will help you toss out leads that take time and effort and then don’t ever convert over to a customer.
Inbound marketing companies who utilize personas can be more effective and better reach their marketing goals. As a company, applying personas to your marketing efforts can be your secret weapon to beat the competition and grow your business with your ideal customers.
You have this amazing weapon, so use it to your advantage and apply it along with the other tools of inbound marketing that we at Half a Bubble Out fully endorse.