When you have a product or service you’re really excited about, you may be tempted to tell everyone you know (and everyone they know) about it. Hey, we totally understand your impulse. It’s natural to want to share the things you love with the people you love. And besides, why would you want to reduce your business’s potential reach?
But your products and services are going to attract a very specific group of customers. If you’re using a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy, you’re not fully investing in the most relevant customers — meaning that you’re really just wasting time, effort, and money.
So, to maximize your return on investment, you’ll want to create a targeted marketing strategy by segmenting your customer base to identify their specific needs and interests.
What are buyer personas?
In inbound marketing, profiles of your target audience are also known as buyer personas. Hubspot defines buyer personas as “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
Put another way, buyer personas help you identify who your customer is, how they think and behave, and what their goals are.
Your product or service — especially if it’s good (which it should be!) — is likely to appeal to a broad range of people with different priorities. Buyer personas allow you to visualize different segments within your core customer base in a memorable and accessible way.
With buyer personas, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of your customers’ buying habits. This will help you figure out what exactly you can do to capture the attention and interest of your strongest leads.
5 reasons why your business needs buyer personas
1. Focus on creating the right content
The most effective inbound marketing happens when you’re able to create highly-relevant, memorable content which your readers care about.
Through your buyer personas, you’ll know exactly what your customers’ challenges and pain points are, and you’ll be able to tailor your marketing messages to address their immediate concerns. For instance, a blog post targeting the CEO of a Fortune 500 company would use very different language and examples from one targeting the artistic director of a small, non-profit theater company.
2. Generate better-quality sales leads
When the content you produce is fully focused on meeting the needs of very specific people, your business will naturally begin attracting audiences who want what you have to offer. From there, you can use lead nurturing campaigns to add a more personalized touch to subsequent interactions.
Remember, the vast majority of people do not make buying decisions immediately after discovering your product. While they’re evaluating all possible options, it’s critical that you continue providing valuable content to and developing stronger relationships with your leads in order to hold their interest. Buyer personas can provide you with the information you’ll need to shape your lead nurturing strategies.
3. Establish strategic alignment in pursuing your goals
By creating buyer personas, you’re not just shaping your content strategy, you’re also equipping your entire team with a shared language to achieve your organizational goals.
For example, at the sales level, this means that your sales team will know what the profile of an ideal customer looks like. By identifying leads which possess similar characteristics to your buyer personas, they’ll be able to prioritize the leads which are most likely to convert into actual customers.
To give a different example, buyer personas can also help shape your customer service strategy. It’s key for your business to offer a positive customer experience at all times. If you can use the right language and insights to leave customers feeling heard and understood after every interaction, this will only enhance your brand’s image and reputation over time.
4. Inform the development of new products and services
In the long run, a successful business isn’t just made by selling the exact same product over and over again. Rather, businesses thrive on innovation and growth.
But in order to create something your customers actually want to use, you first have to understand what they need.
This will also help decrease the risk of alienating your existing customer base every time you release a new product or change up your current services. After all, it’s easier to retain an existing customer than to win over a new one: Customer acquisition can cost between 4 to 10 times more than customer retention!
5. Maintain your competitiveness in a rapidly globalizing industry
Let’s face it: One reason why content marketing is a necessary strategy today is because the internet has made it possible for customers to pursue buying opportunities worldwide. Consequently, for your business to stay competitive, it’s crucial that you know how to appeal to your leads’ regional preferences.
For example, if you’re a small Chicago-based startup which offers moving services, it probably doesn’t make sense for you to accept a client request in Seattle. However, if you’re mainly generating leads from the West Coast, then your marketing efforts aren’t going to see a strong return on investment. Instead, you’ll be better off focusing on getting to the first page of Google searches for moving services in the Chicago area, which means you need to generate content which specifically targets the needs of people moving within Chicago.
Alternatively, if you’re a fast-growing food catering company with offices in various cities nationwide, you’ll need to appeal to what people from each region might want. Buyer personas can help you develop a more granular approach in your content creation.
Well-researched buyer personas are an incredibly useful tool to help take your content strategy to the next level. Keen to craft your own, but don’t know where to start? Check out the Sprk’d Foundation Formula: As part of this month-long deep dive, we’ll analyze your competitive landscape and establish your business’s unique offerings in order to help you visualize your ideal customer base.