Buyer Personas: The Secret to Customer-Focused Content
The secret to a successful inbound marketing campaign is remember the mantra it isn't all about you. Easier said than done, right? How can you make sure that each piece of content, tweet and Facebook post is intriguing to your followers? Unleash the power of buyer personas, a long-time secret of the traditional marketing realm. By creating and naming sample customers you can make sure your content is actually about them. Get past the creep factor of naming sample customers to really personalize your outreach.
For the purpose of illustration, we'll examine Bella's Blooms, a small, local florist that is just breaking into inbound marketing practices.
Bella's has 2 main personas among their customers:
1. Sentimental Steve is 32 years old and loves his wife. He has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth sometimes, and he always makes up for it with a small gift of flowers or chocolate. Steve's budget is pretty small, so he shops around for the best sales for his anniversary and Valentine's day.
2. Chic Christa is getting married in 6 months, and her wedding will be an affair to remember, even if her parents will need a second mortgage to pay for it. She's 23 years old, and will likely be a bridesmaid for her college sorority sisters at least 8 times over the next few years. Christa is a social media fanatic and spends hours curating boards of the hottest wedding trends on Pinterest.
While both customers offer real value to Bella's Blooms, it is easy to recognize that customers who resemble Christa offer a larger contribution to the company's bottom line and are more likely to engage with the brand on social media networking sites. Steve is likely influenced by price, but curating content with Christa in mind is more valuable to Bella's in potential for both sales, social media shares and engagement. While the owner of Bella's may love delving into local flora and fauna in her blog content, discussing national wedding trends is likely a better plan. Maintaining an active presence on Pinterest and optimizing content for pinning could be the best way to guarantee social media shares and traffic.
How Do I Build Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are comprised of 3 main aspects: needs, demographics and behavior. Use these factors as a way to identify your typical customers. Build vibrant, robust profiles with catchy names to ensure these buyer personas remain in the front of your mind while honing your social media strategy and content calendar.
Why are these buyers at your website in the first place? Christa wants to incorporate the hottest trends into her bridal bouquet and table centerpieces. Steve needs to treat his wife to a little luxury on a tight budget. Needs are also closely tied to a buyer's pain points and objections. Steve balks at bouquets that cost more than $30.00, while Christa is suspicious of floral shops without extensive portfolios.
Look at the ages, genders, income levels and locations of your customers while developing buyer persona profiles. For organizations with a wide geographic reach, an individuals' state or county of origin can have a significant affect on their purchase patterns, due to a lack or prevalance of brick-and-mortar competitors in their area. Demographics can affect how these customers perform research and engage on social media, offering clues as to how you can best tailor your content.
How much research do your personas perform before making a purchase? Where do they perform this research? While Christa started planning her wedding 6 months in advance, Steve sometimes needs a quick, cheap and local source or roses to apologize for not noticing his wife's new hairstyle. In the case of Bella's Blooms, tailoring 2 landing pages to fit the behavior patterns of both Steve and Christa could be advantageous. Steve needs little more than an address, hours of operations and a coupon for a $19.99 special. Christa is the type of lead who will need tailored nurturing efforts over time.
Look at the real social media profiles of your customers and their frequently asked questions while developing buyer personas. Buyer personas can initially feel theatrical and silly, but taking a data-driven approach to illustrating the characters will make sure they resemble real life. Treat content and social media as a dialogue with your personas to ensure your process is customer-focused.
Image credit: Victor Habbick/freedigitalphotos.net