You might have a watertight inbound marketing strategy, with a consistent output of engaging content, regular social posts and a widespread social media presence, but if you are not using solid, clearly defined buyer personas as the foundation for all of this work then you will struggle to move forward with your marketing strategy.
It is absolutely crucial that your inbound marketing strategy is developed with a target audience in mind – clearly identifying and defining your target buyers is the first step to a successful inbound marketing strategy.
Buyer personas allow you to define exactly who you are speaking to, what type of message you hope to send, and how you plan to send that message. A fictionalised representation of your ideal customer allows you to get inside the heads of who your products or services are aimed at and use their perceived pains, needs, goals, priorities and values to define how you are going to market the things you offer in such a way as to convince them that you are the solution to all of their business challenges.
QUALITY NOT QUANTITY
Focusing your marketing efforts on specific personas will of course narrow your influence, targeting a smaller group of people, but it will mean that your inbound strategy will generate more of the kind of leads that you actually want to do business with. Rather than just sending your message out to whoever will listen and trying to draw as many visitors as possible to your site, you are just focusing on that key group of people you have defined as your ideal buyer. Sending out a more specific message will have a twofold impact. Firstly it will reduce the number of dead-end leads generated, repelling those site visitors you don’t want to sell to or wouldn’t make a purchase anyway. Secondly, the more specific and personal message you’ve created as a result of solid, well-defined buyer personas will resonate more strongly with your ideal buyers and push them further down the funnel because your marketing efforts are directly addressing the specific pains and needs you have identified.
HIGHLY TARGETED CONTENT STRATEGY
So many marketers, when planning their content strategy, do not think about the type of information their potential buyers want and need. Many simply focus on creating a regular consistent output based on whatever broad topics come to mind with the idea that churning out content for the sake of content is fine. The value of your personas is that you can use the information you have collated to directly target your content to addressing the specific pains and needs that your ideal buyer faces in their business life. You can provide them with precisely the information they need so that they will perceive your business as the answer to all of their problems.
HUMAN TO HUMAN (H2H) RELATIONSHIP
Seeing your buyers as individuals rather than an impersonal, roughly-defined demographic mass enables you to clearly envision exactly the type of person you are targeting as your ideal customer. As a result you create a more human interaction with future buyers as you are already familiar with their pains and needs, their goals, and what motivates them. You are now in a good position to help them in exactly the way they want to be helped. You have created a level of empathy which allows you to get a deeper level of insight into your buyers and develop a meaningful conversation. Treating your buyers as humans rather than just a list of information throughout the entire sales process provides them a much better experience and thereby makes them ultimately far more likely to do business with you.
No inbound marketing strategy can be complete without detailed, accurate and humanised buyer personas. For more information on the best practices when researching and developing your personas, download our mindmap on Researching and developing buying personas.