Inbound Marketing 101: What are Buyer Personas?

  Written by on October 28, 2013

From your website copy to your social media strategy to your content marketing materials, buyer personas are deeply ingrained in your inbound marketing strategy. Whether you have a well-defined buyer persona or no buyer personas at all, your website visitors and anyone reading your content will soon be able to tell. So today we’ll be going over buyer personas to make sure your website, content, and social strategy are in-tuned with your audience’s needs!

 

What are Buyer Personas?

Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customer. These personas can give you a deeper understanding of your ideal customer’s needs, goals, demographics, and how they learn about your industry.

Buyer personas are incredibly important as more consumers are seeking out personalized buying experiences. To ensure your brand can capture the battle for relevance, use your buyer personas as a bulls-eye for understanding what types of content will hit the mark (so to speak) with your target audience.

 

Okay, So How do I Create Buyer Personas?

Creating a buyer persona is a time-intensive process but well worth the investment. Whether you choose to conduct in-person interviews or go with a survey tool such as SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics, the goal of this research is to gather detailed information about your target audience so you can create marketing materials that resonate with these particular shoppers.

First, you’ll want to know the demographics of your target market. Some great demographic questions include:

  1. Gender
  2. Location
  3. Job Title
  4. Who do they report to?
  5. What are their goals?

Great. Now, let’s discover their pain points.

  1. What are their primary objectives when buying your product or service?
  2. What benefits are most important to them?
  3. How do they evaluate products or services in your industry?

Next, it’s time to ask: How do these shoppers find information about your industry?

  1. Friends / Family
  2. Search
  3. Social Media (If yes, then what social media sites do they use?)
  4. Industry-specific blogs
  5. Email

 

How Do I use Buyer Personas?

Now that you have a detailed profile of your ideal customer, it’s time to put that data to use!

As I mentioned earlier, your buyer personas can influence all types of marketing materials. Let’s begin with the one that most people will see, which is your website.

  • Website: From the text copy to the navigation to the opening call-to-action- every aspect of your website should feel like a conversation between you and your visitor.

If you cater to an older audience, perhaps you’ll want to use larger fonts for your copy and incorporate additional trust symbols. Alternatively, a hotel’s buyer personas may include younger travelers such as kids, so they may feature more visual content such as photos of the resort and video testimonials throughout their site.

  • Blog: If you’re like most businesses who know that more blogging leads to more visitors, then your blog is updated a lot more frequently than your website content. As a result, this surge in content creation gives you even more opportunity to click with your buyer personas.

Should you keep your content short and to the point, or would your audience prefer in-depth articles that take more than 5 minutes to read? Once you have a detailed profile of your buyer personas, these questions tend to answer themselves!

  • Social Media: After speaking with numerous businesses about social media and the various platforms, the most common question I hear is “Should we be using [insert social media site here]?” Regardless of their industry, my response is always “Is your ideal customer using that social media site?” As you can imagine, once you know which platforms your target audience is using, you’ll spend your time more effectively and waste less on the others.

 

Build a Better Buyer Persona

Like anything in marketing, once you’ve creating your buyer persona and started optimizing your content based on those profiles, be sure to continuously update your personas and benchmark your content against those profiles. If your business isn’t using buyer personas to create targeted marketing content or needs some assistance then get in touch with us today for a free digital marketing assessment!

 

Posted Under: Buyer Personas, Inbound Marketing
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About Jeremy Abel

As the Director of Corporate Marketing, Jeremy develops and guides our marketing strategy through a variety of techniques. This includes writing about client wins, publishing educational content on our blog, creating email marketing campaigns, managing our social media and online reviews (GlassDoor), organizing speaking events (Mannix Marketing M2Con), and much more.Recognized as one of the "Rising Stars in Social Media" (2014), Jeremy also speaks about inbound marketing to businesses, organizations, and associations in Albany, Saratoga, Lake George, and beyond.Jeremy graduated with honors from Siena College, and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing & Management.

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