The importance of buyer personas for inbound
Just who are you talking to? The importance of buyer personas for inbound marketing is something that should not be dismissed at all.
The principles of inbound marketing are based on knowing the personality traits and preferences of your target audience. Without a reasonable understanding of what ‘makes them tick’, your promotions and content are unlikely to resonate or encourage them to take action.
To ensure that content is properly targeted to meet these needs, inbound marketers create a series of ‘buyer personas’, based on what their ideal clients look like. The idea is that by creating a series of personas, you can then target every piece of inbound content more accurately – even for B2B sales. After all, people buy from people, even in business.
So what should your buyer personas include?
Despite this being an age of increased gender equality, some job roles are still heavily biased towards men or women. IT is male-dominated for instance, whilst PR is two-thirds female.
There is also a distinct divide in how each gender uses the web. Women are five times more likely to use Pinterest for instance, while men favour Facebook. Recognising these differences will prove vital for when it comes time to distribute and promote your content.
There is usually a marked difference between the tastes of your friends and your parents’ friends, a generational divide influenced by all sorts of factors.
The cause of these differences is not important, but the effects can be profound.
Again, age plays an important part in getting your content in front of the right audience. 35% of teenagers use instagram for instance, more than twice as many that use Facebook. For adults aged over 65, Facebook is the only social network of note.
For B2B inbound marketing you should include the job roles of each buyer persona.
More specifically, the job roles of the key decision makers involved in making purchases of your goods and services.
Rather than making a best guess, analyse your existing customer base, and pick the brains of your sales team. This will help you better identify the people you need to target.
Each job role comes with its own business pains and it is important that you understand your target audience well enough to know what they are.
Business pains are a vital aspect of your campaigns, because your content will be designed to resolve them – or to subtly point towards your products and services that address to them.
Being able to define business pains comes from a really good understanding of your target industry and the challenges they face. Your products and services will have been designed to solve these problems, but your personas need to address the subtleties of each role.
Even in a professional capacity, your buyers are still real people with real personal interests. No matter how we try, those personal influences colour virtually everything we do – including making business purchasing choices.
Personal interests are also a great way of making your campaigns less boring. You can try and inject interests-based humour into infographics for instance, not only increasing the interest levels for your target audience, but encouraging them to share that information with their circle of friends.
Getting started with personas
Creating personas is really just a case of better understanding your customers so that you can better target other prospects. And it’s not all an exercise in imagination either. If your sales and marketing data doesn’t have the relevant details for persona creation, have your account managers ask your existing clients – if nothing else, it will help you better serve them!
If you would like to try and build better buyer personas, why not try out this buyer persona maker and start improving your marketing immediately.
For help and advice on better targeting of your inbound marketing campaigns, get in touch – we’re always happy to help.