Developing and Using Buyer Personas on Your Website
Know Your Customer
"Know thy customer" is definitely one of the Ten Commandments of Marketing. It's the foundation of all great campaigns and successful companies around the world are using buyer personas - fictionalized profiles of a type of buyer - to generate targeted advertising, custom content, and social media networking that drives sales. That high-end kitchen and houseware site where you love to splurge on artisanal vanilla and Santoku knives? Their marketers likely know your age, job, whether you have kids, how often you post on Instagram, and if you prefer Scrabble to Candy Crush.
HubSpot & Google Analytics: Tools to Get You Started
Marketers have collected this information about you and similar customers to generate a buyer persona that will help them make smarter marketing decisions. The good news is you can too! Developing and using buyer personas on your website should be a big part of your company's marketing strategy. Two great tools to help you get started in establishing a buyer persona are HubSpot's free buyer persona template and Google Analytics. HubSpot encourages companies to research and collect data from actual customers - including detailed interviewing, uncovering trends in contact databases, collecting form field data from your website, and asking for feedback from your sales and customer service teams. HubSpot also recommends creating negative buyer personas - fictionalized versions of people who you don't want buying your product. This type of profiling can sort out people who are only visiting your website for research or will be too expensive to acquire, lowering your cost per lead. HubSpot's template calls for 10 data sets for each buyer persona, including:
- Background - job, career path, education, family
- Demographics - male/female, age, location, income Identifiers- personality, demeanor, favored communication methods
- Goals - what are your buyer's primary and secondary goals
- Challenges - what are your buyer's primary and secondary challenges
- What can we do? - to help the buyer achieve their goals and overcome their challenges
- Real life quotes - statements about goals and challenges taken from interviews or interactions
- Common objections - reasons why wouldn't they purchase your product/service
- Marketing message - how you should describe your solution to this buyer
- Elevator pitch - script summarizing your company's vision and solution for their goals and challenges
There's plenty of creative data sourcing tools out there to help you gather information from your digital presence, and Google Analytics is one of the leaders. This Social Media Examiner tutorial, "How to Create Buyer Personas With Google Analytics," walks you through researching your website traffic through keyword, finding user similarities in search traffic, refining buyer personas by social channel and filling out social details for each persona.
Creatively Utilizing Buyer Personas
After you've created a few buyer personas, creatively integrate them into your inbound marketing campaigns. Choose a couple of strategies below to try out and may the odds be ever in your favor!
- Blog content - Write blog entries that read like your personas' favorite websites, magazines and blogs, and that address specific topics they're passionate about or interested in learning more about. This way you can generate loyal subscribers and readers.
- Be socially savvy - By looking for trends in your web traffic from social media, you can see where your personas like to network and where they'll be more likely to interact with your brand. Remember to tailor your language to the site- LinkedIn is professional, Twitter more casual, Instagram skews young.
- Reallocate ad spending - After creating your buyer personas, you should have a better idea of where your customers spend their time online. Consider moving ad spending from less-visited sites to favorites.
- Offer targeted materials on your website - Create ebooks, tutorials, videos, webinars and free trials that address specific goals or challenges your personas are interested in.
- Customize your SEO - Be sure to optimize your website content based on the way your buyer persona speaks and the way they search. If your persona uses the term "dry bulk trucking" instead of "dry bulk logistics" you need to know.
- Optimize your landing page for buyer personas - Your landing page shouldn't talk about what you think your company does best; it should focus on what your product or service can do for a customer. You can always perform a/b testing to determine which landing page has the highest conversion rate.
- Use appropriate technology levels - Make sure you understand what technologies your persona is comfortable using. Offering an incredible mobile app is meaningless if your customers don't own smart phones.
- Partner with organizations your personas love - Just like individuals, businesses can be judged by the company they keep. By partnering with a company your persona likes and respects, you can develop your brand authority.
Spend some time getting to know your new friends Sample Sally, Busy Suburban Mom, Manager Mike, Power User and Cost-Conscious Techie. They can help you identify and solidify your company's best customers, guide your marketing, and improve your ROI.
Contact us for more information about inbound marketing and positioning your company as an industry leader.