What is a Persona in Inbound Marketing?
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customers in order to give you an easy way to categorize new potential customers in order to tailor marketing and sales materials to that particular personas needs, wants and personalities.
The persona is developed by bucketing analytical data, demographics, common characteristics and educated speculation.
How to effectively create an Inbound Marketing Persona
The best way to create buyer personas is to get everyone on the team involved in the creation process. Everyone will have some unique perspectives and insights that will help develop the perfect persona especially the sales and account representatives who work with clients and leads every day.
Schedule a full day dedicated to brainstorming, data analyzing and development of personas and make it a fun and engaging experience for everyone.
Below are the general categories that each buyer persona profile should include:
- General Information like name, job title, etc.
- Background information to help frame persona
- Demographics of this persona
- Common identifier characteristics
- Goals of the persona
- Challenges this persona
- How we help solve these challenges
- Quotes that this persona would commonly say
- Common objections
- The marketing message we want to send this persona
- The elevator pitch used for this persona based on points of pain and solutions
In addition to this information, find a picture of your persona and attach it to the profile. This will help reinforce they type of person you're working with.
Applying Persona's for Effective Inbound Marketing & Sales
Once you have your buyer personas clearly defined you then can use this information to start improving your marketing and sales processes.
Improving Your Inbound Marketing with Buyer Personas:
Knowing the points of pain, common questions and values of a particular group of target clients will then allow you to tailor the types of content you are producing. Chose a common point of pain for a particular persona that is commonly search for and create a top funnel offer to help educate them on this subject. Then pick a different persona and do the same. This will give you content you're creating a much more targeted approach and is geared towards the types of customers you'd like to convert.
This also holds true for creating blog content. Talk to your sales team and find out what types of common concerns or questions your different persona groups have and use this to create a blogging calendar.
Additionally, talk to your sales team and find out what the typical sales lifecycle is for this particular persona group and use this timeline for scheduling out lead nurturing campaigns. Once you have the timeline established, put your feet in your personas shoes and brainstorm common questions, topics or ideas going through their head at whatever stage of the sales cycle they are in. These make great email topics for your lead nurturing campaigns.
Improving Your Sales with Buyer Personas:
In addition to creating tailored content offers and lead nurturing campaigns to help educate and qualify the lead, knowing which persona a lead fits into allows you to improve your sales materials and process.
Your sales team can leverage knowledge on personas to help customize their sales presentation and materials to the particular persona. Focus on the points of pains and solutions your company provides and present it in a way that fits that particular personas personality.
You can also create "negative personas" to help characterize poor quality leads or customers. This can help your sales team quickly and effectively manage and qualify leads coming in. In this case, you would bucket leads that require a great deal of time and effort and don't ever convert.
Now it's time for you to talk to your sales team and look at your own current customers and prospects to start developing personas for your own business. I would conduct a team meeting and brainstorm ideas and get everyone involved in the persona creation process. If you have questions or comments, I invite you to post in the comments below.