I’m interviewing candidates for a marketing position, and one of the questions I like to ask is, “which marketing gurus do you follow, and why?” One interviewee responded that she follows HubSpot and downloads a lot of their content.
You and every other marketer, I thought.
When it comes to inbound marketing content, there are a handful of organizations whose content stands out, and for me, HubSpot is one of them. It seems like every article is written with me in mind. How is it they know me so well?
The answer is buyer personas.
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your target audience. For instance, one of the services we provide is direct marketing for charities and nonprofits, so we’ve created buyer personas to represent the development director at each of those organizations.
However, the development director for a Boy Scout council is different from the development director of a college or university. And a humane society development director is nothing like either.
Not All Buyer Personas are Created Equal
What I mean by “different” is that the goals, challenges, job roles and values of those development directors will differ depending on the type of nonprofit they work for.
A Boy Scout development director, for example, has a yearly fundraising goal that he must achieve to receive a salary increase, and he must make a name for himself to get promoted. That may not be true of other organizations.
A Boy Scout development director may be an avid hunter. A humane society development director? Unlikely.
What does hunting have to do with marketing, you ask? Because knowing your buyer that well lets you accomplish four important business and marketing goals.
1. Buyer Personas Let You Create Irresistible Content
Going back to my HubSpot example, not every piece of content they produce is about inbound marketing. A recent article that got my attention was How to Keep Your Computer’s Desktop Clean & Organized: 7 Helpful Tips. (Did I mention how all their articles were written for me?)
Developing effective buyer personas means actually talking with some of your customers. And one of the questions you must ask is, what’s your typical day like?
My day involves creating all kinds of files in a mad rush to create content, then saving them in the most expedient location—usually my desktop—then neglecting to file or discard them once uploaded. So my desktop … yeah, desperately in need of cleaning and organizing.
In other words, all your content need not be related to your product or service. In fact, it shouldn’t be, because your prospect is nowhere near as interested in that as you are. What they are interested in is improving the quality of their life.
And if your content can help them do that, they’ll keep coming back to your blog for more.
That establishes trust and credibility for your brand, giving you more opportunities to engage with them and convert them into customers.
2. Buyer Personas Let You Create Persona-Specific Content
Another division of our company provides a very different product, serving a vastly different clientele. It’s a web-based marketing application for companies whose customers are homeowners. So a roofer can use the software to find homes with roofs that are 20 years old.
But an insurance agent uses it to find homes whose property insurance is due to expire to offer the homeowner a better policy.
Marketing successfully to such a diverse customer base requires buyer personas. I’ve never been a roofer or sold insurance, but I’m pretty sure their “typical day” is nothing alike.
They do have one thing in common, though. Both use our software to find customers. So rather than writing a generic one-size-fits-all article, we can show insurance agents five proven ways to close more sales and offer roofers The Complete Roofer’s Guide to Lead Generation.
Continue reading %Four Important Ways Buyer Personas Improve Your Business%