Identifying and targeting a specific audience is absolutely crucial for Driving success with inbound marketing.
But, how can you accomplish this kind of effective targeting? By using buyer personas.
Here's what you need to know about creating and applying buyer personas for successful inbound marketing:
Buyer personas are about providing value to the reader
People read content because they're expecting to get something out of it - this could be instructions for doing something around their house, proof that a product is somehow superior to its competitors, or information that's relevant to a subject they're interested in.
All three of these offer some form of value to the reader.
The key here is that buyer personas can tell you what actually matters to your readers and what's going to resonate with the people who are conducting any given search.
If you can't offer any value to them, then naturally, they have no reason to engage with your content in the first place.
Some people like to refer to this as creating Massive Value Content - and emphasize a smaller number of high-value posts over a steady stream of normal ones. The truth is that both styles can work, and there's no one format that's right for every company.
Instead, consider it like this:
If you're short on time, consider going for the individual large posts - it may take twice as long to write each post, but if you're only making one each week instead of five, you're still saving time.
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On the other hand, if you've got time to spare, you should invest that time in creating a steady stream of valuable content.
Whichever you choose to do, stick with it.. Blogging is ultimately about consistency - you'll only see the worth of your labor once time has passed.
Creating a buyer persona
The very first step in creating a buyer persona is studying your market.
Many companies get this wrong - they create personas based on who they want their customers to be, rather than who their customers actually are.
Unfortunately, that mistake tends to involve a lot of optimistic bias... and they have no idea what to do when their ideas don't work.
That's why buyer personas need to be grounded in reality, and the only way to do that is to actually know your market.
There are many ways to do this, of course - and just looking at the data you already have can tell you a lot about the people who are buying from you.
For more information, you can use services like Survey Monkey to reach out to your audience and ask them about the things you want to know.
Once you have all of this information, it's time to distill it into the buyer persona.
An effective persona genuinely reflects your customer base, and reflects the most popular traits.
For example, perhaps your most common buyers are female, in their mid-20's, well-educated, and spend a significant portion of their budget on luxury goods. All of those are details that matter for your marketing, and everything you produce should be tailored to those traits.
Now, it is possible to have more than one buyer persona.
In fact, if your target audience is sufficiently diverse, you should have more than one. However, each piece of content should be specifically targeted to only one or two personas. You can't please all of your audience all the time - and rather than trying, it's best to focus on each segment in turn.
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The content itself should be broken down in rough proportion to your audience. If 75% of your income comes from one part of your audience, they should receive the bulk of your focus... but always focus at least some of your marketing efforts on growing your audience and reaching new people.
By thoughtfully creating and applying buyer personas, your inbound marketing sales should accelerate!
Want more help with creating buyer personas? Check out this step-by-step guide and adjust it as necessary to match your tools and focus.
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