Can you answer these five questions about your buyer personas?
Buyer personas are your ideal clients – the ones you really want on your lead list and the people that you definitely want to be doing business with. They’re the lucrative clients, the ones who are easy to work with to achieve the results they need. If you understand the ins and outs of your buyer personas, you’re setting yourself up for success.
According to Mark W. Shaefer, three to four buyer personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales. You need to understand them thoroughly.
While you may already have a list of traits and demographic basics, whether or not you can answer the following five questions can make a massive difference in your ability to convert leads.
1. Do you understand their job?
Understanding your persona’s job gives you insight into their pain points and how your products or services can help overcome them. Having a deep understanding of their KPI’s, their short and long-term goals, and their daily struggles can help you understand the driving forces behind their decision-making.
Positioning your content to speak to their priorities and needs will help you connect with your buyer persona. For example, imagine a CTO at a big bank is your ideal buyer persona. You’re selling a tech product that can help their IT team develop and deploy new financial technologies at a much faster rate. You’ll need to position your content to speak to the CTO’s targets and challenges. Who does the CTO report to? What does a project need to achieve for the CTO to be seen as a success at his company? What red tape will be in his way if he wants to change processes at his bank?
Understanding their job is a crucial part of knowing your buyer personas well – so get to know them.
2. What are their main goals?
Understanding your ideal customer profile’s main goals will inform you about what they want to achieve in their job. This paints a picture of what motivates them and what they consider as solutions or obstacles to achieving them. It also tells you what they consider valuable which will guide your marketing efforts to provide information they find valuable.
Many marketers make the mistake of pushing product features and benefits down every persona’s throat. But not every piece of information carries equal weight for all customer profiles. For example, if you’re promoting a new remote virtual answering service to a call centre manager at a medical scheme, think about how you’d be helping that persona given their unique challenges.
Do they have sales targets or are they reporting on query handling rates and customer satisfaction? Do they need to keep staff costs down or ensure round-the-clock service? Your company may offer features that speak to all of these needs, but they’re not all equally important when it comes to helping your reader achieve their goals. Focus on what matters to your persona the most.
3. Can You Identify the Problem?
Marketing platforms such as Marketo or web analytics solutions such as Google Analytics provide ample information around the most popular keywords personas use, the type of blogs they read, the websites they visit, and even the content they download. All of this information can give you a better understanding of the challenges they face in their jobs and how you can leverage your content and marketing strategies to speak to those challenges.
4. Where Do They Go For Answers?
Knowing where your ideal customer profile goes to find answers to their problems will inform your content strategy greatly. Do they spend more time on social platforms to engage their counterparts or do they prefer video content in the form of short webinars? If you take time to understand how your persona consumes content, you’re more likely to attract them with information that’s relevant and contextual.
5. Where are they in the sales funnel?
Are they ready to buy or are they just browsing? It’s important to keep in mind that 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy. You can distinguish between a persona who is ready to talk bottom line and one who’s just entered the sales funnel by examining the types of content they read, the questions they ask on social media, and the emails they open.
A bit of Google keyword analysis will go a long way here. For example, keywords that include words such as “pricing” and “demo” will delineate between personas who are ready to talk pricing and others who are still assessing different options on the market. Grouping your customer profiles in a way that further segments them will help you hit the right notes with your marketing collateral.
If you find that you have a large segment still in the discovery stage, you could make an engaging demo or publish an ebook that targets personas who are still at this stage of the funnel.
Context is king
While you may only have one ideal persona, it doesn’t mean that each potential customer will enter at the same stage of the sales funnel. Contextual and personalised messaging is crucial to make the right impression on your individual personas.
According to a case study by MarketingSherpa, creating solid customer profiles led to a 111% increase in email open rates and a 100% increase in the number of page visits.
Considering the effort it takes to create content and execute an email marketing campaign, going back to the basics of fully understanding your buyer personas can definitely help give you the results you are looking for.
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