Rebecca Corliss

Marketing that resonates with the exact audience you want to attract is key to a successful strategy. Creating content that is truly valuable to your potential customers will encourage them to flock to your website and investigate what your business has to offer. But how do you truly get to know your best target buyer inside and out, and then make sure your marketing attracts your perfect customer who will love you through and through?

buyer persona

Photo courtesy of muslim page.

Two words, my friends: buyer personas — or in other words,  a complete description of what your ideal customer looks like from every angle. For example, what does your buyer persona  do for fun? Where does she shop? What blogs does he read? What does she love, hate, or fear? Painting a solid picture of your persona helps you thoroughly visualize that person, which then helps you design the perfect marketing strategies that will attract him or her to your business. But before I teach you how to customize your marketing to your personas, let’s talk about how to create a buyer persona for your business.

To create your company’s buyer persona, start by interviewing some of the current and potential customers in your network and look for trends that stand out. After you decide your persona’s key descriptors, top it off with a finishing touch by giving him a name! Have more than one customer-type? Many companies have two or three buyer personas, so nothing wrong with that.

Now that you’ve created your buyer personas, it’s time to adopt them into your marketing strategy by personalizing your marketing to them. Here are seven great ways to use buyer personas in your marketing strategy that will set you up for success:

1. Create content that answers your buyer persona’s biggest questions.

What does your buyer persona ponder day to day? What information would help your buyer persona do his or her job easier? If you can answer those questions through your content, not only will you attract potential customers who are searching for those answers in search and social,  you’ll also make some seriously loyal fans. Offering content that’s truly valuable to your buyer persona is the first step to a successful strategy.

2. Use content formats that your buyer persona prefers to read (or watch!).

Does your buyer persona prefer digital or tangible content? Does he or she love videos, text, or visual content? Mastering the content format that your buyer persona prefers will help ensure your content is both more easily digested, enjoyed, and shared.

3. Use social channels that your buyer persona loves to use.

As much as you love Twitter, your buyer persona might not! Where is your buyer persona most active within social, and do they prefer to use it a particular way? Make sure to promote your best content via these channels, and stay up-to-date with any changes in the social atmosphere. Then properly measure how much traffic and leads you get via each network.

4. Fluently speak your buyer persona’s language.

Sup, dawg! How about some IT security software for your biznass, bro? Needless to say, speaking your buyer persona’s lingo both from a colloquial and terminology standpoint is really important both to build rapport, as well as communicating properly. For example, B2B companies might speak differently than B2C organizations. Educational institutions will speak differently than nonprofits. Do your research and learn their language.

5. Send blog, social and email content when your persona is most engaged.

Morning person? Evening person? What is the day-to-day schedule of your buyer persona, and when would he or she prefer to get in contact with you? Perhaps there is a particular time when he or she checks LinkedIn or Twitter. Learn that schedule, and adapt your promotion strategy to it.

6. Guest blog on your persona’s favorite blogs and websites.

Aligning yourself with key publications that your buyer persona respects is a great strategy. Research what news outlets your buyer persona likes to read or watch, and try to build a relationship with those outlets. Getting an opportunity to contribute content for those resources would be a big win — but remember to link back to relevant resources on your website!

7. Customize calls to action based on your persona’s needs and goals.

Last, but absolutely not least, customize your calls to action (CTAs) to help your buyer persona move through the lead and sales cycle. This is especially helpful if you have multiple buyer personas. Can you make your CTAs dynamically change based on which buyer persona is visiting you at that time? Pretty slick — customization to that degree will be sure to help you increase conversion rates to support your lead generation efforts.

Have you created buyer personas yet? How will you plan to use them?

This is a guest post by Rebecca Corliss, who leads the content, social and SEO at HubSpot, an all-in-one marketing software company. HubSpot and Shareaholic are co-presenting “How to Improve Lead Generation Using the Social Media Advancements from 2012” webinar on December 10th @ 2:00pm ET. Click here to register. Follow Rebecca on Google+ and Twitter.

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