There’s little we do in the world of B2B marketing that doesn’t involve thorough planning. We like to make sure that we’re setting ourselves up for success. And who wouldn’t?
The whole spray and pray method is one of the past. Today, we have solutions like automation, data, and buyer personas to fall back on.
What Are Buyer Personas? And How Can They Help Marketers?
Basically, personas ensure that everything you do in terms of lead generation and customer acquisition is tailored to your targeted buyers’ needs.
Think about your company’s current messaging. Is it centered around what you do, or is it focused on how what you do addresses customer needs?
This is where personas come in.
How to Build Marketing Personas
Marketers can use buyer personas to build content strategies that speak directly to their targeted audience, and therefore build trust and reliability with customers. Additionally, buyer personas help marketers:
- Focus keyword searches
- Improve SEO strategies
- Refine copywriting
- Aid in the prioritization of promotional campaigns and activities
Now that we’ve established why you need buyer personas as a marketer, let’s get into the how.
1. Analyze Prospect and Customer Data
We’re talking about profiles of your ideal customer that is a culmination of quantitative research, anecdotal observation, and existing customer data.
When it comes to ideal customer profiles (ICPs), you need more than just firmographic data. A mix between firmographic and technographic data is ideal, as well as any intent data you can collect. This way, you have a well-rounded understanding of who your actual prospects and customers are.
It’s incredibly useful to then identify patterns within your segmented customers.
2. Understand Your Target Market
In order to flesh out your ICP and buyer persona, you have to first understand your target market. If skipped, can result in inaccurate portrayals of your customers. Market targeting allows you to focus your resources and messaging on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets.
Understanding your target market as a whole allows you to narrow down your individual ideal buyers, and later buyer personas.
3. Align Sales and Marketing
Working collaboratively with sales is imperative to marketing success. Think about it: sales teams are ultimately responsible for transitioning prospects into customers, so their insights and commentary are invaluable.
4. Talk to Current Customers
Every person will respond differently to messaging and language. It can be really helpful to inquire about what current customers prefer. For example, do they like a casual conversation as opposed to more professional-sounding language?
Once you know what the majority does and doesn’t like, you can try playing around with different approaches to see what resonates most with them.
And the more personalized your message, the more likely it is to resonate with the right people.
How to Use Buyer Personas to Improve Your Marketing Strategy
Now it’s time to apply your buyer persona creations to your marketing strategy:
1. Segment Your Email Lists
Buyer personas can help you create customized email campaigns that are better at converting subscribers into customers. With email segmentation, you can organize your email lists by persona and send offers that are targeted to each group’s respective preferences.
And the more targeted you can make each email, the more likely it is that your audience will engage with it. In fact, emails with personalized subjects are 50% more likely to be opened.
2. Identify Influencers
Influencer marketing is emerging as a highly popular aspect of modern marketing strategies. The perks of it are that you can leverage the voice of someone who already has the ear of your best buyers.
To start, identify influencers who speak directly to your buyer personas, then reach out to see if you can form a partnership in order to leverage products or share content.
Additionally, influencers could be customer advocates! In a survey conducted by TrustRadius, 84% of participants said they would be willing to do more than they already have in terms of advocacy, and an additional 27% said they would be willing to provide a testimonial for the vendor.
3. Time Your Marketing Campaigns
Each of your personas operate a little differently. Some check their emails first thing in the morning, while others choose to check them at the end of their day.
In fact, the best times to email are typically in the morning between 10:00- 11:30 AM, and the time between 2 PM and 5 PM also sees good activity.
Using tools like Google Analytics to identify peak engagement rates, and you can judge what time your campaigns will reach the most buyers. Ultimately, buyer personas make your marketing campaigns more effective when you know when and how to deploy them.
4. Select the Right Channels
Certain personas are more active on specific channels. Marketers can analyze their personas and determine where their target audience is spending the most time — where will they most likely see the content you distribute?
Once you’ve figured out which channels your buyer personas frequent, you can distribute personalized messages on those preferred channels.
Furthermore, buyer personas allow you to align messaging and communication on all channels, promoting brand unity and increasing awareness.
5. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
There are really unique ways in which you can personalize your marketing and marketing automation efforts using buyer personas. And when you personalize your marketing automation efforts, you can begin to drive different personas into different marketing funnels.
Other ways to utilize buyer personas for marketing personalization are:
- Referencing different kinds of content already written for each persona
- Create personalized responsive website content
- Personalize alternate nurture drip campaigns
6. Review Marketing Personas Regularly
Over time your marketing personas are going to change — the people behind them have to constantly adapt to their transforming markets. If your buyer personas become outdated, your marketing efforts will fall out of reach.
On an annual basis (or more), you should look over the pain points and emerging opportunities attached to your buyer personas. Challenges your target accounts faced a year ago could be completely different today — buyer personas aren’t immortal.
Set Yourself Up for Success with Marketing Personas
You put so much time and energy into marketing campaigns, only for your content to fall on deaf ears. By developing buyer personas, you can ensure that your marketing efforts don’t go to waste.
While it does require some more work upfront, it is well worth it to make sure your efforts are having the best possible effect on current and potential customers.