Many of you will have heard the term target persona (buyer persona) when reading about content and inbound marketing. However a significant number of the small business owners I meet don’t fully appreciate the importance of marketing directly to them.
A well-understood target persona is the key to unlocking the mojo of your marketing, establishing campaign momentum and dependably generating profitable sales leads. Without the persona to target, you risk being considered a generalist, being accused of missing the point or, in the worst case, being completely irrelevant to your target buyer.
To assist you to market successfully here are the Content Fusion Do’s and Don’ts of identifying and using your target persona.
Using your Target Persona for Sales Growth.
- Use research to understand your target or at the very least to confirm some of your assumptions. Current client information should be the mainstay but interviews, questionnaires, online polls and content engagement are also useful. In fact use any information that assists in the process.
- Target your ideal client based on profitability, ease of access, ease of delivery, locality or another metric important to your business model. You’ll thank me for this one, particularly if you find you have been targeting clients that are difficult to deliver or have thin profit margins.
- Accurately describe their role, responsibilities, influencing ability and their place in the buying cycle of the organisation. If yours is a complex sale, your target may not be the final decision maker, but someone with influence or a pivotal place in the process.
- Understand what is important to them. Are they ambitious, cautious or an early adopter, how does that fit with your value proposition?
- Articulate their challenges and issues both professional/personal and strategic/tactical- particularly the challenges that are met by your value proposition and service delivery.
- Describe the environment they work in and a typical day- in the office or out, meetings, head office, time poor, accountabilities and responsibilities? It all creates a richer content experience.
- Research where they congregate both online and offline. Can you get access?
- Expand on their personal circumstances- age; hobbies; media choices; family arrangements, this will allow the tone of the marketing to be tailored to their view of the world.
- Just make one up, use research or known information. Skimping on research or using blind faith at this stage could waste valuable time and resource.
- Assume they already know all the answers. Just like the rest of us they are battling along from one challenge to the next. Look at all the things you have accounted for in the Do’s, that is just a snap shot of their complex and consuming life.
- Limit yourself to a single persona, different people on your buying cycle will need different approaches, as will other target markets. A good example is a person who cycles to work versus a teenager who rides freestyle BMX . Both can be served by a bike shop, but neither would recognise their needs in the other’s persona.
- Try to target multiple personas in a single campaign. Much as it’s tempting to try to catch all, keep the marketing on message, at your target persona and follow that through the connect, develop and convert phases and you will have a more profitable sales team.
Working with Target Personas will become second nature, and ‘Which persona is this for?‘ should be the first question your team ask when given a piece of work.
If you think about your marketing at the moment, could this be the missing piece?
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P.s. Right now, I’m inviting you to download a copy of our latest Content Marketing piece, The 5 Sure Fire Ways to Fail and How to Avoid Them.