Buyer Persona 101: Honest Marketing That Works

Buyer Persona 101: Honest Marketing That Works

What Makes Marketing Campaigns Effective

“Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time.” - Ann Handley

What’s the difference between marketing that works and marketing that falls flat? A deep understanding of your target audience and their buying behaviors. Tapping into the learning styles, preferences, and buying patterns of potential clients supercharges marketing efforts, allowing your content to speak directly to the needs and wants of prospects, all while offering the right information at the right time.

Knowing exactly when, why, and how to market to and contact potential customers may sound like a tall order. How can businesses identify niche audiences, then give them content they want and need in order to make an informed buying decision? By creating actionable, data-driven buyer personas to guide content creation and marketing efforts.

What is a Buyer Persona?

Buyer personas are data-driven, research-based models of idealized clients. Used to guide the creation of informational, educational, and entertaining content, buyer personas allow companies to address prospects’ needs at all stages of the buyer’s journey. Created using interviews, surveys, consumer data, and market research, data-driven buyer personas help companies identify qualified buyers, then speak to them in a way that convinces and converts.

Ultimately, buyer personas answer the needs and wants of potential clients as individuals. In order to choose your solution over your competition’s, you’ve got to show your prospects you understand and care about meeting their needs.

Are Buyer Personas Worth the Effort?

In our data-driven, information saturated age, no one wants to be told or sold to. Instead, they want to be informed and guided. Taking the time to understand the needs and wants of your potential clients naturally imbues your marketing efforts with sincerity, helping organizations develop reliable, trustworthy brand voices with organic reach.

Even better, targeted educational content demonstrates an appreciation of your clients’ unique needs and challenges without feeling like an intrusion. Subtle yet powerful, buyer persona-driven marketing works without making your target audience feel pressured or irritated by a sales pitch.

As potential clients learn more about your organization through content created to meet their needs, they also develop a tangible sense of your commitment to the customer experience. Anyone and everyone in business can make “top-notch customer service” and “first-rate products” claims. But it’s only the brands that reach their clients by first understanding and speaking to their needs that actually deliver on their platinum promises.

The slickest marketing campaign in the world won’t convert a soul unless your prospects trust your brand. Develop that trust using targeted content, guided by buyer persona insights, and you’ll find building rapport and credibility is easier than you imagined.

An Effective Marketing Approach

Armed with profound appreciation for how your clients and prospects behave, and understanding what they need make buying decisions, allows businesses to convince and convert while turning satisfied clients into natural brand advocates. The very best customers are ones who hold your business, products, and employees in such high esteem they’d recommend you in a heartbeat. Targeted marketing turns clients into organic influencers.

Relying on well-crafted buyer personas also allows clients to make buying decisions on their terms. Marketing becomes less about ringing a prospect’s virtual doorbell, interrupting dinner and waking the baby, and more about a gentle, open invitation: come learn about our business and products. We care about you and want to help you make a decision that’s right for you.

Buyer Personas in Action

Without a credible and lasting connection to your customer base, your marketing efforts will be dismissed. To reach and convert potential clients, your business must create buyer personas that answer the following questions:

  • What types and amounts of information do prospects need to make an informed buying decision?
  • What information do buyers need in the early stages of their journey?
  • What content works well for customers who are comparing your solution to a competitor, or who are ready to make a buying decision and need one final push?
  • How do your clients learn best? Do they prefer reading, listening, watching videos, or all of the above?
  • How long should your content be?
  • What tone resonates with your prospects?
  • Which social media platforms are best for communicating with your target audience? How often and what should you post?
  • At what point should your sales team enter the picture without scaring off customers?
  • How can you help your customers trust your business, even when your competition also appears to use well-designed, informational marketing tools?

While we recognize intuitively that marketing works best when we’re connecting with potential clients on an individual and emotional level, building credibility and trust while conveying just the right amount of information at the right time is a delicate balance. Too much information too soon and you run the risk of sending prospective clients running for the hills. Too little and they may poke around your site for a few minutes before clicking to another vendor who hits their marketing sweet spot with entertaining, informational content.

Using buyer personas to understand and act on the needs, wants, learning styles, and behaviors of your customers is critical to the success of your outreach and marketing. When creating buyer personas, don’t rely on guesswork or fairy tales; use information about your business and ideal clients to create actionable, data-driven personas who accurately represent your targets. Then sit back and reel them in.

If you’re interested in learning more about buyer personas or how they can help you meet your marketing goals, drop us a line. We’re ready to take your business to the next level with honest, effective marketing that works.

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Posted by Jennifer Cooreman

Jennifer Cooreman

Strategist: Jennifer relies on her background in digital marketing, psychological testing, and education to create content that converts. She enjoys all facets of writing, from research to editing, but especially learning what makes customers happy and companies tick.