Inbound marketing is a strategy that aims at “earning” customers rather than buying them. Businesses use SEO, social media and different forms of content (blog posts, eBooks, whitepapers, newsletters, articles, video and podcasts to name a few) to attract quality website visitors, convert them into paying customers and retain them by nurturing them regularly, with the goal of turning your customers into brand advocates.
Inbound marketing is in fact, one of the most effective ways of building fruitful relationships between a brand and its target audience. It increases traffic, aids in lead generation, boosts conversion rates, multiplies sales and improves ROI. However, these benefits of inbound marketing are subject to one condition. You need to do it right.
How can you do Inbound Marketing right?
Perhaps the most comprehensive way is to identify the right target audience and get to know them well. Once you understand your intended customers, you will be able to build customized inbound marketing material to attract, convert and retain them. Understanding customers also simplifies the sales process.
The fundamental element of any Inborn Marketing plan is to define your buyer personas. A persona is a fictitious profile of the ideal customer for your business. You will be able to gain deeper insight into the demographics, needs and wants of your ideal customers. Consequently, you will be able to target the ideal demographics and meet their needs and wants in a more effective and efficient manner.
Developing a buyer persona for your target market is like giving a face and personality to an otherwise depersonalized and faceless demographic group. You analyze the demographic data and combine it with observations and some educated guesses about their characteristics to develop a persona of your ideal customers.
Here are 6 questions you need to answer to help you define your buyer persona(s).
- Who are they (detailed background and demographics)?
- What are their challenges? (unsatisfied needs)
- What major benefits are they looking for? (the benefits of a product or service that they view as important)
- What are their goals? (unsaid desires and wants)
- How do they search for products/services?
- How do they evaluate different products and services to choose one for purchase?
Developing a buyer persona for Inbound Marketing
Developing a buyer person calls for extensive research and is a time-taking process. Start by assembling a team for the purpose. Include customer-facing staff (sales representatives, account managers, front desk and customer service personnel) in the team. They manage leads and customers everyday and can bring some very real perspectives to the discussion table.
For collecting data, use surveys (tools like Qualtrics and SurveyMonkey are helpful) and conduct telephone or in-person interviews. You can use feedback requests on your website and solicit information from consenting site visitors. Frame your feedback forms, survey questions and interview questionnaire to include all topics of importance.
Some categories to include are:
- Name, age, gender, education, occupation and job title
- Background and demographic information
- Personality traits (serious, fun loving, witty, reserved, care-free)
- Overarching goals and aspirations (like being successful, attaining financial security, gaining fame)
- Major personal and professional challenges faced on a day-to-day basis (not enough personal or family time, lack of enough disposable income and so on)
- Buying preferences
Analyze the data to standardize challenges, goals, needs, wants and buying behaviour. Hold brainstorming sessions to formulate strategies to attract this persona. Strategies would include the things your business can do to meet the needs and wants and reduce customer pain points. You also want to brainstorm the methods of communicating with the persona (email, professional website, social network) and the tone of your marketing material. Use the information to create relevant content and marketing messages for improving the performance of your marketing content and inbound campaign.
McAllister Marketing is a full service marketing company specializing in Inbound Marketing. We work with you to identify your buyer personas, uncover your competitive advantage and fine-tune your marketing strategy. Contact us, or call 250-380-2299 to learn more about how Inbound Marketing can grow your business.
Free Inbound Marketing Checklist
With this free Inbound Marketing checklist, you will be given a new framework for campaigns that solves all of these common marketing problems.