Google loves brands, and who is buying your product or service?
If your answer is, “uh, I don’t know… women?” Then your success with content marketing is going to be painfully slow. Maybe even nonexistent.
You need to know exactly who your buyers are. Are they male or female? How old are they? What do they do for a living? What’s their financial situation? What kind of education do they have? What are their shopping habits? What do they do in their free time? Why do they need your product or service?
When it comes to marketing, a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works.
Many companies try to market to everyone out of fear of missing potential customers outside of their target audience, but that approach usually backfires because their messages end up being too mixed or vague to resonate with anyone. Not only do they end up losing potential customers outside of their target audience, but they also lose some people in their target audience!
That’s why you need to understand your buyer, develop a set of accurate buyer personas, and then revolve your marketing strategy around those personas. In fact, many would agree that this is the key to effective marketing.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a well-researched archetype of your average buyer to help you better understand how to market your product or service more effectively. For example, a lumber store might have three different buyer personas:
Creative DIYers: Budget-savvy women in their 20s or 30s who spend their free time browsing Pinterest for woodworking or furniture restoration project ideas
Professional or hobby carpenters: Middle-aged men who are passionate about woodworking and would always value quality over quantity when it comes to craftsmanship
Contractors: Busy men in their 40s who order wood in bulk, preferably at a discount, and would be interested in establishing a long-term relationship with a trusted lumber shop
With those three personas in mind, the lumber store can come up with targeted marketing solutions. Such solutions may include creating a Pinterest board with fun woodworking projects and tutorials for the creative DIYers, actively promoting the quality of their lumber to attract the carpenters, and focusing exclusively on contractors to build personal relationships with them.
Anyone who has ever taken a marketing 101 class knows that having a set of well-researched buyer personas will help you generate more sales through targeted advertising.
However, here’s a lesser-known fact: buyer personas are the key to a successful inbound marketing strategy.
While traditional marketing is focused on generating sales, inbound marketing is different. The purpose of inbound marketing is simply to build trust and loyalty in customers by providing consistent, valuable information through articles, videos, or any other type of content that can be shared.
Let’s take a look at five reasons why you need buyer personas to successfully market your content:
1. Your brand message will be stronger than ever.
Like we talked about earlier, if you try to market to everyone, your message comes across as weak, diluted, and less likely to stick in anyone’s head.
No one, not even your ideal customer, will feel like you’re talking directly to them.
The more succinct and targeted your content, the more powerful it will be. Buyer personas enable you to craft your content to achieve the most impact on the people who are most likely to become repeat customers.
2. You will be able to make better use of your time.
Instead of wasting your time on potential customers who might be remotely interested in your product or service, you can use your buyer personas to find the people who are most likely to become repeat customers and create the right kind of content for them.
By doing this, you’ll get more ROI for your time.
3. You will get the most bang for your buck.
If you’re like most businesses, you have limited marketing funds that need to be allocated to various marketing projects.
Instead of going through a trial and error phase with each project (and wasting lots of money in the process), you will be able to use your set of buyer personas to find out what kind of content would resonate the most with your target customers, and then use the information to develop cost-effective inbound marketing strategies that will produce results the first time around.
4. You will have a better chance of becoming an authority in your field.
You don’t want to spread yourself thin by covering a lot of generic topics some of your customers may be interested in.
Instead, find your niche based on your target customers’ needs, wants, and interests, and then create niche-specific, high-quality content that really resonates with them. By providing overwhelming value in your content to the right people, you will be likely to become perceived as an authority in your field.
5. You will build more loyalty and trust in your customers.
If you’re a female teacher who just had a baby, which blog post would you be more likely to read: one that begins with, “hey, you” or one that begins with, “hey, new mother who works full-time”?
The latter would make your ears perk up. They’re talking to you! Better find out what they have to say, then!
By understanding your target customers, you will be able to speak directly to them, and they will listen to what you have to say. Also, buyer personas will enable you to find specific problems or beliefs to address in your content. Your target customers will start to trust your brand if they feel that your business wholly understands their needs, wants, struggles, and interests.
Properly identifying your buyer personas is one of the most important things a business can do for their marketing efforts. When it comes to marketing, a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. Target the right people, say the right things. This is great inbound marketing.