A wise person once asked, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Well, what if you create a whole bunch of content, send out hundreds of emails, go to dozens of trade shows, redesign your website and pay for advertisements on Google or Facebook and your messages don’t resonate with the audience they’re in front of, do your messages make a sound?
Creating buyer personas ensures that your messages do make a sound. In fact it ensures that your messages are targeted and they make loud enough sounds that the right audience will engage with your company as they conduct research to ultimately make a purchasing decision.
As more and more marketing and business development efforts are focused on a digital strategy, it is important that companies create buyer personas so that these efforts are executed efficiently and effectively. Companies invest thousands of dollars every year in content creation, email marketing, website design, social media and many other types of marketing and lead generation tactics; Even trade shows and PPC garner huge investments from companies of all sizes. This list doesn't even account for the large amounts of money and man-hours invested in salaried employees whose goals are to collectively help your company grow.
Each time a company gets their message in front of a prospect, website visitor or lead, they hope that it resonates well enough that the person receiving the message finds enough value in it to then explore their services and solutions further, convert on an offer and one day become a customer.
Two questions you should be asking yourself:
- Is my current messaging attracting the right prospects?
- Is my current messaging specific enough to these prospects that the correct value is being conveyed and their needs are being addressed on a 1:1 level?
Who are buyer personas right for? Everyone.
Companies across all industries and of all sizes can benefit immensely from creating buyer personas. The task is time consuming but the results are well worth it.
Here are 6 immediate benefits to investing in the creation of buyer personas for your company:
- Database Segmentation & Lead Management:
Marketing sourced databases are growing exponentially faster as more and more companies invest in content marketing and the creation of website offers. Offers that are content based, informative and valuable to website visitors doing research are generating large amounts of top-of-the-funnel leads, or inbound leads. By creating buyer personas, each new lead can then be assigned to a buyer persona in your CRM system. By segmenting your database on buyer personas, it will allow your marketing and sales teams to send the right follow-up messages to the right leads at the right time. You will be able to look at your database in a new way by understanding how much of your most valuable asset, your permission based marketing sourced database, is made up of each of your buyer personas. Once you understand how your database is comprised, you can develop lead management strategies for each buyer persona to deliver additional content, offers and messaging that is targeted to each one. You may also realize that your database is heavy on one persona and light on other personas. This should send up a red flag to you indicating that more work needs to be done to attract the other personas if they are beneficial to growing your business.
- Defining and Delivering Key Marketing & Sales Messages:
By completing an in-depth buyer persona exercise you will inherently be left with a clear understanding of what your top marketing and sales messages should be for each of your buyer personas. By completing this exercise you will uncover the challenges that each persona faces in their day-to-day life coinciding with their organizational roles along with many other helpful details that will yield targeted, relevant marketing and sales messages to engage these leads on a 1:1 level. The reason this is so important is that broad, generalized messages, which may not resonate with every lead, will ultimately deter them from returning to your website, or answering your sales calls or worse, they will unsubscribe from your email marketing efforts and now you’ve wasted time and money generating these leads.
- SEO Keyword Research & Organic Website Traffic Growth:
By completing an in-depth buyer persona exercise you will begin to uncover new, relevant, long-tail keywords that you can then use to optimize your website pages. By uncovering the pain points of your buyer personas you will be able to get inside their heads and discover the phrases they might be typing into Google when they begin to realize that they’re in need of help/your services. These keywords can be used for example, as part of a SEO audit for new page titles for existing website pages that might not be garnering the organic traffic you had hoped for. The current page title, or even the keywords you are using on that website page, might be too broad and you are fighting an up-hill battle trying to rank for these difficult keyword phrases. These newly discovered keywords can also be saved in your keyword repository and eventually be used as new page titles for website pages that you might be thinking about adding to your website.
- Content Creation Topics & Ideas For New Offers:
By completing an in-depth buyer persona exercise you will have not only a list of new keywords but in turn you will also have new ideas and topics for content such as blog articles, eBooks, webinar & PowerPoint presentations, case studies, and videos that will address the challenges you've uncovered for each of your buyer personas on a 1:1 level. Your new content will address these key topics and also apply your key marketing messages in a round about way so that you are delivering valuable content and becoming that trusted advisor to your website visitors, new leads and even to your existing customers.
- Website Updates & Expansion:
By completing an in-depth buyer persona exercise you may discover that your website either a) speaks too generally to all of your buyer personas at once and thus may actually 'speak to nobody,' or b) your website may not have enough content geared towards 1 or more of your buyer personas, thus leaving some of your buyer personas wondering if you really can help them at all. You may discover that each of your buyer personas need their own section on your website so that you can clearly explain how you provide value to each of them in a relevant, unique way.
- Internal Documents to Align Strategies and Messaging:
By completing an in-depth buyer persona exercise you will be left with valuable company assets and documents that will be useful when you are having strategy meetings. These meetings may just be your marketing team coming up with new offers or content or they may be multi-department meetings, such as sales and marketing, where these documents can be used to keep everyone focused on the key messages that resonate with your buyer personas and thus will ensure efficient and effective streamlined efforts.
Do you have an additional benefit of creating buyer personas to add? Please feel free to contribute in the comments section below.
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