Characters in stories are things that we all appreciate, but for the majority of the time, we’d consider a character to belong within the confines of a novel or a film, and not think of taking a fictional personality and putting it anywhere else.
Unless you’re into role-play. But that’s an odd exception, right?
Nah. Fictional representations are everywhere, from your impression of the driver who cut you off this morning on your way to work, to your new marketing strategy. For the latter, having a fictional representation is actually pretty handy when designing a customer-friendly environment.
What’s In A Name?
In the world of inbound marketing, this fictional representation is called a buyer persona. Now, they have a name, and character traits, and buying habits, but for all intents and purposes, they still don’t actually exist as a customer of yours. They just happen to exhibit all the traits of your most ideal customers.
With this ideal customer whose traits, habits, questions, and concerns are already known to you, you’ll be able to plan the perfect marketing strategy. Because you know what makes your ideal customer tick, you can structure your language, your offers, your email marketing - everything, really, to appeal to this customer.
These inbound marketing tactics focus on the buyer and their needs, rather than the product or the business, and is more conversational, with a much higher success rate than traditional outbound marketing.
What Will Personas Achieve For Your Business?
Buyer personas allow you to better understand the needs and questions of your customers. Because you understand what your buyers want, you’re able to provide relevant, engaging content and targeted email marketing for them. When your customers are convinced that you understand their needs, you’ll find a much easier job of nurturing them as leads towards a sales-ready proposition.
You’ll be able to recognise ideal traits in the real prospects who call you, and anticipate the questions and concerns they’ll have. Buyer personas allow you to identify different types of customers as well - the concerns of one customer will differ to those of another, but they often end up fitting into loose categories, and having a persona to attach to that group will help your marketing and sales teams to know what to do with said customers. Of course, you can also develop negative personas - describing the tyre-kicking website visitors who you won’t want or be able to assist.
Once you’ve got your groups of customers with similar traits and similar needs, you’ll be able to kick off with the targeted email marketing, providing personalised lead nurturing to follow your prospects as they work through the decision-making process that culminates with them committing to a sale.
How To Start With Building Persona/s
When it comes to building your fictional representations of an ideal customer, there’s no better place to begin than with your existing customer base. Connect with them; work at understanding what questions they had when they initially started investigating your website and their common details.
This kind of information shouldn’t be too hard to procure - people like telling you about themselves. In addition, asking for feedback gives you the opportunity to run promotions to encourage further brand loyalty in your customer base.
Once you understand what about your existing customers made them ideal for your business, you can go about making website changes to appeal to that type, or those types of customers. When you have a website that from tip to toe is designed to appeal to the perfect customers for your business, you’ll find a much higher influx of these types of people to your website, and you’ll keep more of them as they progress from visitors to leads to customers, because they feel like you understand their needs.
Buyer personas allow us to reverse-engineer our marketing strategy and website content. By using a persona, You’ll understand what questions your ideal customers might ask, and are able to have answers ready for prospects when they turn up at your website with those same questions. Tailoring your content for your ideal customers will bring you more of the right business and keep them interested as they move through the decision-making process towards committing to you.
You can start creating your buyer personas by understanding common factors in your existing customer base and developing a character composed of those common traits, plus other desirable traits for your business. Use those traits to reverse-engineer a positive experience for your many future customers.