Putting customers and their needs at the center of your organizations' efforts is at the heart of the inbound marketing flywheel and will set you up for ongoing success. In the first stage of the marketing flywheel, we work on attracting the right prospects.
The first, and most impactful step in the attract phase (and all phases) is to understand your ideal customer prospects or buyer personas. By truly understand your buyer personas (their needs, motivations and what they are looking to solve), you can align your marketing strategies.
Developing buyer personas help to attract more of the ideal prospects as visitors to the website, increase the rate of converting them into leads, which paves the way for a smoother sales process as well.
Where do you start? Create buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a detailed, semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, and it tells you what a prospective customer is thinking during each stage of the buyer’s journey.
A buyer persona is created based on market research and real data about existing customers, and it includes customer demographics, attitudes, concerns, goals, motivations, and behavioral patterns. They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups.
How do you use your buyer personas in your marketing?
Once you have a clear picture of the customers you want to reach, you provide content on your website that will attract them to your company via online search and social media. Using inbound marketing strategies, you bring your ideal customers to you, rather than going to get them. In inbound marketing, customers are drawn to your business by your useful, remarkable content.
Your marketing team should use your buyer personas to create educational content that solves your ideal customers’ problems. Having researched your potential clients’ common questions, you’ll have a good sense of what those problems are and what information they’re looking for. Helping a prospective customer make a decision on their own terms as they come across a problem that your company solves establishes a trust that competitors can’t match.
The internet revolution has turned the tables in the buyer-seller relationship. It used to be that the seller was in charge of what information to share, and how to promote their products and services.
These decisions are now driven by the buyer – Google search algorithms are based on what makes the user happy and social proof is an important metric in brand reputation.
Businesses need to give ideal customers the information they are looking for when they are looking for it. This is the essence of the inbound marketing flywheel, putting the customer first.
The inbound marketing flywheel revolves around:
- Attracting visitors/your ideal customers
- Engaging them, converting them into leads and nurturing those leads into customers
- Delighting your customers so they keep coming back AND spread the word
Start by creating an offer based on their common searches. This will help create a targeted approach that will ultimately help convert customers. Along with downloads, you can do this for blogging and social media.
Afterward, you should map out the typical sales timeline for this particular persona so that you can time your lead nurturing campaigns appropriately. A great way to get email opens is by using their common questions as email subject lines (open, click, click, click!).
Creating educational content specific to your personas does more than attract visitors. Knowing which persona a potential customer aligns with can help improve the sales process as well. You can customize your sales pitch and presentation for that lead to focus on their ultimate goals and solutions that your company can offer them.
Now that you know the importance of buyer personas in inbound marketing, you can make better decisions to boost your overall marketing efforts.
Use our buyer persona template to help you get started creating buyer personas!