Marketing has gotten smarter. It’s no longer good enough to throw messages at the proverbial wall and hope some of them stick. Today, marketing messages are specifically targeted to distinct groups based on their tastes, interests and habits.
As a result, marketers need to know who their target customers are. Do they watch PBS or MTV? Are they addicted to their smartphones or are they technophobic? Do they go online only to check email and stock portfolios or are they online 24/7 working, watching YouTube videos and checking in on weekend plans via social media?
The answers to these questions are important because they determine where, when and how you should reach out to your target customers. They also help you develop your buyer personas, which will help you craft specific marketing messages that speak directly to your buyers.
Let’s take a look at some ways to use buyer personas to create marketing content that will hit its target with your customers.
- Pick one and stick to it. Each campaign should target one buyer persona. Creating programs that target multiple personas will fall flat and not effectively appeal to any. Smaller and super-targeted campaigns are much more likely to hit their target.
- Make ‘em laugh. Humor appeals to nearly everyone and is a great way to humanize your brand and make your content more engaging. The tricky part is making sure your target customer will find it funny, so get to know him or her well enough to know what they will find humorous.
- Forge an alliance. That’s right; it doesn’t just happen on reality TV shows. Finding a company your target customer loves and forming a partnership with it will garner you good favor with your buyers and increase your marketing muscle. Co-marketing could include joint-sponsored events, webinars, charity donations, etc.
- Get inside their heads. Everyone needs different types of information and at different stages in the buying cycle before they feel ready to make a purchase. Get to know your buyer so you’ll know exactly what they need—and when—to help them move through the sales funnel and eventually make a buying decision.
- Speak their language. If your buyer persona is an 18-year-old, posting social updates that include pretentious and superfluous words will be a turn-off. Conversely, using slang words and lingo common among the younger sect will leave your older buyers equally bewildered. Be relatable by using the same language as your buyer persona.
- Be where they hang out. Find out where your target customers like to “live” online. Certain social media outlets appeal to some but not others, so picking the wrong website to set up camp can be a waste of time and effort. Look for trends in your web traffic from social networks and pick the channel that has the highest visit-to-lead conversion rate.
- Give them an offer they can’t refuse. Everyone’s got problems. Find out what types of problems your target customers have and create an offer—free whitepaper, ebook or webinar—that will help them solve it. Put this enticing offer behind a form to help you generate high-quality leads. A win-win situation for everyone!
So what’s the bottom line? By getting a more in-depth and personal view of their target customer, marketers can create content that appeals, educates and resonates with potential buyers. Well-conceived buyer personas enable marketers to see the world through the eyes of their buyers so they can more easily put their customers first—not their brand. The payoff? Customer loyalty. What do you think?
Barb Schmitz is professional writer with over 20 years of experience writing for B2B and B2C publications and web sites. She served as an editor on Computer-Aided Engineering magazine for over 10 years before starting her own PR/freelance writing business in 2000. Her expertise includes interviewing, researching and writing whitepapers, blogs, e-books, case studies, and feature articles.