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Buyer persona: why it’s critical for online marketing success.

Define your buyer persona for online marketing

In the days before online marketing, one essential question that had to be answered in order to plan, develop and deploy effective marketing was “Who is the target prospect?

For those engaged in Content Marketing, a thoughtful and considered answer to this question has never been more required. And without it, success will elude you.

What’s a Persona?

In today’s parlance , the “target prospect” has been replaced with a “buyer persona.” In a nutshell, a buyer persona is a distinctly defined potential customer. Think of it as an archetypal person that you want to reach with your marketing message.

A persona should include many essential demographic and behavioral attributes including: Title, income, education, skill sets, organization type, industry, preferences, likes/dislikes, habits, and geography.

All of these detailed characteristic help pinpoint your understanding of their needs, situation, condition and aspirations.

In B2B, most decisions are made by committee, so you need to develop a persona for each member in the purchase decision making process. For many organizations, this suggests considering several distinct personas. They may include the following types:

  • Initiator
  • Influencer
  • Decision-maker
  • Buyer
  • User
  • Gatekeeper
If you sell multiple products or services with different audiences, consider creating a persona for each person involved in the buying process.

Listening can be rewarding.

Content marketers often want to know how to create the right kind of content that their buyer persona are interested in. If you follow these 3 guidelines, chances are you’re headed in the right direction.

  1. Invest the time to listen
  2. Discuss the problems you can solve
  3. Serve your content in the channels where they prefer to find it

It’s essential to be able to use their words, not your own so that your marketing is genuine and not centered around your issues, your biases or product features that may not be relevant.

Anyone creating a persona for marketing should include the perspective of the people touching your buyers on a daily basis—the sales team. And as any qualified sales representative will tell you, there are usually multiple persona profiles that change through the sales process.

So the marketing content that you plan, create and deploy should align with each of these persona and how it meets their needs as they move through a sales funnel from a suspect to prospect to a converted and paying customer.

Lee Oden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, shares how a buyer persona can be used as a strategic component in online marketing.

Who are you talking to?

Are you defining your target prospect with a detailed buyer persona before you begin any content creation? Share what’s working for you.


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