What is a Buyer Persona? Your Favorite Imaginary Friend

Create a Buyer Persona

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Effective buyer personas help you get in touch with your ideal customers. Also called marketing personas, these imaginary friends help you learn about the types of patrons your business can cater to best. Understanding the character traits of your prospective and existing customers empowers you to optimize your marketing strategy.

Fear not, though! Creating an effective buyer persona isn’t like walking the tightrope! It’s not a main attraction.  It’s more like being the ticket master – meeting and selling to the audience.  Let’s break down the buyer persona process and throw in a little marketing know-how too!

What is a Buyer Persona?

Your marketing strategy is (or should be) based on how to please your customers. To do this, you need to communicate with them and build trust without actively promoting your business. People don’t want to be sold to and struck with sudden bouts of irrational fear (FOMO).

Those pushy tactics are too aggressive for modern consumers.  Instead, woo them by giving them what they keep telling you they want and need! Usually, what they need is something useful, and what they want is something wildly entertaining.

Buyer personas play a big part in successful digital marketing techniques that focus on attracting and retaining the right audience.  Since inbound marketing costs about 62% less per lead than traditional marketing and sales techniques, it’s no wonder these methods are becoming more popular.

Therefore, focus your marketing budget on providing value to your customers through deals, freebies, and knowledge.  Give them meaningful and entertaining content that engages them and makes them feel good about dealing with you.  Show you care by continually asking questions and keeping your buyer personas updated.

How to Develop a Buyer Persona

To optimize your content marketing, you need to have a detailed representation of who your customers are, what they need, and what you can provide them.

Developing different buyer personas will help you identify what kind of content your target audience(s) would like to see.  There are a few places to source the kind of information.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to see where visitors are going and what parts of your website they’re interacting with, along with a lot of other information about their demographics and search behaviors.  GA is robust and sounds complicated when you talk to people who use it; however, a hands-on approach using the Google Academy is the best way to learn.

NOTE:  Google Analytics is essential to your online success!  If you don’t have it installed, and you don’t have access to it, then speak to your webmaster immediately.  This is the best way to track and measure your efforts, and it’s one of the best tools to have for analyzing your visitors.  If you want to grow a business online, you must be able to analyze the data.

Customer Surveys

Don’t be afraid to talk to your customers and users.  Use surveys to help you answer questions about your ideal customer’s personality, goals, and needs. Try to understand what makes your customers tick.

These surveys can be used to target pain-point questions like:

  • What is your idea of superior customer service?
  • What activities frustrate you or stress you out?
  • What’s #1 on your bucket list?
  • What makes you angry?
  • What is the least favorite element of your job?
  • What accomplishments make you proud?

Market Research Data

Another excellent way to gain understanding and develop strong buyer personas is to use available market research data. Read up on the stats linked to your industry, and spy on your competition.  Use online tools and review stocks to get a feel for how your competition is holding up.  Who are they selling to, and what can those customers get from you that they can’t get from them?

Then, combine that knowledge with the insights you gain from surveys and analytics to develop a few killer personas that will allow you to better target your content on the website, social media pages, as well as in your store.

Depending on your business, you might need several different buyer personas, each based on unique demographic considerations. However, before you can develop several, you must develop one!

So, take your time and do the best you can to bring the first one to life. Trust me, it’s okay to stumble on this a bit.  Building characters is tricky business.  Though fictional, they do whatever they want and react in ways you, the writer, could never have expected. Be prepared to adapt and modify.

Buyer Personas in Marketing

When you care about your customers, you want to know them. You want to understand what makes them happy.  It feels good to give it to them, doesn’t it? It makes you grow not only as a business, but as a person.  You do your brand a great service by personalizing your communications with detailed buyer personas, so don’t toss this one on the backburner.

Well-defined buyer personas provide an excellent, although imaginary foundation on which to base your content marketing and inbound marketing strategies. They help you know where to best focus your time, product development, and marketing strategy to optimize your business’s success.

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6 Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

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Smart content marketing tips like those in this post can help you stay ahead of your competition and increase the profitability of your small business. Publishing targeted, informative, and entertaining content should be one of the key elements of your overall digital marketing strategy.

All forms of digital marketing require high-quality, relevant content. This includes SEO articles and blog posts (like this one), YouTube video descriptions, captions for Instagram pics, the meta-tags in your website code, social media posts, and much more.

This article looks at some low-cost content marketing tips that you can use to improve your Google ranking, generate fresh leads, build trust with potential and active customers, and increase your short- and long-term advertising ROI.

6 Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

To keep visitors coming back to your website, you need to provide them with more than subpar content that’s been thrown together unprofessionally. Remember that they are turning to your business as a source of quality and accurate information that provides answers to some of the questions they have. Here’s how to give ‘em what they’re looking for!

Tip 1: Approach Content Writing with Storytelling in Mind

Your visitors need more than just factual answers to questions. They need entertainment and an emotional connection. Storytelling can give them that connection, entertain and educate them at the same time, and build their trust in your business as an industry authority that cares.

So, the first content marketing tip is to embrace the art of storytelling. Take your visitors on a journey into the imagination as you give them the information they seek. Make it fun for them or make them laugh. Laughter feels good, and making people feel good is what you should be focusing on.  Honestly, my personal motto is to occasionally make you laugh so hard you pee a little.

Tip 2: Be the Expert

If you want to provide the best information for your customers, then you need to become an expert in your industry. Don’t try to fake it. Stay on top of the latest developments. Become the source of authoritative information that you want your visitors to perceive you as.

Even if you don’t want to give away a bunch of free information, you should be broadcasting the fact that you know your stuff.  I wouldn’t hire a roofer without some sort of validation that he/she is good at what they do (and offers the products I want).  You can do this with blogging, vlogging, social campaigns, or portfolio pieces and case studies.

Remember the old school adage for math?  Show your work, so highlight testimonials, case studies, images of your work, etc.

Tip 3: Know Your Audience

This one’s fun, right?  It’s like people-watching at the mall.  To optimize the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts, you must know definitively who you’re marketing to. Research and define your demographic targets. Base your content creation of the things that matter most to your targeted audience.

Create a comprehensive buyer persona or profile for at least three different customers.  Include things like:

  • Name (make it personal to build your bond with this kind of customer)
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Country/state
  • Ethnicity
  • Education
  • Work position
  • Family (Married? Children?)
  • Charities
  • Hobbies

Think about your ideal customer.  Who’s your favorite of them all? If you’re still unsure, try customer surveys, participating in social groups, and reviewing your competitor social profiles.

Tip 4: Cater to the Needs of Your Readers

Once you define your demographics, then it’s time to understand them as deeply as you can. The better you understand what they want and why they want it, the better you’ll be able to give it to them. To give the best answers and solutions, you must truly care about what they are asking you, so listen actively.

Tip 5: Develop Your SEO Skills

SEO (search engine optimization) is the science/art of creating evergreen content that meets the needs of a targeted audience. SEO experts know how to please the Google gods that determine how well content places in organic search engine results for selected keyword phrases. Better organic rankings mean more cost-free, targeted leads for your business.

Tip 6: Grow Your Company Blog

Niche-specific blogging is one of the best ways to increase your industry authority, customer trust, organic search engine rankings, and overall ROI. Do not overlook the power of the blog! Your digital marketing strategy cannot be complete in today’s online space without including blog resources.

If you’re working on crafting SEO blog content yourself instead of hiring a writer, then check out Your Imprint’s free blogging template! It can help you to save time, stay organized, beat deadlines, and maximize productivity.

The content marketing tips above can help you streamline your productivity and establish your online company as an authority in your industry. Content marketing is one of the most important elements of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.

Increase customer loyalty by telling captivating stories that educate and entertain!

 

Sources
WordStream – 22 Low-Budget Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses
Nationwide – Content Marketing
Wikipedia – Storytelling

Attract and Delight Customers with a Content Marketing Plan

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1533664399016{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]A content marketing plan is one of the most cost-effective ways to help potential customers find your website. But that’s only half the battle. Once you get them there, you need to provide high-quality, relevant information that answers their questions and keeps them engaged with your brand.

What is Content Marketing?

It’s the behind-the-scenes script. A content marketing plan is a strategic approach for providing valuable, reader-friendly information to a targeted audience who’s expecting something. Fresh, compelling content keeps them coming back to your website and spending more time on each visit.

Everything is content and can involve things like:

  • Article writing
  • Business blogging
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Videos
  • Free reports
  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Social media posts

Regardless of the form, the content you put out needs to be high-quality, easy to read, helpful, and most of all, entertaining.

People turn to Google for information. Google’s goal is to provide the freshest and most relevant answers to its users’ questions. If you publish relevant, accurate content, then Google will notice, and subsequently, award it higher organic search engine results.

High-quality and compelling content is more likely to be shared. They will send it to their contacts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other popular social networking platforms. News and deals travel fast in the social realm, so make sure it’s good news and the best deals.

Content Marketing Plan Implementation

Implementing a Content Marketing Plan helps businesses:

  • Improve organic Google search engine results (SEO is the broadcaster!)
  • Increase the number of targeted people that visit your website
  • Help visitors arrive at your site with presold mindsets
  • Decrease the amount of money you fork out for lead generation
  • Increase your industry authority
  • Get free referral traffic to your website
  • Increase your fan base on social media platforms
  • Improve brand recognition
  • Make it easier to turn new prospects into actionable customers
  • Build better relationships with your customers

You have probably heard or read that Content is King. Some don’t agree, but in our experience, this has been, still is, and will continue to be TRUE! In fact, it would be all but impossible to achieve any degree of online (or offline) success without a compelling story, which is told through content.

You can’t get on a stage without a microphone. Websites, social pages, branding, SEO, and content marketing plans all play a role in directing and managing your brand show.

That means that the content you publish needs to be targeted, well-written, personable, and informative. But, most importantly, content needs to be entertaining. You have a lot of competition out there, and content marketing will help you find a way to stand out.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1533664392188{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Content Marketing Plan Checklist

Here are the key elements to a stellar content marketing strategy.

1) Define Your Audience

You won’t do very well developing targeted content for your customers if you don’t know who they are, or you assume too much. You must identify your target audience, and then make it your business to understand what they need, what they’re looking for, and what you can provide.

However, remember that you’re not the customer and your audience may be different from what you expected. Keep an eye on your sales and most profitable leads. Who’s buying from you? Be ready to modify this audience persona regularly. They change their behaviors and attitudes as often as a teenager.

2) Research Your Competition

That’s right. Be a spy. Check out the type of content your competitors are publishing on their websites and social media pages. Are they doing ads? What kinds are working for them? SpyFu is an incredible tool that will help you with research! Ask yourself how you can do a better job of providing what your customers need.

3) SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

It’s the Golden Snitch of the digital marketing world. Catch it, and you’ll likely win the game. Search engine optimization is a core element of any successful content marketing plan. Knowing how to please your customers without irritating the search engines is the name of the game.

SEO experts know how to craft content that answers relevant questions which boost them to the top rankings in Google, Bing, and other search engines. A good content marketing plan decreases advertising costs and increases ROI. If you want to develop high-performing content, we can help you build and implement your content and SEO strategies.

 

Sources
Sprout Social – 17 Tips for Creating a Content Marketing Plan
BDC – 10 tips for attracting customers with great online content
Bidsketch – 10 Ways to Attract More Clients with Content Marketing
Marketing Agency Insider – How to Use Content Marketing to Attract Clients[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1533664465698{border-top-width: 2px !important;border-right-width: 2px !important;border-bottom-width: 2px !important;border-left-width: 2px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 5px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #fff1db !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;border-left-color: #ffbe00 !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffbe00 !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffbe00 !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffbe00 !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”]

Bonus Tip

Don’t underestimate your customers. They’re savvy, sometimes fickle, and they do their research. Be honest with them and don’t try to hard-sell them. Provide them with information and make them feel appreciated and heard. Ask them questions and learn from them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]