Buyer persona’s help you to nurture prospects and customers, keeping them engaged whilst moving them along the buying cycle, leading to further sales. It is important to maximise the performance of your website as much as possible and to nurture leads, helping to improve conversions and thus reducing the cost per acquisition (CPA), increasing return on ad spend (ROAS) and improving return on investment (ROI). Buyer persona’s allow you to nurture prospects efficiently by tailoring content and sales strategy to the specific needs, behaviours and concerns of the different persona’s.
Once you have got your site up and running, generating sales and sales leads successfully you will naturally want to move to the next step and improve performance. Everything can be improved, especially your digital marketing. I spoke recently about the online buying cycle and a big part of that was nurturing prospects and keeping them engaged whilst moving them along the buying cycle. Even if a prospect has already converted into a sale, it is still important to keep them engaged to make sure that they are happy, long-standing customers and increasing repeat business.
The best way of nurturing a prospect will depend on who they are and where they are in the buying cycle. A phone call may be best for some, content marketing may be best for others and so on. There will also be the bad apples in there that are either unattainable or too expensive to obtain and are best being left while you concentrate on other leads. Most customer relationship management (CRM) systems grade leads but buyer persona’s help you take this a step further leading to better nurturing and increased sales.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a fictional character and a representation of your ideal customers, based on sales data and market research. They help you to understand customers and prospects and provide structure and insight for your business. Buyer persona’s allow you to nurture prospects efficiently by tailoring content and sales strategy to the specific needs, behaviours and concerns of the different persona’s. You could have 2 or 20 persona’s depending on your business, typically starting with a small number and developing more later on if required.
A negative persona is a representation of who you don’t want, the bad apples so to speak. A bad apple maybe a prospective business that is out of reach right now, those that are doing market research, a student say, who will never buy or prospects that are simply too expensive to acquire – average sales value, unlikeness of repeat business etc.
How Do You Use a Buyer Persona?
Buyer persona’s help to improve your sales and marketing targeting, allowing you to personalise it for different segments of your audience – each persona. So instead of sending the same nurturing email to everyone, you would tailor it to that persona. For example, I would send different material to an e-Commerce prospect than I would to a lead generation prospect.
Filtering out the negative persona’s from the rest of your contact list stops you wasting time on bad apples and thus reducing CPAs and increasing ROAS and ROI on a basic level but by mapping those negative persona’s when advertising, it will help you to lower cost per leads (CPL) too.
Using Buyer Persona’s for Content Mapping
Going a step further then just segmenting your audience, you can use your buyer persona’s to map out targeted content and target prospects according to the life cycle stage – how far along the buying cycle they are. For example, you may have a prospect that is ready to buy but just needs to gain a bit of confidence in your brand first – perhaps send them case studies. Whereas a prospect that is new to digital marketing and needs to know the value of it to move them along the buying cycle – perhaps send them more generic industry information. I will do a post specifically for content mapping. Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER
How to Create Buyer Persona’s
Buyer personas are created based on sales data and market research. The aim is to help you better nurture prospects in order to improve conversions and the exact data you require will naturally depend on your business and sales cycle. Generally though you want to segment your prospects based on the type of person they are, issues that they have and how your product and service resolves that issue. Typical fields include:
- Persona name
- Preferred marketing material
- Main challenge
- Typical issues
- What they are looking for
The best way of compiling this information will again depend on your business and the budget that you have available. Most of the data the you require can be gained through a mixture of the following:
- Surveying or interviewing customers, prospects and focus groups either on the phone or in person to discover what they like about your product or service
- Looking for trends in your contact database
- Sales team’s feedback
- What generalisations can they make?
- What prospects convert best
- What buying cycles do they work with?
- Using CRM lead qualifiers
Depending on your site, you may have forms to capture buyer persona information. You can improve sales data by modifying the forms on your site. For example; if you notice there is a trend in company size and conversion rates, ask each lead for information about company size, if they vary depending on industry, ask for industry on your forms etc. You may find that prospects that use a particular social network convert better (usually linked to what social advertising that you’re doing) and so you may may ask that on your form.
When altering forms on your site, be aware that there tends to be a correlation between signups and the length of forms so make sure you get the right balance.
Now over to you. Can you improve your prospect nurturing by creating buyer persona’s? If you have any questions, drop a comment below and I will answer it as quickly as I can. If you have a project that Marketing Grin can help with, get in touch today.
For more free digital marketing advise, signup to our newsletter.SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER