During the past several years, the term ‘personas’ has undoubtedly popped up in your marketing- and sales-related conversations. But what in the world are personas? And are they really necessary for successful marketing and sales efforts?
The answer? Yes!
Let’s start by explaining the term. A buyer persona is simply a way of ‘putting a face – and a personality’ to your primary buyers, customers or clients – to humanize them, make them more ‘real,’ and enable you to create content that will appeal directly to them.
This semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer is based on real data with some educated speculation thrown in to flesh out the persona’s demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals.
Personas go beyond the squishy, intangible idea of “a customer” or “our customers,” and, instead, give you insight into a specific target customer’s thoughts. This helps you understand the process and criteria that persona uses when weighing options before choosing a solution.
After all, knowledge is power.
And by understanding who, specifically, your ideal customer is (e.g., female, between 40 and 50, mid-level management, 15 years experience, white-collar environment, college-educated, etc.), you begin to see them as an actual person – not just “a customer.” And, you better understand what they’re seeking in terms of solutions for their challenges (e.g., quality, customized products that free-up time, money and resources). Now, you can better create content and tailor all of your marketing and sales efforts to meet your customer where they are in their buying process, or journey.
This enables you to develop content that connects with your ideal customer, which can lead to more conversions from prospect to lead to customer.
Ready to create your own buyer personas to enhance your marketing efforts? It all starts with research – whether quantitative, online surveys of your current clientele or qualitative, in-person focus groups for a true discussion or both types of research – it’s important to understand your customers in detail before creating your personas.
And, that research is often more in-depth than you may think, forming the perfect intersection between art and science – with an emphasis on the science.
Download our latest whitepaper, by Stealth Insights Director Paul Petersky, to learn more about the transition in the past few years from segmentation to persona development, and the reason for using archetypes vs. grouping customers by a common set of behaviors or attitudes.
And then once you have your customer research analysis in hand, you can complete your persona grid:
From there, you can craft your buyer persona story, fleshing out additional details to truly bring your customer to life:
Heather HR Director has 15 years experience in HR, understands best practices and trends, and is always seeking ways to improve the HR practices at her company through online and printed thought-leadership articles, HR conferences and networking with other HR professionals – even though she struggles to find the time to do so. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, but her unwillingness to say ‘no’ often causes her to work late into the night and over the weekend.
Additionally, she sees her budget shrinking year after year, and her team being asked to do more with less. Because she hasn’t been able to increase her staff for the past several years, she – and her team – wear many hats and are spread extremely thin. As such, she’s constantly on the lookout for quality, effective, but customized, hiring, compliance, HRIS and benefit solutions that will save her team money and time, and free up resources, while still enabling her to be a part of the process/solution.
Take the time to think through all of your potential target customers. Think about who they typically are, what they enjoy, what they’re tasked with in their work role, what may interfere in that, what challenges they face and what a day in the life of that customer would look like. Then, assign them a name, work through the persona worksheet, and craft your persona story.
At this point, you’re ready to assess your editorial content calendar to determine if the existing topics actually fit the personas you’ve created – or if it’s time to modify or even start from scratch to develop content that truly resonates with your buyer personas.
Want some help with that process? Stealth is happy to assist you with the research and buyer persona creation. Just shoot us a message or give us a call at 314.480.3606
Hundreds of digital marketers immersed themselves in a two-day convention at historic Union Station in downtown St. Louis.
Millennials. Those mystifying individuals born between 1980 and 1999. Once dismissed as a non-entity in the business world, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have little choice these days but to sit up and take notice to this generation who now holds 20% of the management roles in companies – and, who recently surpassed Gen Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. workforce.(more…)
The above statement may seem a bit odd for an advertising agency to embrace. After all, the product of what an ad agency creates shines a bright light on the message that a company or organization wants to communicate. It gets heard.
The goal is for the right message to be heard – by the right people, at the right time, for the right reasons.
Stealth was created with a deep-seated belief to communicate the message of others with skill and excellence. To do this, we believe that total focus needs to be placed upon our client’s message – not ours. Subtle perhaps, but essential in our view.(more…)
In the first installment of this article we tackled the questions that need to be answered to quickly assess a key phrase to determine whether there’s a chance to rank highly on that phrase.
We addressed the first two questions:
Does this phrase leverage existing organic optimization?
Does this phrase have commercial intent?
The third question addresses the level of competition on your chosen key phrase.
Have you ever wondered whether a keyword phrase might bring new prospects to your website, and whether it would be possible to achieve good search results on that phrase?
Clients and prospective clients ask us this question on a frequent basis. They ask because they don’t yet know how to gain the fundamental keyword research insights that will give them the necessary information on which to make an informed decision.
This begs the question, “How can I conduct keyword research without having to become a full-blown keyword research analyst?”
This is the continuation of our discussion on Content Marketing 101. In the prior post we explored the concept of content marketing, and outlined the fundamental steps in developing your content marketing strategy.
This installment continues with an overview of the content strategy and the content promotion strategy.
Ready to continue your pursuit of content excellence? Good. Let’s get started.
Content Marketing isn’t a new marketing concept. The idea of marketing through great content that’s useful to your readers has been around for many years.
In the past, great content was an often-desired element in a marketing campaign, but it was not always required to gain results in search. The value that Google placed on inbound links somewhat minimized the value of what was on the page people eventually landed on.
Until recently, most people’s concept of great content was effective sales copy on a landing page. And since great content is expensive to produce, it wasn’t pursued as diligently as it should have been.(more…)