Successful campaigns live and die by the power of personas. Before you can reach an audience, you have to define it. Persona profiling is a tool that has been used by marketing companies for decades. Mapping out who your audience is will give you a deeper insight into how to most effectively reach them.
When correctly leveraged, a buyer persona profile has the power to transform your content marketing strategy and business. However, it’s not easy to compile an accurate profile which combines reality with your sales and marketing goals. The absolute worst mistake you can make is failing to bring conversations with your customers into the equation. While your sales and customer service staff certainly have extensive knowledge about your buyer, interviews will bring in an entirely accurate perspective.
The following mistakes can result in an inaccurate and unhelpful final product:
Asking the Wrong Questions
When you take advantage of customer’s time, the insights you glean will be gold. The information will keep you competitive in modern marketing. The power to create reliable website content turns visitors into long-term promoters. One reminder: keep your questions simple, direct, and specific to their problem.
The worst types of interview questions could include:
How many pages do you typically visit on a website before becoming a lead?
When did your [pain point] get bad enough you had to buy our product?
What did you think of our landing page form?
Avoid jargon, technical questions, or anything construed as overly personal. Your interviews should make your customers feel like you value their business and insights, not consider them research subjects.
Instead, ask specific questions geared towards them:
What is your job role? Your title?
What industry or industries does your company work / is your role in?
What are you working to accomplish?
What are your biggest challenges?
How do you learn about new information for your role?
Do you use the internet to research vendors or products?
Developing Too Many Personas
Many major companies and savvy small businesses have more than one buyer persona. However, if you’re just beginning to practice profiling, trying to target 15 different types of customers can be overwhelming. Focus on capturing your ideal client, getting the interview process down, and applying the results to your sales and marketing strategy before you move on.
Filling in the Blanks
When gathering intel on your potential client never assume or skip the interview process. The best information comes straight from the customers. For example; never assume customers are attracted to your company because it focuses on community service or that your technical white papers are the star of your content marketing strategy.
Decisions made without customer insights aren’t always sound, and a buyer persona based on personal opinion won’t advance your marketing game. Fantastic marketing is customer-centric, ready-to-scale and relevant. Buyer persona profiles can be something of a silver bullet for companies of all sizes and in virtually any industry, because the insights allow you to gain a sufficiently deep understanding of your customers. When a customer enters your website and feels their questions are addressed quickly without delay or hassle, the visitor will likely become a long-term client.