Create Buyer persona to strengthen inbound marketing

There are online businesses that run for several years but don’t know how to create a buyer persona or what exactly it means! However, it doesn’t imply that they are stabbing in the dark. Perhaps they are unknowingly following some strategy which is almost similar to concentrating on buyer persona.

A buyer persona is “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” – HubSpot

However, if you know how to create a buyer persona and how to use it in your inbound marketing content strategy, your digital marketing campaigns would be far more balanced.

Inbound marketing is all about connecting with your customer base. A strong and successful inbound marketing content strategy starts with a fully developed buyer persona.

Buyer persona

Buyer persona and inbound marketing content strategy

Most of the marketers struggle when they start creating buyer personas for their businesses. And, the most common complaint they raise is “All customers are different and unique in their own way”. Of course, their argument is true too!

Remember, a perfect inbound marketing strategy does much more than boost website traffic. Successful development and implementation of inbound strategy largely depend upon how well you have created your buyer persona. If you have not yet dealt with it for your online business, you should implement it NOW.

Tips to Create Buyer Persona for your Online BusinessCLICK TO TWEET

Tips to create buyer persona

1.  Identify your best customers

However, vast your business is or whatever ranges of services you cater too, somewhere you have to begin with creating a persona for your business.

You can start with identifying best customers from whom you can get the best margin and who are comparatively easy to win. Pen down their details: starting from their age group, gender, education level, purchasing power, interests, hobbies, etc.

These details form the outline of your buyer persona.

“Too often, Buyer Profiles are nothing more than an attractive way to display obvious or demographic data.” ― Adele Revella

2. Figure out general pain points of your customers

This is regarding how they finalize their buying decisions. This is the second step in creating personas. A pain point is a touchpoint in the customer that creates frustration for him/her while making the buying decision.

Based on the outline derived in the first step, figure out the pain points they might consider while making buying decisions. Do they focus on cost, quality, reputation, or any other parameter?

For all possible questions, ask yourself ‘WHY” and come up with the best-fit answer. Once you get these basic answers, you will get a pretty good basic awareness of their pain points and how to deal with it.

QL Tech Tip: Once you identify the entire customer negative touchpoints i.e. pain points, you can improve them with positive moments of truth.

3. Conduct interviews and dive into extensive research

This step largely depends on your availability of time and flexibility of budget. If you are not getting the perfect questions or their answers, you can opt for conducting interviews. It is indeed costly but worthy! In case, your budget is flexible, you can offer them some FREEbies or incentives so that they turn up for interviews.

In case there is a budget restriction or deficit time to conduct interviews, opt for surveys.

4. Walk in the shoes of your persona

When writing for a specific buyer persona, you need to approach industry to speak and jargon lightly.

Daniel Reed, Creative Director at Square 2 Marketing

After knowing the above details, generic features and pain points of your personas, you need to put your leg in their shoe. It means to try to get into the character of your prospective buyer. This will enable you to plan and craft a content that connects with them personally and professionally.

B2b Buyer Persona Elements

For a B2B buyer persona, Liz Smyth, Marketing Director EMEA, Marketo recommends the following elements:

  • Persona summary and basic details
  • Job details and their likes/dislikes
  • Sources where your persona does his or her research
  • Primary and secondary goals
  • Challenges and pain points
  • Preferred content medium
  • Quotes related to insights gathered during interviews
  • Anticipated objections during the sales process
  • Role and influence in the purchase process
  • A marketing message that speaks directly to this persona

Killer reasons why you need to create a buyer persona

Till now, we learned how to create a buyer persona for your business. Let us understand why it is imperative for your business:

1. Help you define your audience

A well-defined buyer persona helps a marketer to identify the needs and wants of a prospective buyer.

For example, when you go to a shop to buy a gift for your friend or spouse, it is very easy for you to visualize their needs and wants. Similarly, buyers’ personas help define your audience, their needs and wants.

Honest buyer personas improve your sales pitch, your customer service, and even your product development.

Raka, Director of Inbound Marketing, Brian DeKoning

2. Understanding of buying decisions and stage of the buyer journey

The biggest advantage you get by creating buyer personas is to obtain a thorough acquaintance of buying decisions. It helps you to connect with your customers.  With the help of buyer personas for your business, you can provide a general platform for language and communication about buyers.

Through in-depth study and research, you can identify how they arrive at their buying decisions, what all factors they consider, etc. This relevant information will aid you to create relevant content for your target audience. If you know what they are looking for, you can tailor your content in line with their needs and buying patterns. It means selling your products/services without sounding like a salesperson.

3. Create more targeted content and thereby effective content marketing

Every bit of the content that you create as a content marketer is fundamentally based on the buyer persona.  It gives you a clear picture of what to create, with whom to connect, and in front of whom to share your content. Rather than blindly creating content and then sharing it haywire, it is vital to define and consider your personas in detail.

Understanding the needs, wants, goals, challenges, etc. of your personas allows you to better understand what type of content will appeal to them. Since you know what is valuable to them, you can target your content towards those values and develop content that is relevant to them.QL Tech Tip: The entire content you develop should be targeted towards at least one of your buyer personas, if not all.

4. Segmentation of email lists

Email marketing is also an old but effective tactic to reach out existing as well as prospective customers. A buyer persona is crucial for creating personalized email marketing campaigns that convert

One study by MarketingSherpa showed a 7% conversion rate for a persona-based campaign.

Your buyer personas play a huge role in the segmentation of your email lists. Email lists that are segmented on the basis of personas help you create more effective and relevant email content.QL Tech Tip: When you ask your website visitor to fill out a form on your site, ensure that you ask their goal of visiting a website. If you know what persona they fit into, you can better segment email lists.

5. Generate better quality leads

Targeted email campaigns enable you to get better quality leads and build better lead nurturing programs targeted at different personas. It means you would be in a better position to cater your marketing to the right people in the right places.

Signing off…!!

To summarise, it can be said that precise research on the potential of buyer insights help to develop an accurate buyer persona. The more researched a buyer persona is, the more effective an organization can accomplish inbound content strategy goals. Buyer personas assist you to create the right content that will efficiently and effectively attract your ideal visitors, convert them into leads, and close them into customers.

If you would like to add anything to the buyer persona and its effectiveness, feel free to drop in your thoughts in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!

Top 8 Terrible Content Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid

Content marketing – it isn’t as easy as it sounds. While creating content, you should know what you are talking about. If the content sounds generic, emotionless, or too salesy, it is your very first content marketing mistake.

“We basically decline 70% of the content being submitted to us because it is being too salesy…”

Outbrain Australia, Ayal Steiner

If your content is focused on selling rather than engaging, you are not the alone making this common misstep. According to Neil Patel, the focus of content marketing is to educate first and sell second.

Another generic content marketing mistake is viewing your content marketing strategy as a short-term activity to achieve a short-term goal.

Most commonly made terrible content marketing mistakes:

1.  Ignorance of the content planning stage

Content marketing is a practice to create and promote engaging content that provides value and knowledge to your customers. And hence, your content marketing strategy should be more than perfect. Prior to executing your strategy, first of all, have a proper plan in place. Your plan should be in line with your vision and goal. Figure out your goal, set your priorities, and know your audience for better content planning.

Most of the marketers jump upon campaigns without foreseeing its probable pros and cons. If your campaign isn’t targeted to the right audience, hardly there are any chances of getting the desired success.

QL Tech Tip: Create a content back and ensure at least a blog database of three months in advance.

2. Complete ignorance to Buyer Persona

In digital marketing, initially, you don’t know who would be your actual customers. Hence, it may happen that the entire content you write goes in vain because it is not reaching to the audience who needs it. And this is also one of the most common content marketing mistakes done by start-ups. To avoid this pitfall, do audience analysis and prepare buyer persona for each of your products and services.

QL Tech Tip: For a successful content marketing, start with creating buyer persona. Define and develop a buyer persona for your products and services. Accordingly, create content and share in front of your target audience.

3. Incorrect mapping of content with the buyer’s journey

Is it you who creates a lot of relevant and engaging content, but each time fail at the point of conversion? Well, it’s not just you! There are many content marketers who create killer copies but still can’t convert. This happens when you fail to map your content with the buyer’s journey. According to HubSpot, a buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service.

You need to know under which stage of marketing funnel your prospective buyer falls. Accordingly, create content they want and dish it out in front of them.


4. Using content marketing as a tool to link building

A digital marketer often confuses content marketing with link building strategy. Of course, quality content builds backlinks. But, don’t just churn out tons of content so that it can be promoted haywire to generate backlinks. To be honest, it will never work.

Healthy link building is a costly and time-consuming process. Your content strategy is a two-edged sword. It can either make or break your entire SEO campaign. Rather than the quantity i.e. amount of backlinks, you need to work on acquiring quality backlinks. For this, your content should sound great and provide value without losing its uniqueness.

QL Tech Tip:

Ensure that your great content passes through below checkpoints:
–  Original, unique, and actionable
–  Provide value to visitors
–  Focus on solutions to users’ problems
–  Updated regularly to keep it fresh and relevant
–  Cited from trusted sources

5. Lack of storytelling

According to some studies, brains are always hungry for good stories that can connect them emotionally to the context. Most of the content marketers are aware of the importance of storytelling. However, they fail when it comes to delivery. A prime content marketing mistake that is noticed consistently is lack of storytelling art.

According to Sophie Elizabeth Smith, 45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it.

A story is nothing but just a narrative constitution that describes either an event or sequence of events. It should involve a two-way interaction between you (as a storyteller) and your audience (as listeners).

QL Tech Tip: For effective storytelling, create a scenario having issues/concerns or problems in the start of your content and over the course of a narrative, end it with a logical and actionable solution.

6.  Ignorance to quantity, consistency, and frequency

Content marketers are often unsure about the quantity, consistency, and frequency of content to be published and promoted. This ignorance leads them to commit a content marketing mistake.

If you get rigid about publishing timelines, you might lose focus on the overall quality of the content to be created. Further, it is not always right that the more pieces of content you produce, the more results you can achieve.

Rather than just producing content, its promotion is also important. Your valuable content should reach to the eyes of your prospects on a consistent and frequent basis.

Consistency is posting on a regular (aka consistent) schedule. Frequency, on the other hand, is posting repeatedly during a period of time.

Jake LeVoir

This difference matters a lot in content marketing. Posting (or publishing) on a consistent schedule sets expectations and hence it is a big deal. On the other hand, the frequency of posting (or promoting) content just ensures that it reaches all audiences, all time zones.

QL Tech Tip: Prepare a content calendar, preferably for posting schedules, that takes care of your consistency and frequency both.

7. Zero focus on Headlines

Imagine you have received an email in your Inbox with a subject line that sounds tacky and spammy, will you click on it? Probably not! The first thing a prospective reader notice is a headline. Craft a compelling headline; it is your very first prospect to mark a positive impression on your reader.

Basically, headlines aren’t only important in content marketing; they, in fact, rule the world of content marketing. According to David Lomas, your headlines, in effect, are your first real point of connection with your prospective customer, so you need to get them right.

Content marketers not paying attention to headlines greatly lose on the conversion opportunities. Your headlines should be interesting, relevant, creative, conversational, and insightful. Use a various headline analyzer online tools to check the score, readability, and sensitivity of your headline. According to a study published in The Guardian, headlines with 8 words do 21% better than average and using a hyphen or colon will add 9% to your CTR.

Popular Words - content marketing mistakes

QL Tech Tip: Create more than one headline for each of your content and share it with the different headlines at different timings on different social media network to generate high blog traffic.

8. Promotion in front of the wrong audience

Not promoting the right content, at the right time, in front of the right audience is another common content marketing mistake. As a rule of thumb, don’t promote all the content that you produce. Poor content hurts you more than good content benefits you. It will not only affect your conversion rate but also negatively impacts your brand credibility. According to CoSchedule, consumers don’t take action when you want them to take action; they take action when they are ready.

Therefore, it is imperative for you to promote your content in front of the right audience. Create a content to which your audience can relate too. Use the words your user use to search their answers and accordingly provide solutions to their queries through your content.

QL Tech Tip: Not just do content marketing, rather do actionable content marketing. It is the backbone of your SEO.

Signing off!

These are not the exhaustive list of content marketing mistakes. However, we have covered the most common slips done by most of the content marketers. Take an honest look at the content marketing mistakes you are presently making, and try to fix them. Once you fix the existing issues, you will start noticing a tremendous transformation in your conversions.

If you need assistance on fixing any of the content marketing mistakes or want to highlight anything here, feel free to drop in your words in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!

Top 6 Types of Visuals to boost your visual content marketing

Looking at the present scenario, online life has become more dynamic than ever before. News, articles, blogs go viral this moment and a few hours later fade away into oblivion. There is a big roar on social media sites about one news, and soon after that some other news comes up and breaks the echo of the previous one.

Well, all this traction is because of one thing, i.e. – CONTENT. Content is the core of all the buzz which is there on various social media sites. Nowadays, businesses give more emphasis on content to market their products or services. They consider quality-content as the important key in achieving digital marketing success. Therefore, digital marketers plan to invest more in their content marketing programs.

If you are also looking to embark upon a content marketing campaign, you must know what will stimulate your online growth. Text-based content is an integral part of marketing. But to bring a hustle in your efforts, try to add visuals to your content.

We would like to share with you the types of visual content that you can use in your content. This will give a boost to your visual content marketing campaign.

Types of visual content to Boost Visual Content Marketing

Visual Content Marketing

1. Images – Visualization of ideas

If you spice up your text with some appealing and relatable images, your overall content becomes more readable. It will increase the probability of your readers reading your content until the end.

As we know with the growing usage of mobile phones, the attention spans have become shorter over large chunks of content. Therefore, it is preferable to use images in order to seek the much-needed attention of your audience.

Further, it will be an add-on if you use original images or the ones taken by you; as this adds a personal touch to your campaign. Images that are captivating are either expensive or time-consuming to create. You can take help of resources such as Canva where you can create images for free. Also, there are excellent quality photos available on Flickr and Morguefile for free.

Adding quality images to your text content will enhance your visual content marketing efforts; also in the appropriate direction.

2. Videos- 3D visualization of ideas

Videos are the best way to present the whole idea in a fantastic way. If the video gets combined with audio, it adds value to the content. It gives a positive impression that you can also walk that extra mile for the quality. This will be an add-on to your basic visual content marketing strategy as it will put a better impact on your audience.

Also, videos prove to be very useful in describing the product and services that your brand offers. You can add any type of video to your content. For instance, you can add explainer videos, demonstrations, testimonials or how-to videos. Whatever be your choice, keep in mind that your videos are congruent with the ethos of your brand.

According to a study by Moz, posts with videos receive nearly 300% more inbound links.

3. Infographic- Information in the form of Graphics

Indubitably, infographics are a wonderful tool to represent your data in a visual format. It comprises of text in the image. In your infographic, you can include your promotional endeavours like your networks of key influencers, social media etc.  an infographic can become an integral part of your visual content marketing strategy.

You have to keep in mind that your design and layout should be as impactful as it could be. Your data has to be conveyed in a design which is a combination of good shapes, colours, and fonts. Also, you should try to include accurate and relevant information. Many a time it happens that mundane statistics can be brought to life when conveyed as stunning visuals.

This will reap you quick and true rewards for your infographic.

4. Memes- visuals with a humorous caption

We all find memes really humorous and they are quite popular in the realm of digital media. Nobody has ever thought that memes would play a role in visual content marketing; when they first started to be used as a form of entertainment among college students. But now they represent a quirky form of visual content.

Memes- visual content marketing

You can also create your own meme and set yourself apart from your competitors. But before creating, ensure the type of audience. Another plus point of using memes is that they give you the luxury of creating in-house jokes about your industry. This could benefit you in establishing a community around your brand.

5. Presentations- ideas Presented smartly

They serve the almost same function as an infographic but focus more on appealing designs, colour and lengthy content. Some-time before, presentations were restricted to only board rooms. But now, with the help of SlideShare, you can share your presentation with the world; thereby expanding your business reach. A good representation allows you to communicate with your audience irrespective of the device they are using.

How to create an appealing presentation? You can just take an idea from Rand Fishkin’s presentation on Content Marketing Mistakes. The presentation has complex information presented in a humorous, easily digestible manner.  Keep in mind that you follow the consistency throughout your presentation. Proofread your content for spelling and grammar mistakes.

6. Screenshots- screen captured an image

With the help of screenshots, you can provide your audience with the actual working of your product or service. Along with screenshot, you can combine a marketing copy or a testimonial to boost your credibility. This will give a jolt to your visual content marketing, thereby increasing your profits.

Further, screenshots can be very useful in backing up the claims that you make in your sales content. You can also annotate your screenshots if you wish to draw attention to a particular part of the image.

Screenshots might not be that appealing to you but they can be hugely used as a trust-building tool for your audience. Capture customer reviews or testimonials that are there on industry forums or social media. Those screenshots can be used in infographics or SlideShare presentation as they will bring meaning to the stats or information you are presenting.

Skitch is a nice tool to create graphics and text on images. It’s free and simple to use.

Wrapping up

Visual content taps to the visceral psyche of your audience. That’s why it is very important to present high-quality visual content.  It will truly resonate with people, subsequently skyrocketing your brand promotion.

Well, if your content is badly designed, you will end up doing more harm than good.  Always try to consider the needs of your audience. With content the substance counts the most, but a good representation style is always appreciated.

We have tried our best to highlight the important points about each type of visual content. We hope those will help you in planning your “Visual Content Marketing” strategy to get the maximum gains. If you would like to add your smart ideas, feel free to comment below.