You are doing everything right according to the textbooks: you have a brand-new website and you are active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Yet, you don’t get qualified leads from all your efforts, not to mention the amount of money you’ve spent!
What are you doing wrong?
It’s all about your message and those who care to listen to it. In other words, talking to the right people by telling a story they can relate to!
To know how to write your posts on social media, you need to know to whom you are talking, by creating one or more buyer personas.
Buyer personas are like characters: they are fictional, yet very realistic representations of your ideal customers. You have to keep in mind how they think, what they want to achieve in life and why they do what they do.
Buyer personas are based on solid research, not assumptions!
It takes intensive effort to get to know your customers. You cannot just assume that you know them. You need to talk to them! Linda Bustos, Director of E-commerce Research at Elastic Path identified three key techniques you can use:
Columnist Arnie Kuenn also suggests making use of lead forms and talking to your sales team. Additionally, you can interview your support staff, analyse how your audience consumes content and evaluate current content using A/B testing.
It is best to combine the above research with market research.
Then you can start creating full portraits of your buyer persona/s. A typical framework includes
Figure 1: The Buyer's Journey (HubSpot)
You will find that your customers are scattered across three different stages, and you need to get their attention during each stage. You need to meet them where they are.
During the Awareness stage, your customer realises they have a problem. Your message will confirm that you can fix their problem. A typical message will tell them about your products and services.
When they reach the Consideration stage, they will start looking for solutions. Here your message needs to touch their pain points. This means that your message should focus on one problem, one product/service and one solution.
When they are ready to make a purchase in the Decision stage, your message needs to communicate your competitive advantage. Why should they choose you and not someone else? Here you can offer demos, special prices and free trials.
Figure 2: PESO Model (Spin Sucks)
In simplest terms, the PESO Model allows you to separate the content and communications you create into media buckets that align with all of the available marketing channels. The PESO Model enables you to better integrate your marketing efforts by identifying opportunities and gaps.
Founder of buyer personas, Toni Zambito, explains 6 reasons why you need to know your customers:
Toni also predicts that if “researched in the right way, buyer personas can help organisations to accomplish an understanding, which has long been absent.”
It is ideal to formulate personas prior to any strategy and to share your buyer personas with your whole team so that they understand who they are trying to engage. Everything you do and don’t do will revolve around your buyer personas.
If you want to be successful, you need to be consistent. Success will not come overnight. Be consistent in your messaging, what you say, how you say it and to whom you are talking to. It’s okay if your persona slightly changes (as they will according to their journeys), but don’t scrap a persona just because you haven’t seen any ROI in a month.