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Buyer Personas and Human-To-Human Marketing

people-43575_640-1“There is no more B2B or B2C, there is H2H: Human to Human.”

I like this quote by Bryan Kramer because it reminds me of what’s most important. In the hustle and bustle of a marketer’s day-to-day routine, it can be easy to get caught up in the details: increasing interactions, decreasing your bounce rate, monitoring a click-through rate in your email campaigns, all while worrying about SEO.

Yes, those are all important factors. Yes, ROI is important. However, at the end of the day, are we treating people simply as a means to an end of making a sale? Are we, as marketers, providing value to our audiences?

When I tell people that I’m an inbound marketer, they don’t get it. “I’ve never heard of that before.” I usually follow up with a brief explanation. Inbound marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods for conducting business. Gone are the traditional marketing days of cold calls, buying names, buying ads, and praying for leads. By simply creating valuable content in the right context, you naturally attract qualified customers to your business through organic search results.

One of the best ways to create this valuable content is using buyer personas (which can also be known as marketing personas). HubSpot defines it best: “Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of a company’s ideal customer, based on market research and real data about their existing customers.”

Buyer personas can help you further personalize your marketing efforts. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute recommends that you give your persona a name and even find a picture for him or her. This will help your team to think of this buyer as a real person, not just another sale. So instead of writing to the masses, you’re writing specifically to Amy or Steve.

In order to have the most effective buyer personas, your persona profiles should include: rough demographics, roles that this person plays in his or her personal and professional lives, key responsibilities, daily tasks, goals that this persona wants to achieve, major concerns and challenges that your persona faces, and a preferred content medium (social media, blogs, newspaper, etc.).  Remember, this information is based on data, research, and interviews with your customers. We’ve even written a blog on how to gather this information.

Once you’ve created your buyer personas, writing content is much easier! Suddenly, you have a glimpse as to who your target customers are, and this means you can write content from a human to a human (because, after all, your persona is a living, breathing person out there).    

Content_We_Crave
This is a picture I find especially helpful when writing content for our buyer personas. Maybe it’ll help you too?

Taking the important step of creating buyer personas will help marketers remember that, at the end of the day, they are writing and creating content for another human being, not just fulfilling a quota.

About the Author

Sarah Corley
Sarah Corley
Sarah works as a marketing specialist at WSOL where she helps clients put their best digital foot forward online. She has been the driving force in defining company culture at WSOL. As a co-leader of the Chicago HubSpot User Group, Sarah is dedicated to creating a community where developers, marketers and sales teams make the web a better place. She worked for Nestle Toll House on their campaign, Bake Some Good, as a national brand ambassador and even baked her way to set a Guinness World Record. She has Bachelor of Science degrees in graphic design, journalism and public relations.
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