A couple months ago we kicked off our website redesign by taking a deep dive into our customer personas. We started this work last year and had some fairly defined personas in place, but a good marketing strategy is ever-evolving. There were a year’s worth of insights and customer feedback that needed to be infused into our customer profiles.
And then we needed to figure out how to make those personas actionable.
I see articles and blog posts come through my inbox every week about the importance of buyer personas. I still find it surprising that less than half of all demand generation marketers have taken the time to develop and use personas as part of their demand marketing strategy.
What’s even more interesting though is that with all the talk about this valuable exercise, I’ve not seen a lot of practical advice on how to actually put buyer personas to work once they’ve been created.
So I thought it might be helpful to chronical some of the ways in which we’re doing this at Integrate.
Persona Marketing Tip #1: Give Your Visitors an Opportunity to Tell You Who They Are
This information can be used to create unique paths for each role in your website, whether that means a completely individualized experience or just a landing page with the information that matters most to other customers just like them.
And of course, it will likely become part of your ongoing nurturing strategy as you work to continue the conversation by sending contacts only the communications and content relevant to their challenges, needs and goals.
How we put this tip to work: We worked with a fantastic video partner, Ceremony Agency, to create a 2-minute preview video that takes a quick look inside Integrate’s outbound demand generation platform. If you head over to Preview Integrate, you’ll find this new video. Notice that immediately following it, visitors have an opportunity to very easily determine the next step in their journey.
By allowing our visitors to tell us who they are, we can then share stories of similar Integrate users and deliver only information specific to how the Integrate platform benefits marketers in their roles.
Persona Marketing Tip #2: Include Persona Buzzwords in Your Blog Titles and Social Posts
Sometimes marketers create really great blog content wrapped in ugly packaging. And let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how amazing your posts are, if no one is clicking on the titles (whether in search results, on the homepage of your blog, from your social posts or via the email notifications sent to subscribers), then your efforts aren’t paying off.
There’s a lot of advice out there on crafting high-performing blog titles. This post by HubSpot is actually one of my favorites. But one tip that it doesn’t mention is using persona “Buzzwords” to write blog titles likely to pique your audience's interest. (It’s not likely that everyone’s personas have this section, but it’s in ours.)
How we put this tip to work: On the surface, “Buzzwords” may sound like a bunch of fluff. But when you look a little deeper, you may find that it’s a powerful indicator of the things that are really important to your customers. And it’s been pretty helpful in developing content that will engage our visitors and grow our audience.
For instance, one of our core personas we affectionately refer to as Demand Gen Gina. Gina’s buzzwords include: personas, customer experience, engagement and demand generation. Hence the title of this blog post: 3 Practical Ways Buyer Personas Can Increase Customer Engagement.
We also work with a large number of Marketing Ops pros. Their buzzwords include terms like: lead velocity, standardization, integrations, lead quality and data quality. We’ve used this information to write blog posts and titles for ops teams that increased both click-through rates and social sharing stats, boosting engagement with marketing operations leaders.
Persona Marketing Tip #3: Leverage Persona Challenges to Direct Your Content Marketing Strategy and Reach Targeted SEO Traffic
Understanding the challenges your personas are tackling is key to creating valuable content. If Marketing Ops Mike is dealing with manual data challenges like low quality and slow velocity, then you should be able to get an idea of a few pieces of content you can create to help marketing ops leaders get better quality data into marketing systems faster.
But you can take this to the next level by identifying exactly how they might go about searching for solutions to these challenges.
How we put this tip to work: When we really took the time to get inside Mike’s head, we realized that he’s probably searching for answers to questions like:
- How can I improve lead quality?
- How can I get leads into my marketing automation system faster?
- How can I keep bad data out of my marketing automation system?
Then we were able to work these specific terms into our content, making it more search-friendly. After all, the ultimate goal here was to develop content that would help marketers overcome demand marketing challenges. And if Mike can’t find our content, we can’t help him.
And our primary mission is to help create better demand marketers.
So, there you have it. I hope that these approaches come in handy as you continue to perfect your customer engagement strategy. The most important thing from my view is that these tips aren’t just good for your company, but they’re good for customers. When applied thoughtfully, they help people more easily find what they’re looking for, increase customer engagement and go a long way towards deepening customer relationships.
I look forward to gathering and sharing data behind the effectiveness of these persona-driven tactics. In the meantime, happy marketing!