- Who are we?
- What is our mission?
- What makes our company different?
While these questions are crucial to an organization's brand, there are even more important questions to address that will contribute valuable insight to brand development conversaitons.
Who are you marketing to?
Defining your buyer persona(s) is the most important part of your entire online marketing strategy.
Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.
-Jeff Bezos, Amazon
So although we spend a lot of time defining our brand internally, it's actually established as an organization evolves over time.
When you focus on the people you're marketing to as a segment of branding and you continue to focus on your buyer persona(s) over time, you're more likely to earn a good reputation. In addition, your organization will have promoters of your business — people you've attracted and delighted.
Buyers don't care about your brand; they want solutions to their problems. Read an example
That's what persona development is all about. It's the only way you can be sure to delight.
What is a buyer persona?
First off, let's define buyer persona. This is one buzzword used to described an organization's ideal customer. Other terms that are often used include strategic value consumer or core consumer.
According to Tony Zambito,
Buyer personas areresearch-based archetypal (modeled) representations of who buyers are, whatthey are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, and why they make buying decisions. (Today, I now include where they buy as well as when buyers decide to buy.)
As you can see here, this has nothing to do with profiling. And, it has everything to do with buying behavior.
Persona development gives you insight about your ideal customers’ needs, questions, pain points, and behaviors, which will make it easier to create remarkable content they are already searching for online.
How to use buyer persona insight
If someone gave you $1 million, you would be extatic. You'd jump around the room, call all of your family and friends, and probably be in shock for a few days.
But then what?
You would spend it! It's not tangible until you act.
The same thing goes for buyer persona insight. It won't do an organization any good to spend time defining 3-5 buyer personas and then do nothing.
Having buyer persona insight is powerful! What are you going to do with it?
Buyer persona insight will be a part of the initial strategy of your organization (developing a brand) and should be evident going forward in everything you do.
1. Brand Development
Branding is important for an organization's online marketing strategy. It's the first thing that should be refined.
You have to know who you are, which includes who you're marketing to, if you're ever going to marketing online successfully.
Once you know who you are and who you're marketing to, this bleeds into every part of your online marketing strategy, from your website look and feel to each individual campaign.
2. Campaign Planning
At the beginning of every campaign, the right people in your organization should come together to plan, set SMART goals, and schedule tasks.
Without a plan, you'll be sure to fail. Without SMART goals, you drive aimlessly without a destination.
Campaign planning and SMART goal determination will begin with a buyer persona in mind.
- Who are you trying to attract?
- What is your buyer persona's pain point at this stage of the buyer's journey?
- What information is your buyer persona searching for?
- Where is your buyer persona searching?
- When are they searching?
- Why should they transact?
- How will you help solve their problem? How will they transact (call, form, download an offer)?
The initial planning always starts with framing the situation and talking about buyer personas.
When you've done persona development ahead of time, planning a campaign simply requires reviewing persona insight and researching keywords.
3. Content Development
The last way you should actually be using persona insight is to develop content for your entire online marketing strategy.
That's how you create marketing people love!
Content development not only occurs in a new campaign, but also on your website, social posts, blogs, and visuals.
Persona development can change the messaging of one single email or even the color of a website.
For example, if you know an email is going out to Larry Lawyer — a criminal defense lawyer — the email will use terminology that lawyers use, and the visuals will be professional.
Buyer personas influence content greatly. Every word and visual created should begin with the buyer persona in mind.
If you start with the persona in mind, it will translate throughout your entire online marketing strategy, and you will earn promoters of your business. Buyers don't care about your brand, but if they see you care about their problem on a consistent basis, they will remember you, transact, and promote.
Guided brand development, with a focus on persona development, is the first step of e-webstrategy's GPS Methodology. Learn more about this methodology and how you can implement this strategy into your 2015 online marketing plan in this FREE ebook.