Knowing ‘who’ you are marketing to is a critical component to fostering business objectives, especially in the following key areas: growing sales, awareness, and brand engagement.
I was inspired to write this post because I’ve come across a lot of companies who have laid their target personas but aren’t utilizing them to their advantage, i.e. get more leads and increase retention.
Making the strategic decision to build out your target personas is great but what’s even better is that you have an executable plan to developing content that will resonate with each.
So let’s explore how you can further use personas to get leads and increase retention for your business…
Where do they hang out in the digital sphere and offline space?
Knowing how to be present where your target personas are will help you further personalize the way you reach out, engage, and retain business.
One of the easiest places to start is to take a look at your Google Analytics account.
To name a few, here’s the type of insight you can expect to gain:
- Top referring sites. Which sites are driving the most relevant traffic to your website?
- Top landing pages. This will tell you the pages and type of content that’s getting more engagement.
- Age (traffic by age ranges)
- Gender (traffic by gender)
- Affinity Categories (behavior by affinity categories)
- In-Market Categories (behavior by in-market categories)
- Other Categories (behavior by other interest categories)
As for the offline factors, look at local events and national trade shows that you can attend your target personas will be. This allows you to put a face to your brand/company driving face to face conversations – gaining real-time feedback on what makes influences purchases and what makes a customer stick around for the long haul.
What does the purchase journey look like?
Dive in deep to understand the behaviors of your personas. Doing so will help you gain clarity on how to best position the right messaging at the right time that will result in sales and repeat sales.
More importantly, make sure you make room for testing so that you can continue to track and measure what’s working. Once you are able to hone in on what works, you’ll be able to focus on decreasing your cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and cost-per-lead (CPL).
It’s about getting the biggest bang for your buck. By keeping costs low, you’ll have a higher return on your investment. Doing so will also enable you to gain more traction and discover where the point of diminishing returns is.
What type of content matters most?
Just as you’d lay out specific messaging within each phase of the buyer journey, you will want to do the same with your overall content development/marketing approach.
This will save you a lot of time and money in the long-run. Put in the time to do the following:
- Research what questions are being searched for the most via search engines. Use this data to help you form your own content calendar to meet the ongoing needs of your personas.
- Break out the content types (e.g. white papers, guides, checklists, infographics, videos, etc.) down into specific funnel stages of the buying cycle. This will help you understand which content types will drive TOFU (top of the funnel) actions vs. BOFU (bottom of the funnel) actions.
- Know that it’s okay to overlap. Because you write one piece of content for the TOFU doesn’t necessarily mean you can no longer leverage that piece for the other funnel stages. The key point here is to know what your personas are looking for when they reach a certain stage and ensuring you have content to help meet their questions/needs.
What channels are the best for communicating?
Before you rule out certain channels, you must lay out all of the channels you know your competitors are leveraging for communication and where your target personas are the most engaged.
I’ve worked with clients who immediately rule out the strategic thinking behind a good content strategy and some who don’t see a need for email because they don’t ‘think’ their target personas will get anything out of it.
Sure, intuitive decision-making is important at the beginning, but there are tools such as simple surveys and social media networks that you can use to communicate to get a definitive answer. So, don’t guess; rather, make an educated and data-backed decision by utilizing technology to help you choose the channels you want to test out.
Overtime, it will become clear which channels are yielding the best sales, leads, and ultimately, highest return (i.e. greater LTV per customer).
Scaling your business shouldn’t just include the approach of what you ‘think’ your target personas want/need, but leveraging data points to help solidify growth initiatives. When you’re able to combine the two, you’ll see that they will help foster your ability to get new leads and increase retention.