Category

Content Marketing

Creating Buyer Personas for Inbound Marketing

inbound marketing, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Imagine sitting down at your computer and writing. You write an amazing how to blog post. It’s just the right length, you address a problem with directional drilling, you identify the underlying cause of this particular issue with directional drilling, and you provide a solution to solve this problem.

The solution sells for $150,000, which is 10% less than your nearest competitor, and our solution can be implemented in half the time.

It’s a guaranteed win. You are a content marketing superstar and will go down in history as an energy industry genius/tycoon.

You then click publish and go live with this amazing piece of content on americangirlblog.com. A blog for young girls and collectors of the American Girl Doll.

 

Know Your Audience

 

This sounds ridiculous. But, how many of us are doing this same thing by not knowing who our customer really is? As foolish as it is to sell expensive high-end drilling equipment to 11-year-old girls, it is also foolish to try to solve problems your customers don’t have or sell products your customers don’t want.

We need to know who our customer is and how to reach them. How old are they? Where do they spend their free time? Where do they look for the solutions to their problems?

Knowing the answers to these questions allows you to be where they are looking, grab their attention, and solve their problem.

 

No… You Really Need To Know Your Customer

 

Many business owners have a problem with either not knowing who their customer is or assuming their customer is just like them. Yes, many businesses are started by scratching your own itch. However, times change and sometimes we don’t remember what it’s like to not have the answer.

Luckily this is a day in age where we can learn what our customers are looking for. What are their problems? What do they search when they are trying to solve those issues.

 

Creating Buyer Personas for Inbound Marketing

 

The solution is creating Buyer Personas. A Buyer Persona is a profile for a fictional customer that is based on fact.

Create your Buyer Persona by looking at your customers or potential customers and answering the following questions:

Who exactly are your customers and what specific problem are you solving for them?

What are they trying to achieve:
Name:
Age:
Gender:
Address:
Occupation:
Married (Y/N):
Children (Y/N):
The specific problem you can help with:

5 Places they spend their time online/offline to resolve this problem:

 

You may be tempted to try to solve more than one specific problem, but let’s just stick to one for now.

Go ahead and copy the questions into a Google Doc. Then start answering. Answer the questions as completely as possible. Some of these questions may not seem important. “Why do I need to know that my customer is married?” Well, there are a few reasons.

For one, do you need to target your customer or your customer’s spouse?

 

Digging Deeper, Getting Creative, Overcoming Obstacles.

 

What if you don’t know some of these answers? What if you haven’t sold anything yet?

Then I would start in places people ask questions. Some good places to start are Quora.com or Facebook.

Start with Quora and type your service or product.

marketing prairie giraffe

 

In this example, you are a house painter. Here you can see what potential customers are asking, where they are and what they are looking for. Looks like they are asking where they can find you and how much you charge. This is good to know because you can come right out of the gate answering these questions on your website.

Facebook is another great source. Typing in your product or services will reveal some of your competitors and who follows them, groups you can join full of information that pertains to your business, and public posts from people talking about your industry. From there you can see profiles, which go along way to helping you accurately and factually answer the questions on your Buyer Persona.

If you already have an active business page on Facebook then head over to Insights and go to “People” on the left. There you can see valuable demographics on who has been visiting your page, how old they are, where they live, gender, and more.

 

inbound marketing prairie giraffe

 

Once you have your first Buyer Persona completed create another, and another, and another if necessary. You want to get a complete picture of who your customers are for each product or service you sell. Now that you have your Buyer Personas completed you can start targetting your website, content, marketing, videos, social media, and anything else to that buyer.

Tying back into your inbound marketing, this is a lot better than stabbing in the dark and hoping you get it right. Or having to go back to cold calling and hoping you resonate with the person on the other end. Who wants to do that.

Do you need to create Buyer Personas for your business but don’t have time? Contact us. We would love to sit down and create your Buyer Personas for you so you can start reaching the right people and moving some product.

 

 

 

What Is Inbound Marketing Lead Generation?

inbound marketing, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

You’ve experienced this before. You sit down to watch a movie or any other night time relaxing activity, and the phone rings. Someone on the other end butchers your name and then starts to lay down the most robotic sales pitch ever to be uttered in the western world.

 

This is the worst. I don’t know who is buying their product, but we know no one is enjoying the experience. Not the telemarketer and certainly not the one being marketed to.

 

Is there a better option?

 

There has to be a way to attract people and more specifically, strangers, to come to your site, store, or wherever else you sell your products and services, without having to be obnoxious and intrusive.

 

Nobody likes their day interrupted by sales calls or bad marketing, but everyone enjoys finding the right product at the right time. Everyone like to solve their problem or have it solved in as simple a process as possible.

 

How do we get from obnoxious to valuable and timely? How do we make our customers seek us?

 

The answer is lead generation through inbound marketing

 

As mentioned before, you want your leads to be warm. You want people to be seeking information. You want to be the one to provide that provides that information and answers those questions. Even if the answer may end with them not needing you for this particular problem.

 

Who will they turn to next time? Will it be the telemarketer or the loud TV commercial interrupting their shows? It could be, the world is not a perfect place, but as the one who provided value and information, you are much more likely to get the sale and develop the relationship that keeps them coming back.

 

So what is lead generation?

According to Hubspot

Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into leads”

 

Well, what is a lead?

 

A lead is someone who has shown interest in your business. Somehow, whether they visited your site, asked you a question on social, or walked into your store and asked, “how much?” they are a lead. Someone who could potentially buy.

 

With inbound marketing, the goal is to get this type of lead. Not just a phone number to call or an email to drop a message to. You want someone who has at least heard your name in a positive light. And interact with your business in some way. It’s the interaction that acts as the invitation for a follow-up.

 

What does inbound lead generation look like?

 

Imaging you fill out a survey about Rug Care (because you really love rugs) and a little while later someone reaches out to you with an ebook on how to care for your rug (that you love enough to take a survey about) and this ebook solves some problem you had with your rug.

 

Now take it a step further. You need a professional service performed on that rug. Who do you call? I’ll bet it’s going to be the company who has provided you with information in the past and solved an issue.

 

How do we get started?

 

You get started by developing buyer personas, creating content using keywords and social media, converting those strangers into leads, and then closing the deal. After you make the sale, the goal should be to convert that customer into a promoter. Delight the customer to the point they want to come back and bring others into the fold.

inbound marketing

 

After all, why do all this work just to make a one time sale? That sounds almost as bad as interrupting someone’s dinner to tell them about how much money you could save them on their credit card payments.

 

There are some great articles on Hubspot as well as some great tools. Another resource is inbound.org. If you really want to dig in and learn all you can about inbound marketing these are two solid places to start.

 

Keep watching our blog for more information on the topics mentioned in this post. Buyer personas, content creation, where do you advertise and who do you target (because we want to avoid being spammy and intrusive), and more.

 

If you don’t have tons of time to learn all this but want to put inbound methodologies to work for your business, give us a call or send us a message. We’d love to help you get leads coming in so you need less cold calls going out.

 

Content Marketing Fundamentals

social media marketing, Social Media Management, consulting, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Creating content for Social Media

Creating content for Social Media with the purpose of marketing your product or business? Here are a few fundamentals…

First thing’s first. You need a Marketing Content Strategy. Just posting willy-nilly without a plan isn’t effective and doesn’t help you accomplish your goals. A little bit of planning will help you convert followers into customers. The first step in developing a Content Strategy is understanding your business goals as a whole. Here’s a Content Strategy Walkthrough from Hootsuite that could help you get started. 

Starting from there you can begin to brainstorm how Social Media can help you accomplish those goals. Then comes the planning – who is the audience, what do they want to see, what are we going to say and when should we post, what is our budget for boosting these posts? Finally the execution of actually creating the post and scheduling them. If you need help with creation, design or scheduling we can help.

 

Reviewing your results and process is a must!

A key part of your strategy should be a review of the process and the results of your posts. Ask your team question like how did the process go, what could have made it easier or faster for the next time, and analyze that data. Did your content create sales, did you gain new followers, did it generate dialogue between you and your followers? From what you learn, adjust your strategy accordingly.

Also, remember is that you want to have variety so your followers aren’t seeing the same format over and over and tune you out. You can mix up the medium you use – you can use videos for one post and a great image for another, or maybe a link to your blog for another. While you want to make sure you have brand consistency you don’t want all of your post looking cookie cutter.

 

Content Types

Another way to add variety to your content marketing is the type of content you post. Three great content types to rotate through are:

  1. Relevant – Is what your marketing important for the now (Do you sell candy and they make great stocking stuffers? That would be a great post for November or December)
  2. Valuable- Do you have a special going on?
  3. Educational – Why does your customer need your product or service? How can you educate your followers?

By rotating through these content types you can make sure you are creating and maintaining value for your audience. Providing value is what lets you keep their attention, build trust, and eventually sell your product. People will naturally gravitate towards the businesses that have helped them out in the past, especially when that business didn’t gain anything from the transaction (immediately). If you help someone or attempt to help someone, by providing valuable information, they are far more likely to return to you for more solutions and pay for them, than if you just tried to sell to them.