Any marketing campaign has to be developed with a target audience in mind. Your inbound campaign is no different.

Clearly identifying your target buyers is an essential start to your overall inbound strategy; everything is built out from that point. Paint a picture of you ideal customer(s):

  • Who are they?
  • What are their major concerns and common challenges?
  • What are their pain points?
  • What are their needs and interests?

The answers you come up with when considering these questions will help you create your buyer personas " fictional profiles of your ideal customers that personify a specific type of buyer. Personas help you envision the kind of person you need to influence by casting your ideal customers as individuals rather than a depersonalized demographic mass.

Building Your Buyer Persona(s)

When starting to develop personas, keep in mind that you likely have more than one type of buyer. If thats the case, you need to create a persona for each type of buyer you have.

Along with asking the questions listed above, you should do some digging into the motivations, woes and wants of your existing customer base. Who are your common types of buyers? What are their issues? Try reaching out to clients you have a good working relationship with and ask them these questions. It will help you better profile the types of buyers youre targeting.

What To Include In Your Buyer Persona(s)

When youre building a buyer persona the ultimate goal is to develop a certain type of individual. Therefore you want your personas to have the attributes that a real individual would have. One way to think about it is as an in-depth social profile, conveying information about personality, interests, desires and more. Some of the traits you should include in your personas are:

  • Age " Identifying your personas by age allows you to make educated inferences about their motivations, views and priorities
  • Gender " If you can determine a gender for your personas, it could give you more insight on how to market to them
  • Profession and their Unique Challenges " This is particularly important in B2B relationships. The roles of your buyer personas give you a good idea of what challenges they face and how you can help them solve their problems.
  • Buying Preferences " Understanding how your ideal customers prefer to interact, consume content and make decisions will provide insights to shorten your sales cycle.
  • Background/Education " What kind of school did they go to? What did they study? How do they best interact with information? The background adds more depth to the buyer persona and can help you determine how to best engage with them.
  • Personality Attributes " Are they analytical or creative? Are they personable, witty, or reserved? What are their hobbies and interests? Identifying the character traits of your buyer personas will help you gain a better understanding of their motivations.

There are many other categories you can use when building your buyer personas; these are simply a starting point. The more depth your buyer personas have, the more effectively you can market to them.

Have you built your buyer personas? What kind of attributes or categories have you used to develop them? Let us know in the comments.

This is Part 2 of a 9 part series on The Key Elements of an Inbound Marketing Campaign: