Even when you spend the resources to develop a robust inbound marketing approach, you can still get dragged down when traffic to your landing pages has quieted and sales have stalled. To boost activity, more companies are implementing a tactic known as the buyer persona to help gain perspective on prospects and focus efforts on a targeted audience. It can get your company out of a marketing rut and show you where your customers are hanging out online, among other benefits.
Still, developing a buyer persona that works for you isn’t as easy as defining a few demographics and identifying purchasing habits. Beta testing your personas is essential to ensuring you haven’t completely missed the mark.
Involve Your Existing Customers
Who is probably in the best position to tell you whether your buyer persona is right on target? It’s the customers that you’ve already won over with the strong marketing strategies that moved them from the lead generation phase to making the purchase. Find out what motivated them at each stage of the marketing funnel, including how you piqued their interest, enticed them to visit your site and encouraged them to learn more about your company. Beta testing your personas involves knowing what makes them click, so incorporate customer feedback information.
Contact the Leads You Lost
Perhaps the second best group of people to tell you where you went wrong is the leads that didn’t make it through the first few phases of the marketing funnel. It’s up to you to get inside their heads and figure out why they left, so that you can highlight or eliminate the relevant traits of your buyer persona. You might have misunderstood their business pain, delivered disappointing content, or failed to engage them on social media. Their actions, demographic profiles and purchasing habits are significant resources that can be applied to developing and fine tuning your buyer persona.
Study Your Site Analytics
While the opinions of your existing customers and lost prospects gives you excellent insight into their mindset, it’s essential that you also review your site analytics when beta testing your buyer personas. Determine the landing pages that were most successful in attracting leads and identify the referring site. In addition, look at the pages that drew the least visitors. Something about these failed to attract interest, meaning you must eliminate the persona traits that you have misjudged.
Also, review the deeper clicks into your site and the last page that a visitor was on before navigating to the purchasing page. The graphics and other content were obviously instrumental in making the sale, so you can apply these details to your ideal buyer's profile.
Those businesses that haven’t employed a buyer persona are missing out on a valuable tool that can lift them out of a marketing lull. However, the process of developing a successful persona doesn’t end with its creation. Beta testing your personas is still necessary to fine tune your understanding of their business pain and respond with your company’s offerings.