Are they similar to the small business clients you already service as an IT consultant? What industries are they in? What trade groups do they belong to? Do they seem to hang out in the same social media circles?
Yes, there are a lot of questions. But if you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s time to dig in and do some research. At SP Home Run after we set goals with new clients, our next big project is buyer personas. The key to successful marketing is understanding who your customer is and creating content for your customer. Once buyer personas are understood, they will be used to guide all future marketing.
Here are seven tips IT consultants can use to improve their marketing by developing buyer personas:
Hang around where your buyer personas are. Once you’ve uncovered their favorite social media spots, make sure to post there regularly. Is it Twitter or LinkedIn? Remember to share valuable information and not just advertise your business. For every post you put up about your company, you should share another three pieces of content that have nothing to do with you, but bring value to the group. Is there a niche website or forum where they hang out or post? Same thing goes here. Share valuable content and help when you can. Don’t be self-serving. Becoming a trusted advisor goes a long way.
Speak their language. When posting social status updates, speak in everyday terminology. Don’t use IT terms the average small business owner wouldn’t understand. Don’t use Internet slang; it makes you look unprofessional. And it should go without saying, check your spelling and grammar!
Create an offer that solves your buyer persona’s problem. While researching your buyer personas, you’ll figure out what their pain points are and what they need help with. Create a template, white paper, or other offer that solves this problem. Most likely, you’ll find a few pain points depending on the number of buyer personas you come up with. This can lead to having a number of offers available on your site. Remember to put your offers behind landing pages so you get the benefit of lead generation.
Write blog content that’s easy to read. Your content should not only be relevant to your buyer persona, but it also should be enjoyable to read. The reason being, you want them to come back for more and possibly subscribe for updates or to your newsletter.
Optimize landing pages for buyer personas. The landing page is where your offer will reside; better yet, where they can opt-in to access your offer. Optimize the landing page by talking about how the offer solves their problems or pain points. Don’t talk about how great your offer is. They care about what it can do for them.
Trade original blog content with another similar company. Find a blogging partner in a similar or related industry where you can trade a blog post once a month. Make sure you each fully attribute the post to each other and include a link back to each other’s sites. This helps to expand your thought leadership and develop your brand, while helping your co-marketing partner as well. It also brings a fresh perspective to your blog, instead of always being in your voice.
Have you used buyer personas in your marketing efforts? Has it helped bring in new leads for your business? Please share your thoughts in the section for Comments below.
And to learn more about how buyer personas fit in with Inbound marketing for IT consultants, be sure to download your free copy of the IT Channel Inbound Marketing Planning Guide.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr ND Strupler