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Marketing 29 min read

Components of an Effective Marketing Plan: Buyer Persona and Buyer’s Journey

Components of an Effective Marketing Plan: Buyer Persona and Buyer’s Journey
Components of an Effective Marketing Plan: Buyer Persona and Buyer’s Journey
Shannen Francois A. Zamora
Intern from Marketing Team at SEO Hacker
Are you looking for ways to generate more leads and conversions for your business? 

Then you should know that learning and understanding your buyer's journey and creating the appropriate buyer personas are massive steps toward effective marketing

If you are new to buyer's journeys and personas and consider studying them, this article is for you!

1. What Is the Buyer's Journey?

In the digital world, anyone can do research. Let me tell you about my experience. 

I've been looking at phones lately because my four-year-old one didn't function properly. I had to spend a lot of money and buy something that would last even longer.

Likewise, I realized that the price is not the only factor to consider when choosing a mobile device. Among other factors are: 
  • operating system version;
  • long-lasting battery life; 
  • top-notch processor speed;
  • high camera quality;
  • large storage, and many more.

This is part of what we call the buyer's journey
What Is the Buyer's Journey?
The buyer's journey is the process that consumers go through when making a purchase. It begins with awareness, followed by consideration, and finally, a decision

Throughout their journey, buyers encounter various discomforts and issues that they must navigate to reach their final decision.  

Whether they are confused about their problem, overwhelmed by too many options, or wrestling with uncertainty about whether their purchase will be a good investment, buyers are active participants in their purchasing journey.

9 Lead Magnet Ideas for Every Stage of the Buyer's Journey

The importance of tracking your buyer's journey

The real challenge here is that technology is evolving rapidly, where almost everything is readily available with a few clicks.

Buyers may obtain information more easily on their own, which means brands have to integrate themselves into the journey, or else they would have fewer opportunities to influence buyers' decisions.

The buyer's journey is essential knowledge that can help you craft effective, targeted marketing campaigns that generate more leads and conversionscontent that drives results.

By understanding and learning about the buyer's journey, your sales and marketing team can create content that potential customers or buyers are looking for. And by creating good content that matches your customer's journey, you can gain your audience's trust because your brand is more likely to solve their problems and has the information they need to complete their purchasing decisions.

If you master the buyer's journey, there is a high chance that your potential buyers will become your customers.

7 Tips For Creating Content That Converts

2. Understanding the Stages of the Buyer's Journey and Developing Appropriate Content

Now that you have an idea of the buyer's journey and the importance of keeping track, the next step is to master the three main stages of the buyer's journey.
3 main stages of the buyer's journey

Awareness stage

The buyer becomes aware that they have a problem, so they look for information about it. At this stage, they are not ready to purchase. They just need information.

What should you do at this stage? Educate people about what makes YOU different from other companies by using compelling content, the one that will keep them engaged without being pushy. 

The content and the information you will create for this stage are significant because this is where you make them understand their issues and how to fix them. 

For example: "Why is no one visiting my website?" or "Why is my blog not getting enough traffic?" 

List of content for the awareness stage
  • Articles 
  • Infographics 
  • Blog posts 
  • Partnership content 
  • Whitepapers 
  • E-Books 
  • Guides 
  • Social media posts

Keep track of what matters most to your audience, and satisfy their needs at the very beginning. 
The tool that will be the perfect fit at this stage is "Keyword Trends" from Serpstat

It shows the most popular Google queries at the city level in the selected country. Data can be retrieved from today up to one month. The information is updated in real-time, and this is an opportunity to identify the most trending keywords and use them on the site, thereby increasing traffic.

Simply go to the "Keyword Trends" section, choose the appropriate country, use filters to select the city and language, and see the latest queries users searched for in the selected region.  
Keyword Trends from Serpstat
Would you like to learn more about Keyword Trends Tool and boost your results with Serpstat?
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Consideration stage

The buyer pinpoints the problem and searches for a solution to it. 

It's no secret that 95% of consumers nowadays read reviews before purchasing. Whether you're buying something big or small, people want to know what other folks think about it. 

In this stage, they are mulling over solutions. In light of the issue, they are searching for the best option. Your job at this point is to show them why you're the best solution compared to the others

For example: "Tools to use to get more visitors to my website" or "Product A vs. Product B comparison." 

List of content for consideration stage
  • Webinars 
  • Podcasts
  • How-to videos 
  • Comparison guides 
  • Case studies 
  • Templates 
  • Tool kits 

Decision stage

The buyer assesses the solutions and even signs up for free trials to test solutions. He makes a move and talks to a sales representative — someone from the team who can answer all the buyer's queries.  

In a 2018 Customer Service Expectation Survey, 68% of the customers will pay more for the products and services from a company with a strong record of good customer service

Based on the Forrester report about customer service, when it comes to purchasing decisions, good customer service is the most crucial criterion in deciding what to buy, which is cited by 83% of the customers. A survey also indicates that customers prefer prompt, personalized responses over other factors.

Besides the content that addresses possible customer issues with your product or service, you also need to up your customer service game
Keep in mind that your buyer has a handful of options and inquiries from other businesses at this stage. Your goal is to make it on their shortlist and make their purchasing decision with you.  

For example: "Product A features," "Product B costs," or "SEO company services." 

List of content for decision stage
  • Free trials 
  • Live demos 
  • Consultation offers 
  • Product comparisons 
  • Coupons 
  • Client testimonials 
  • Trial downloads

Best Content Promotion Strategies: Asking Experts

3. Buyer Personas and Their Value to Your Business

In the business world, we create semi-fictitious characters called buyer personas, which are the characters that marketers build to reflect the common traits of their customers. Knowing what the customer is looking for can assist the marketers in creating the appropriate material. Buyer personas are used to ensure that marketing strategies are effective.

Apart from that, they assist you in focusing your attention on qualified prospects, guide product development to meet your target consumers' objectives, and align all activities throughout your business.

90% of the companies using buyer personas have a clearer understanding of their buyers. If you have a well-crafted buyer persona, you will be able to design more concrete marketing plans and will have a greater chance of increasing conversion rates. It is easier to comprehend how your consumers think, making them crucial for any marketing plan.

Negative buyer persona

Businesses and marketers should analyze their negative personas as well. What for? To save money, labor, and other resources. But what exactly is a negative buyer persona?

A negative buyer persona is the opposite of the usual buyer persona, which is the profile of the buyer you do not want to spend time and effort on. They are the least likely to convert.  
It is vital to spend time researching your negative buyer personas to improve your awareness of your ideal consumers

Doing this can keep valuable corporate resources from being wasted and help you with your current marketing plan to better cater to your target demographic.  

You can remove the buyers who are less likely to pay attention to your business, and it can provide you an insight into the things you need to create or improve to focus on attracting the right leads.  

How to create a buyer persona

There are so many ways to create a buyer persona. Businesses can do research, surveys, and interviews, whichever you have resources to use. You’ve to ensure that your buyer persona should perfectly fit your market. You must know your target audience since customers have different characteristics. There is a different approach for every target audience.  

In my experience in creating the buyer persona for our agency, I used data from Google Analytics as my source. But if you have the time and resources, you can also follow these steps, including quantitative and qualitative analyses.

An article in Nielsen Norman Group stated that it could take up to 3 to 9 working days for a smaller company to create a buyer persona if only one employee can participate in the process, and only 1.5 to 5 working days if two employees. However, larger companies with at least four employees in a team could take 2 to 4 days to do the research and the creation process. 

Of course, it still depends on the effort you give and your resources.

Here are the six steps to follow in creating our buyer persona:
Step 1. Name the persona
When you create buyer personas for your business, one of the first things you'll do is give them a name. I named our persona "Marketer Hack." This can seem like a small detail, but it's actually quite important.

Having a name for your persona helps you to reference and remember them more efficiently, and it also helps to streamline your business communications.

For example, if you're marketing to small and midsize businesses (SMBs), your buyer persona could be called the "SMB buyer."

Or better yet, you can give them a real name + job title about them, like "Joan Marketing Associate."

Naming your persona makes it easy for everyone in your company to know who you're talking about and what kinds of products or services they're interested in.

So when you're creating buyer personas for your business, don't forget to give them a name. It can make all the difference in your marketing success.
Step 2. Write out the demographic information
The demographic profile of a buyer persona includes gender, age, location, job title, and marital status, which I had for Marketer Hack's profile.

However, businesses can also include additional information such as the number and age of children, income, education, social media usage, etc.

This extra information can help businesses better understand their target audience.

It can also help you picture your buyer persona rather than just assuming. For example, he's a 44-year-old CEO living in the Philippines with two children.

How to Set Up Geo-Targeting and What Are Its Advantages

Step 3. Identify the goals and values 
Once you have an idea of who your buyer is, you can begin to understand their goals and values. It's important to think about what your buyer is searching for and what he is trying to achieve. This will help you connect your buyer persona to your business and services.  
When looking for what your potential audience is looking for, you should pay attention to comprehensive keyword research. See different variations of the core queries, and find out what users are interested in!

To carry out such research, you may use Serpstat Keyword Research Tool and pick the right keywords for your audience.

Simply go to the "Keyword Research" section, tab the keyword into the search bar, and after clicking the "Search" button, scroll down to the "Related Keywords" report. It shows all search queries that are semantically related to the searched keyword.
Related Keywords, Serpstat
You may also check the "Search Suggestions" section that shows queries offered to users under the search bar. Overview the most popular keywords and improve your content using this report. 

To see all question suggestions, you can switch on the "Questions Only" in the right corner of this report.
Search Suggestions, Serpstat
This is how you can find the correct SERP keywords to get your content and ads in front of the right users.
Personal demonstration
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Step 4. Find their sources of information 
Finding the right buyer persona is essential for your business. After all, you want to make sure that you're marketing to the right people in the right place.

So, where do you start? An excellent place to begin is by looking for sources of information that your buyer persona would be interested in.

This could include blogs, books, social media platforms, podcasts, and videos. You might also want to look into events they attend or conferences they might be interested in.

By taking the time to research your buyer persona, you'll be in a better position to market your product or service effectively.

They may not be listening to you right now, but at least you'll have a better chance of being heard if their favorite words and phrases are in your conversation.

Learn How to Implement Webinars in Your Content Strategy

Step 5. List out their challenges and pain points 
Once you understand your buyer persona's demographic information, goals, values, and source of information, it's time to move on to their challenges and pain points.

When identifying challenges and pain points, keep in mind the objections that may hinder buyers from purchasing.

Buyer personas may experience frustration, fears, doubts, or struggles, but you should only identify the challenges and pain points for which you have a solution.

By fully understanding your buyer persona's challenges and pain points, you'll be able to produce content that more effectively speaks to their needs and helps them overcome any hesitations they may have about working with your company.
Step 6. Identify the objections and roles in the purchase process 
When building your buyer persona, you mustn't overlook the last step of gathering information about your buyer's various objections.

This allows you to identify and effectively address these possible hurdles that may prevent people from purchasing your product or services.

Whether it's concerned about price, lack of trust in your company, or a fear of failure on their part, being prepared to handle these objections will go a long way towards helping you close more sales.

Additionally, it is important to understand the roles and responsibilities involved with each stage of the purchase process, since this can also help inform your buyer persona.

Why create a buyer persona

If you want to generate more high-quality leads and increase conversions, you can achieve it by being mindful of your buyer's journey and buyer persona. These two concepts are closely linked. Your buyer personas help you create content tailored to your ideal customers. In contrast, your buyer's journey enables you to determine when and where to connect with those customers at different stages of the buying process. 

Here's how: Your buyer persona can help you with crafting the right message and solution, while your buyer's journey can determine when is the right time and where is the right place.  

You want your content published at the right time and place to catch attention and increase engagement. You track the right buyer, and you connect to them successfully. That is why you need them both. 

If you fail to determine the right time and place or without the right content, there is a chance you might lose the opportunity to connect to a potential lifelong customer.  

That is why an inbound marketer is entirely focused on creating the exact content strategy to answer all the customer's queries. It is all about what your customer needs. You can help build trust and develop a solid relationship with your buyers through content. 

Tips to Create a Killer Product Page for eCommerce Website

4. Useful Services

Now that you have a clear idea of your buyer persona, it's time to put together all the research data.

To make this easier for you, I've included some services needed to facilitate the process of building a Buyer Persona :)
HubSpot

HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM designed to help optimize your inbound marketing strategy to generate qualified leads. 

This is where you can make your buyer persona by following seven simple steps. Enter the information about your buyer persona and modify it when needed. 
Venngage

It's also definitely worth looking at Venngage, a free infographic maker.
To start your free trial, sign up with Facebook or Google, and it's that simple!
Venngage, My Persona
In your dashboard, click the icon "Templates." Use the search bar to find "user persona." There are many templates and options for user personas, so click on one of these to preview it before creating your own!
Venngage, My Persona
You receive infographic templates and choose the ones that suit your specific needs. You can explore the template if you want to add or change it, such as icons representing different types of information displayed on your page (such as texts and images).
Serpstat

Serpstat is an all-in-one platform that includes many tools for SEO and PPC professionals, marketing experts, and agencies. This service can help you improve your site's content, carry out competitor analysis and automate all the processes needed when launching a marketing campaign.

Create a content plan, analyze your competitors, trends, and keywords seasonality, expand semantics, find niche leaders and improve your ads with Serpstat Tools.

Keyword Research Tool

Example: Top by keyword report

Personal demonstration
Leave a request, and we will conduct a personal demonstration of the service for you, provide you with a trial period, and offer comfortable conditions for starting exploring the tool

Key Takeaways

✔️ By understanding and tracking the buyer's journey, you can develop content tailored to each stage of the process. This will help you convert more leads into customers.

✔️ Additionally, having a well-developed buyer persona allows you to target your marketing efforts toward specific individuals instead of casting a wide net.

✔️ As a business owner, it is vital to track the buyer's journey to continue to improve your marketing strategy and increase sales.

Have you started tracking your buyer's journey and creating buyer personas?
If not, now is the time to get started!
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The opinion of the guest post authors may not coincide with the opinion of the Serpstat editorial staff and specialists.

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