What’s The Right Number of Buyer Personas for Inbound Marketing?

Buyer personas can help in the marketing process, especially where inbound marketing is concerned. However, many experts treat creating these personas as a cure-all and call attention to the dubious benefits of doing so. They may try to make it seem like it's all about identification rather than solving problems, which can undermine what your target audience wants from you. There are very effective ways to attract leads – identify with them as opposed to prying into their personal lives.

Why Does a Buyer Persona Matter?

Creating content for organisations needs to be more than just promoting the ego of our CEO, or focusing on only our products. Unless you’re writing a content piece aimed at the individual, where issues such as improving self-esteem would be important, many buyer personas are just too much. You have to remember the purpose of a B2B persona is usually to communicate with someone who’ll make a relevant purchase decision about your company’s product(s). Since we already know some of that general information about people who fit into our target market, we don’t need to provide them with additional information. So, unless you’re writing a blog post that targets specific individuals – no matter how much your readers may want it - "personality" components such as fears and aspirations should not be included in the write-up.

Creating a B2B persona is most effective when it helps you understand the challenges your buyers face. By empathising with those challenges, you can produce content that addresses them.

Our "buyer" refers to the one person our sales team most likes to talk to and the one person for whom our company is best suited. Some B2B purchase decisions can come down from a single individual, but we know that in most cases this person isn't nearly privileged enough to make a final decision without having a conversation with people behind him/her. Keeping in mind these audiences and stakeholders makes it important for companies to create buyer profiles gathering all kinds of information about the various kinds of people involved in each stage of the buying journey. This way you can better adapt yourself to their needs and ensure messaging is appropriate for each unique scenario!

Marketers Should Focus on One Persona for B2B Success

It's easy to fall into this logic trap: 

  1. Our buyer decisions are made by several people
  2. Each demographic and role must be assigned a persona
  3. My content needs to be tailored to all of my personas

This approach leads to marketers dividing their budget between their different activities and dividing the impact of their work. The success of inbound marketing comes from scaling.

Start by focusing on one buyer persona. Real return from your marketing efforts will take longer if you don't have a clear idea of who is essential to the success of your business before spending a dime on an advertising campaign. Who appreciates your product the most? Who is willing to pay the most for it? To demonstrate the real ROI, address those people about their challenges with your product or service and make sure they're aware of how much value they will get out of a solution if they purchase immediately.

Advantages Of Targeting a Single Buyer Persona

1.    Your messaging is more cohesive

Marketers face a big challenge in staying the course. Consistency is key as content marketing builds momentum over time. Your messaging needs to focus on two things to be effective:

What are the most important people to your salespeople?

How would you like to be perceived by new clients?

The challenges are real, however. Internal stakeholders find the website messaging monotonous. New hires are eager for change. Positioning is more about internal politics than data.

A single persona allows you to use consistent messaging and positioning. Generally, updating your site for every new campaign is not worth it.

2.    You optimise your resources

When a new company starts its business with an inbound marketing campaign, the most common mistake is to focus on creating content for too many verticals and target customer groups. Ultimately this leads you to deal with 30-40 niche markets throughout your blog posts and content, which demotivates you as an entrepreneur to keep creating content because it means you have to address several verticals and customer groups without ever knowing if all of your efforts are delivering results or reaching your goal.

3.    You can produce better content

The best ingredients in your business's recipe book are a balanced combination of high-quality resources and a tight focus on smaller niche areas. Staying on top of the trends helps you to create long-form content that is consistent and relevant to your audience, while the money you save by creating content with more reusable materials will help you stay competitive over time.

4.    Faster, better results

A certain degree of inbound marketing is volume driven. It requires building authority through content and driving organic traffic. You might get better results quicker by spreading budgets and efforts across several, rather than waiting for the momentum to build with just one.

B2B Personas: Things You Might Have Heard

Several people are involved in the buying process.

B2B salespeople typically segment and capture different personas if they wish to appeal to them at specific times. The persona you're constantly appealing to is known as your target audience, so you can create a niche market in which to focus your content and marketing projects. Typically, most of the time that we spend marketing campaigns will be focused on our primary persona or targeted customer group. We find that CIOs, managers, and business owners usually have many common issues revolving around improvements for efficiency or better scaling which are all related to data security and privacy issues.

After focusing on your primary stakeholder, you will produce content that benefits all stakeholders in the future.

New products/features meet the needs of new segments.

Consistency is key. New products or services aren't likely to change the values and messaging of your company. Changing things up is even less likely when you're targeting existing customers since they already buy into your existing messaging.

Our campaigns target multiple personas.

That's great! Don't just do things because you can out of impulse and excitement. Find one persona that you think captures your ideal customer in all their glory, then work with them to market your company by getting a good feel for what their life is actually like and translating it into a story that will attract people who have very similar wants and needs to them. This will also help you glean important hints about your business as well as some insight regarding where improvements could be made to help it flourish going forward. If you're targeting additional personas:

  1. You are generating revenue from your key persona market
  2. There are specific and very different solutions or offerings you offer

It is not necessary to create multiple buyer personas, even if you can.

You shouldn’t let your marketing strategy dictate your marketing software. It is understandable that you still want to find out a lot about the people who visit your website including what else they’re interested in, how you can focus on their needs, and future linking strategies to pages or products relevant to them. However, this activity needs to be separate from your strategic goals of how you will entice inbound links, build content, and funneling traffic that turns into sales. Your website’s navigation bar doesn’t necessarily reflect the amount of business and website traffic that you need if you want the site to grow over time!

Some businesses try to hedge their bets with inbound marketing, but we find that this is a risky strategy. When you're looking to appeal specifically to your niche market and you take off the gloves by focusing directly on that audience, sticking to the core beliefs about what makes your business special, and pouring all of your efforts into taking care of those customers then it's more likely that you will succeed than if you try to broaden your target audience across a range of different groups of people. The reason for this is that they don't know you as well as the individuals who have already opted into being part of your business community. A lot of companies focus too much on one specific thing when it comes time for marketing so that they can own their space in the marketplace. And if done correctly, doing this has proven to be very effective!

Buyers Journey Guide


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