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The Vital Importance of SaaS Buyer Persona Development

SaaS inbound marketing is used to attract new users to your product and convince them to pay for it. Buyer persona development can help you do just this, but what exactly is it? How do you create one, and where do they fit into your SaaS business? We’re here with some insider knowledge about how you can use personas to take your business to the next level.

What Is a SaaS Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of what your target customer looks like. This isn’t the same as gathering demographics, as it goes much deeper. It is modeled on how your ideal customer thinks and feels. It goes to the core of who they are and what they want from your product.

Creating a useful persona means tapping into your buyer’s mindset. You must uncover their hidden behaviors and motivations. It’s more about finding the why rather than the what. Why do your customers want or need your SaaS product? It can seem daunting to find your ideal customer with a variety of users out there. But it’s not that complicated, so let’s get started.

What Types of Buyer Personas Are There?

B2B SaaS Buyer Persona

This persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer decision-maker. Using these personas gives you focus for your marketing endeavors. It helps you create content that speaks directly to them.

Negative SaaS Buyer Persona

Negative personas represent people who are the least likely to become paying customers. You can use negative buyer personas to refine your ideal customer’s understanding. They can also save resources because you won’t waste them on people who will never convert.

Micro SaaS Buyer Persona

A micro buyer persona represents customers who are likely to support a niche product. These are influenced by more subtle features and take longer to market. They can be very useful for audience segmentation and are suitable for businesses with ample resources to cater to each micro persona.

Why Do You Need To Create a Buyer’s Persona?

Personas and inbound marketing strategies are directly connected. Think about it. Inbound marketing is used to create new leads and convert these leads into customers. If you don’t tailor your services to your target customers, the products won’t resonate with them. This decreases the odds of converting a visitor to a fully-fledged customer. Using personas to create your marketing campaigns increases the odds of conversion. Let’s explore the specific benefits that creating them can hold for your business.

More Cost-Effective

Employing a buyer persona has huge cost-saving potential for your business. If you don’t know who you’re selling to, you’ll waste money on marketing materials that don’t work. Using personas increases your return on investment as these campaigns are more likely to succeed.

Streamlines Content Creation

If there’s one thing all potential customers have in common, it’s that they are looking for something in particular. If you want to catch, keep and convert their attention into sales, you’ll need content that appeals to them. But how do you do this?

Use marketing insights to write compelling copy and answer specific questions. This will lead potential customers deeper into your sales funnel. You’ll want to strategically position this content at particular stages of the buyer journey to move them toward conversion.

Fine-Tuned Marketing Strategy

Once you know what your customer wants and needs, you’ll be able to craft strategies designed to walk them into (and through) your sales funnel. Using a buyer persona for your marketing strategy helps you to reach the right customers in the right place and in the right way.

Here are some specific ways that you can help optimize your marketing efforts using buyer personas:

  • Identify the problems potential customers want you to solve.
  • Indicate which formats, content, and tone will produce the best response.
  • The show which media channels are best for reaching potential customers.
  • Highlight the most crucial and detrimental pages to your buying process.

Improves the Product Itself

Using a persona doesn’t just improve the things that surround your product, like marketing strategies and content. It also enhances the product itself. When you understand exactly what your ideal customer wants, it’s easier to keep adapting your product, so it stays relevant.

You’ll have a product that grows and evolves with the customers it’s designed for. As the customer’s wants, needs, and problems change, so will the solutions your product offers to match.

Increases Customer Engagement

By knowing your customers on a personal level, you can connect with real-life potential. When these customers see their concerns being addressed, they are more likely to buy-in and trust your product and services. This could be through tailored content or your product development. Whatever the avenue, you can create tangible proof that you are committed to helping them.

Improves Business Communications

Using a buyer persona to inform your communication processes can make your customers feel heard. You’ll know where they’re coming from, and they’ll know that you know where they’re coming from. This promotes customer loyalty which leads to more sales for your business. For example, they help your marketing teams better allocate resources and attract leads. It also helps your sales teams customize sales processes to suit how customers like to be engaged.

How do You Create a Buyer Persona?

Now you know what using a buyer persona can do for your business, how do you go about creating some of your own? Many of us go through life feeling that we’ll never be understood, so it’s no surprise that trying to understand strangers feels daunting. Here are five simple steps to creating the perfect persona:

Step 1: Research, Research, Research

It seems like an obvious suggestion, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses fail to complete comprehensive research. You need to know your customers and their relationship with your product before you can sketch out an accurate buyer persona.

Let’s take a look at some of the critical research avenues:

Web Tools To Collect Hard Data

There are loads of marketing tools available to help collect and analyze data. You could use Google Analytics to segment your site visitors by keyword usage. This reveals similarities within your search traffic. It also narrows down what your customers were looking for when finding your product.

Customer Data To Identify Trends

Zooming in on the what and why of engagement rates is also paramount when developing a buyer persona. For example, you can look at high-converting blogs to see which topics resonate the strongest with your target audience.

Use the Product Itself To Collect Data

Using your SaaS product is a great way to collect data for persona development. Doing so will provide insight into which features are most popular and those that are unused. How are your customers using your product to solve their problems? What parts of your product aren’t helping to problem solve? Understanding where your product is succeeding or failing shows you how your product can be adapted. You can then perfect its fit in your customer’s lives.

If your product research shows a pain point that your product fails to solve, this might indicate a recurring problem in your niche. This allows you to step up to the plate and overtake your competitors by improving your SaaS (or even creating a new one entirely) to help solve the problem.

Customer Interviews

After you’ve completed the research outline above, it’s time to talk to your existing users. By questioning actual customers, you can understand first hand what challenges they face and what they want you to do to help overcome them.

Customer Surveys

Using customer surveys to refine your data is a less resource-intensive research method. There are loads of benefits that come with using customer surveys:

  • It’s less work, so it’s easier to conduct regularly.
  • You can choose specific topics you want insight on.
  • Requesting less information typically earns higher response rates.
  • You can use surveys to test new hypotheses on motivations and needs.

Step 2: Clone Your Most Engaged Users

Once you’ve completed the research stage and analyzed the data, it’s time to get cloning. You’ll probably have a few rough persona versions to work with based on the different users you researched. Start by identifying your most engaged users and look for patterns and similarities between them.

It might be that your most engaged users are those that have already purchased your product. These users have already gone through the buying process and chosen your product; if this is the case, then congratulations, you’ve hit the bullseye!

Step 3: Assess Your Persona’s Price Sensitivity

Once you’ve got your persona options, it’s time for step three of the creation process: price point. You must include any information about their willingness to pay when molding your personas. 

Step 4: Verify Every Assumption With Data

So you’ve got all the information and made your assumptions about your ideal customer’s behaviors: you’re ready to start cutting out a SaaS buyer persona. But before you begin, it’s essential that you double-check whether the assumptions you’ve made are correct. You want to find data that proves the validity of every assumption. This data could be anything from internal customer surveys to academic studies.

Step 5: Craft Your Persona Profiles

While refined data and analytics show correlations, they can’t be used practically by your teams. You’ll need to translate this information into a story format that different departments can easily understand and use. This is where the fifth and final step in your SaaS buyer persona development process comes in: crafting profiles.

A profile maps out the information you’ve collected about each persona and collates it into the profile of a fictional person. It’ll indicate a buyer persona’s demographic, purchase behavior, and the unique traits that set it apart from your other personas. These profiles are then used to help develop and improve products and marketing campaigns.

Launching Your Buyer Personas

After completing your buyer persona development, it’s time to put them to use. Your personas should inform every decision you make about your SaaS and how you market it. Every team member needs to know exactly whom they’re building and marketing the product for.

Here are some sectors in your business where using a SaaS buyer persona is not only useful but essential:

Sales

Your sales teams can use personas to better engage and sell your SaaS products. A SaaS buyer persona helps fill in gaps in what the potential customer might be withholding. Your sales team can streamline the sales process and deliver value fast. They’ll save the customer time, making sales more likely.

Customer support

A SaaS buyer persona can be used to identify customers’ communication preferences. The information gained from customer support can be used to develop your product further.

Content Development

There should be a buyer persona at the heart of different pieces of content. Your marketing team should create content that caters to each one you’ve crafted. For example, find out what phrases each persona uses when searching for a solution to their problems and use this in your keyword strategies. Personas need to identify with the language you choose.

KPI Creation

KPIs can be used to determine whether a SaaS buyer persona is working. Locating what’s not working shows you if you’ve made a mistake and prioritized a persona that won’t generate leads.

Steps for Implementing Your Buyer Personas

As we’ve already pointed out, SaaS buyer persona development needs to be the foundation for every choice regarding your SaaS. These personas should be used across your organization, from top to bottom. All elements need to be linked to the persona that’s being targeted – from content marketing to social media ads.

Here are four easy steps for implementing your SaaS buyer persona into your business processes:

  • Decide on which persona to target first. Look at your sales team to identify which job titles occur most frequently.
  • Decide which problem to solve first. The first problem you choose will be the first promise that’s sold to potential customers. It will inform all your strategies going forward.
  • Launch your campaign to target a persona. Use the persona and their problem to focus your content. You need to communicate a compelling message centered on a value proposition that the buyer will connect to.
  • Scale to the next SaaS buyer persona. Once you’ve been successful with persona one, it’s time to move on to the second most important persona. Avoid this step until your first persona has achieved lead velocity.

What To Avoid When Using Buyer Personas

Like most things in marketing, there are some things that you should avoid when employing persona strategies. Here are our top 5 tips for avoiding SaaS buyer persona turmoil:

  • Don’t leave your personas to stagnate; update them regularly.
  • Involve all your departments in the development process.
  • Don’t rely on assumptions alone; an assumption without proof is unreliable bias.
  • Don’t overdo it; focusing on too many buyer personas dilutes their efficacy.

Ensure your personas are put to practical use; translate the persona into tactics to make money.

Final Thoughts On How To Create a Good SaaS Buyer Persona

Personas provide you with guidance on how to achieve your ultimate goal; converting leads to paying customers. Researching, creating, and using buyer personas helps you identify where your business’s power lies.

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