Fri, Feb 20, 2015

How To Use LinkedIn To Build Your Buyer Personas


How to build your buyer personasBuyer personas  are an example of the real person who buys, or might buy, products like the ones you market, based on what you’ve learned from direct interviews with real buyers.

The key to any successful marketing campaign is addressing the challenges and pain points of your target customers and engaging with them on a personal level. Which means that the more details you have about your target customers the more successful your campaign is. This is where personas come in action.

The questions here is how to create buyer personas? there are many ways to do that, like interviewing your existing clients, interviewing your sales team, interviewing you customer support team. But in this post I will show you how to create buyer personas using LinkedIn

There are two categories that your  personas will fall under:

Key Decision Makers: These are the people that have the power and authority to make the purchasing decision.

The Influencers: These people are ones who are good to be educated about your industry and products or services. They may not have the authority to make the final purchasing decision, but they can influence the decision makers.

Anyone who doesn’t fit into one of those two segments is not a persona that you should focus on, as they lack the influence or purchasing decision. Here are some tips on how to build buyer personas using linkedin.

LinkedIn Job Posting
By searching LinkedIn Job Postings for positions that fit your target customer, this will reveal attributes of the people that will be acquiring the position and their job specs. This information is valuable since you can use it to identify the needs, objectives, goals and pain points for your potential buyer, and you can figure out how to position your products and services to help them reach their goals and solve their problems.

Once you have collected information and attributes, you can use it as search criteria to identify people on LinkedIn such as;

  • Similarities between individuals in similar industries and job positions
  • Demographics, geographic location and career history
  • Strengths, weaknesses and what motivates them
  • Interests and areas of service
Recommendations and endorsements 
For each profile in your search result, review Their LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements to see how their connections view your targeted personas expertise. This provides an opportunity to create content that positions your product or service in a way that helps the prospect be even more successful in that particular area.

In addition you will get to know their individual needs to be successful, their leadership & management style, work ethics, etc.
30 Great Lead Generation Tips and IdeasSurvey Relevant Connections
Review your current connections and search by title, organization, location, etc. Make a list of all the connections that have professional or personal characteristics that fit your target personas.

When reaching out to your contacts to be surveyed for information, make sure to specify that your call, email or online survey is not a sales action and it is primarily for research.

Use Advanced Search / People Finder
LinkedIn continues to develop its functionality for finding people, prospective business associates and individuals with very specific competencies and keywords included in their profile. Searches can be performed by typing a person’s name, keywords or titles into the search box at the top of the page. Advanced searches can be performed by using specific criteria such as location, school, industry, etc. Click the “advanced” link at the right of the search box or the top of the search results page. Be sure to search for keywords that may be included in your target buyer’s title, bio and experience background.

LinkedIn allows you to save up to three people searches. To save a search, click the “Save This Search” option on the right – this will give you the opportunity to easily run the search again later. You can also choose the option to receive weekly or monthly reminders once new members in the network match your saved criteria.

LinkedIn Groups
You can also discover which LinkedIn groups your target personas joined. This information is extremely valuable as you can also join these groups and post questions that would give you a better understanding of your personas objectives, goals, challenges and pain points.

Conclusion
Identifying your personas will dramatically increase your marketing campaign effectiveness as it will give you insights to your customers and inspire you to create targeted and personalized content that will resonate with them. According to a webinar conducted by BrightTALK, DemandGen and Forrester revealed that Utilizing your buyer persona in an email campaign achieved:
  • 2x the open rate
  • 5x the click thru rate
Do you believe in the effectiveness of identifying buyer personas for your business?  How do you plan to implement it into your digital marketing strategy this year? What other LinkedIn tips do you have for creating buyer personas? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Ismail Aly
Ismail Aly    

Inbound Marketing & Sales Enablement Consultant, HubSpot User Group Leader, HubSpot Platinum Partner