Let’s face it. The internet has changed everything, including how people buy. It used to be that sellers were in control, but now the buyers have complete control of the process.
With that change, old school interruptive methods of advertising and marketing like print, radio and direct mail are not working as well as they used to.
Inbound marketing is not interruptive and it allows buyers to buy when they are ready and that’s what makes it work so well.
A lot of people believe that it is impossible to target when you digital or inbound marketing. But it’s actually much easier to target your marketing and all of your results are completely track able.
So how do we start the process of targeting our inbound marketing for a cosmetic surgery practice?
Define Your Ideal Prospect With A Buyer Persona
Inbound marketing is targeted marketing. Much like the old school strategies of direct marketing, inbound marketing starts with targeting your efforts so that you are attracting people who are most likely to be come your customers.
In order to target our marketing efforts, you must very specifically define your targeted prospect. You do that by using a tool called a buyer persona.
Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers/patients (and prospective customers or patients) better, and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different types of patients you are focusing on.
The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights you gather from your actual customer base, your previous patients (through surveys, interviews, etc.).
At the most basic level, personas allow you to personalize or target your marketing for different segments of your audience.
For example, instead of sending the same lead nurturing emails to everyone in your database, you can segment by buyer persona and tailor your messaging according to what you know about those different personas.
When combined with lifecycle stage (i.e. how far along someone is in your sales cycle), buyer personas also allow you to map out and create highly targeted content. The more targeted your marketing is, the more effective it will be.
Creating Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. That includes a mix of your patients, prospects, and those outside of your contact database who might align well with your target audience.
Here are some practical methods for gathering the information you need to develop personas:
- Interview patients either in person or over the phone to discover what they like about you and their experience with your practice.
- Look through your contacts database to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.
- When creating forms to use on your website, use form fields that capture important persona information. (For example, if all of your personas vary based on gender, ask each lead for their gender on your forms. You could also gather information on what forms of social media your leads use by asking a question about social media accounts.)
- Take into consideration your team’s feedback on the leads they are interacting with most. (How long does it usually take before your first contact with someone before they become a patient? What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best?)
- Questions You Should Answer About Your Ideal Prospect To Help Build Your Buyer Persona:
- What are their demographics?
- Male or female
- What are their communication preferences?
- Social media
- What are the problems and challenges they have that you can solve for them?
- These will vary by your practice
- Some will be small; some will be large but document them all
- How can we help them overcome these challenges?
- Quotes from existing customers about their goals and challenges
- How do you describe your solutions to the prospect?
- Effective marketing messaging
- What’s your elevator pitch?
Creating and following your buyer persona is the first step to inbound marketing success.