Close to 60% of buying decisions are made prior to even coming in one-on-one contact with a business. A key component of this buying decision process involves the level of customer engagement a brand is able to garner through its online content. There is a secret weapon—storytelling.
Storytelling engages our attention focusing it in a way that deepens our connectivity to the content. When done with forethought around one’s audience, storytelling invites us in allowing us to feel part of something larger. If the storyteller is skilled enough, the audience takes ownership of the story weaving it into their own narrative. With the highly engrained use of social media today, a story becomes viral when that audience in turn shares it in their community.
What top brands such as Coke and Nike, as well as small businesses such as the local women oriented yoga room or the corner tall men’s clothing store, painstakingly figure out is that in order to tell a story that engages the audience they must know what makes them tick. This is done by creating buyer personas. Essentially, these companies come up with fictional characters that represent a perfect mix of perceived traits and real data around their primary customer types.
A business’s top 3 buyer personas account for 80% of their sales. The fact that 56% of marketers are not using buyer personas gives businesses looking for a competitive edge a clear “todo” in their 2015 marketing strategies. This is already apparently in the works according to a recent study on 194 B2B marketers the percentage using buyer personas is expected to raise to 83% over the next year.
Buyer personas connection to marketing is real. A business’s commitment to it may be the defining initiative of their business plan.