Have you looked at your customer base lately? If your answer is negative, it’s time to pay serious attention to buyer personas because they are critical to your company’s long-term success.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a fictional, generalized character that represents the real and potential users of a brand, product, or site.
Creating buyer personas allows you to understand your target customers’ problems and provide suitable solutions, see where your customers spend time online, speak their language, etc.
Without buyer personas, you don’t know your target audience well enough to be truly helpful, which means you can’t properly market your products.
How to Create Buyer Personas?
When creating buyer personas, the first step is to collect enough info on your customers. In order to be able to create accurate personas and understand what they really want, the data you collect needs to be accurate and up-to-date.
The best way to collect information is through surveys/survey templates, focus groups, and interviews. The questions you’re asking should revolve around the information you need to know and be tailored to your industry.
Here are some example questions you can ask about:
- Personal demographics (How old are you? Where do you live? Are they female or male? Are you married? Do you have kids? What’s your annual household income?)
- Level of education they have
- Job title
- Type of business do you work for?
- Where they get news and information
- What questions or challenges they are facing
Once these questions are answered, start creating your buyer personas. Go through the data to detect similarities and trends between surveys. Besides similarities, you’ll also spot significant differences between your customers, which is a good thing. Businesses often have more than one ideal persona. If this is the case, you may consider categorizing your personas into primary and secondary.
The buyer personas you’ve created are actually your clients’ stories. It helps to create visual representations of each persona, along with a stock photo, so that you can refer back to them when necessary.
How Buyer Personas Can Help Your Business
Now that you’ve learned how to create a buyer persona, here are 5 ways they can help your business.
1. Better Understand Your Customers
Buyer personas enable you to better understand your prospective and current clients. You’ll get a better sense of their demographic information, habits, preferred ways to shop, likes and dislikes, pain points and challenges, and more.
Knowing and understanding your customers enables you to communicate more efficiently and cater your content in a way that your audience will find valuable.
2. Know Where They Spend Time Online
The information you have about your personas will allow you to understand where your audience spends time online, which social media they prefer to use, where they get their information from, etc. Once you have this information, you’ll be able to personalize and customize your content, use their language to communicate, and distribute your content where your prospects are likely to see it.
For instance, if one of your buyer personas spends more time on Instagram as opposed to another persona who prefers using email, you’ll get a clear idea of what type of content you need to use in each place.
Speaking of content…
3. Create Great Content
Content is in the core of inbound marketing. Having great content enables you to attract potential customers and meet their needs. In order to create great content, you have to know and understand your target audience. Knowing what challenges they are facing, what questions they are asking, and what solutions they are seeking is essential.
Besides going through the customer surveys and interviews to dig out this information, you should also talk to other departments in your company. For instance, the sales team can be a source of invaluable information. They work in the field and meet customers face to face, know their desires, frustrations, goals, etc. The salespeople have an opportunity to communicate with customers and get asked lots of questions. Use this information to help you determine what type of content you should write.
On the other hand, the sales team can also benefit from this process. Buyer personas can serve as a great tool for your sales team. They provide a clear understanding of who they should be targeting and enables the salespeople to communicate more effectively, whether in person, online or on via phone.
4. Determine Negative Personas
Negative personas are the opposite of buyer personas. They’re a fictional rendition of your less than ideal customers, i.e. they represent the people you are NOT targeting. This is important to determine because it helps increase productivity and efficiency. Knowing your negative personas prevents you from marketing your products to the wrong customers and wasting time and resources.
5. Stand Out from the Competition
Performing all the tasks needed to create a buyer persona and producing valuable content will help you stand out from the crowd.
Many companies repeat the phrase ‘the customer comes first’, but a few really take the time to actually talk to their customers and get to know them.
When you start focusing on your customers, you identify their problems and write about possible solutions, which helps your company become a trustworthy source of information and showcases your expertise. In time, customers will begin to rely on you and visit your website trusting they’ll find answers to their questions. This improves your company’s public image, authority, and reputation.
Now that you have defined your buyer personas, you’ll have a clearer idea of who you’re targeting.
But your work isn’t done. As your company grows and changes, your buyer personas will change too. Make sure to review and update the buyer personas several times in the year. You might even discover new personas in the process!
When your personas change, you’ll also need to make changes in your marketing strategy to suit their needs. By adapting your marketing concepts to your personas you’ll see improved engagement, boosted conversions rates, and more customers.