If you’ve been anywhere near the world of marketing in the last decade, you’ve probably heard the term “buyer persona”. But before we get into what a buyer persona is, let me ask you a few questions.
Who is your ideal customer? Who are you marketing and selling to? Do you know them well? What are their likes and dislikes?
Most businesses don’t have a very good grasp on who this customer is and it really bugs me. Because if you know your customer well, you can provide 10 times the value you’re providing now.
So, ask yourself, what do they need? What are their problems? When and where do they need it? And how can you go about helping them?
A buyer persona helps you better understand who you are writing content for and how to develop particular campaigns.
So without further ado, let’s get started. First, let’s get the definition out of the way.
What is a Buyer Persona?
According to HubSpot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. It’s based on market research, actual data about your existing customers, and a few educated assumptions. It helps you to understand and relate to an audience that you want to market your products and services to.
Buyer personas are one of the most important parts of any marketing strategy. Think of them as a personal narrative. You’re developing a story for and context around the people who are most interested in your product.
By forensically analysing trends, behaviours, similarities and patterns amongst your target audience, you can then create a marketing strategy built around their objectives, day-to-day challenges and ‘pain points.
Buyer personas are situated at the heart of any marketing strategy, and throughout every part of the inbound process.
If you can’t engage with your potential customers in a relevant and contextual manner, you will lose their trust and interest. Once you have lost their trust and interest, they are gone forever.
An Example of a Buyer Persona
Bob, 30 years old, married, has a masters degree in Marketing and a busy professional routine, although he tries to find a balance between work and family.
He works as a Content Marketing Manager for a company that supplies kitchen equipment to restaurants.
Since the company’s early days, he has been working with spreadsheets to keep track of their customer base, which is growing fast.
He realizes that the old method is no longer an efficient tool, and the members of his team are complaining about their difficulties in using spreadsheets.
For this reason, he has been talking to the CEO about the possibility of acquiring a CRM system. However, his boss thinks that spreadsheets are still an effective method of tracking sales and keeping a good relationship with customers.
Bob frequently searches CRM-related terms on Google, aiming to find the ideal solution for their problem. He even asks for more information when he finds a system that he likes, and also wants to complete his benchmark by email.
He is on LinkedIn, where he regularly consumes content to keep up with his area, as well as on Facebook, which he uses for personal purposes. Also, Bob likes to watch the news on YouTube.
Because their business involves a lot of transactions and communications with customers, as well as orders with special requests, they need a CRM system with some specific characteristics.
For example, it must be easy to use and intuitive. Besides, it should be scalable, since the company will keep on growing. Also, the software has to integrate with their email solution so that they can automate the communication with leads and customers.
Finally, it must offer segmentation features, which will facilitate the Marketing and Sales departments’ work.
Why is Buyer Persona Important?
Like I’ve mentioned before, buyer personas help you understand your customers better. This makes it easier for you to tailor your messages, content, products and services to their specific needs, behaviours and concerns.
Buyer personas are incredibly important for market segmentation. They allow you to segment your customers into different groups.
Knowing the different motivations and purchasing habits of your customers will allow you to target different groups appropriately.
Buyer persona research will ensure that your market uses the voice of your buyers. It is essential that you invest in proper keyword research to make sure you speak their language.
This builds a bond of trust with your buyers that leads them into the buying process. Buyer personas grant you the ability to effectively focus on understanding your buyers’ expectations so that you can create and market what your buyers are seeking.
A recent survey showed some staggering results of having an identified buyer persona:
- a 900% increase in length of visit on the webpage
- a 171% increase in marketing-generated revenue
- a 111% increase in email open rate
- and a 100% increase in the number of pages visited.
How to Create a Buyer Persona?
To create your own buyer persona, you’ll want to try and paint a complete picture of who they are, taking into account such things as:
- Demographics: age, gender, income level, education
- Psychographics: attitudes, beliefs, personality
- Why they bought your product: what primary purpose
- Where they bought your product: in a retail store, online, at a discounter
- How your product is used: what functions are most important to them
- What solutions it provides: how does it enhance their life or challenges does it solve
- How often do they buy it
- Objections: why would they consider not buying it
- Communication preferences: is text the only way they communicate or do they prefer email or phone
Together, these descriptions and characteristics help you picture your ideal customers so that you can talk directly to them about their wants and needs, and help them to see why your product is the perfect choice for them.
Questions to Ask When Creating a Buyer Persona
Before you spend time and money on research, ask yourself the questions below to help you develop your buyer persona:
- What is their role in their organization?
- What is their budget?
- What is the problem they are experiencing?
- What do they want to accomplish with their purchase?
- What are their pain points?
- What is motivating them?
You should be able to collect a considerable amount of this information by reviewing your past customers and market research. Many brands also find it helpful to speak directly with their past customers.
Ask them what brought them to the business and learn what matters most to them in a business transaction.
How Does a Buyer Persona Help You in Your Marketing?
Because buyer personas have such an impact on marketing, it is natural that they have a huge impact on the business as a whole. The introduction of a buyer persona in your strategies brings advantages that go beyond the fulfilment of commercial goals.
Let’s take a look at a few benefits from having a buyer persona:
A Better Understanding of Your Customer
Imagine you’ve just met a person and you want to establish a pleasant conversation. Maybe you agree that you will be more likely to accomplish that if both of you share common interests, right?
So, as the person talks about his interests, goals, and challenges, you can tell him your opinion and even offer suggestions.
It’s the same with the relationship between you and your customer. Once you have a complete profile of your ideal client, you will be more likely to be empathetic, and your prospect will feel you really understand.
Directing your marketing efforts towards a persona will help to save time and money. You will have a higher chance of reaching people who have the exact problems your product or service is meant to solve.
If you have a buyer persona, you are able to segment your communication according to people’s preferences.
Do your prospects like to talk formally or informally? What vocabulary do they use? Do they prefer reading a text with technical terms? Would they like it if you use emojis?
Segmentation also includes appropriate content, according to the customer journey stage that your lead is in.
More Persuasive Approach
Because objections are a natural element of a negotiation, you must be prepared to clear up your prospects’ doubts.
However, if you have a persona in mind, it is also possible to predict issues that may come up and cover them, for example, in blog posts, ebooks, and case studies.
Besides that, you will be able to clear up possible questions in the content of your emails, so your approach becomes more persuasive.
It’s simple, really. Without first creating buyer personas for your brand, you are never really sure who you are marketing to.
If you aren’t sure who you are marketing to, how the heck can you successfully create inbound marketing campaigns that attract and compel visitors to convert to leads and leads to convert to customers?
The answer is – You can’t!
Buyer personas help your marketing come alive. Use it. Share it with your team members and employees. Keep it updated as the marketplace changes. Have fun with it.