As a business owner, it is critical that you know who the customers are that you are targeting with your marketing efforts and, more specifically, your content strategy. One of the most effective ways to understand your target audience is to establish a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a written depiction of your customer – a fictional, yet realistic character with real-life aspirations and problems. The most valuable buyer personas are detailed, well-researched, and human. They don’t live in isolation from the rest of the world, and, like ordinary people, they are sensitive to changes in their environments.
Since your target audience determines the most effective content marketing strategies, establishing the buyer persona should, ideally, be the very first step in your content strategy.
Let’s take a look at the importance of buyer personas in marketing and how you should go about to create a buyer persona for your business.Watch this Video on The First Steps to Inbound Marketing and learn more about Buyer Personas
Strong Brand Presence
Understanding the market segment that you are targeting will allow you to specific use language and other forms of content that will resonate better with your audience. Branding and marketing content that is too broad will not have the same impact and will, therefore, be less effective.
When you understand your customer, their goals, and the problems they face every day, they will feel more loyal towards your business. One of the most effective ways to establish loyalty is by creating a buyer persona and using marketing content that your specific market segment finds engaging.
Problems that Your Target Market Have
As a business, your goal is to solve your customers’ problems in exchange for money. By establishing a buyer persona, you will find it easier to understand exactly how your product or service solve your clients’ problems which, in turn, will allow you to optimize your content and marketing efforts.
Better Customer Engagement
You have to know your customer to ensure the highest possible engagement. An advertisement in a medical journal or a sales representative may be more effective to reach high-profile surgeons than, say a Facebook ad campaign.
Establishing a buyer persona will help you find the best ways to reach out to your audience.
Higher Return on Investment
Establishing a well-researched buyer persona will allow you to optimize your marketing efforts. Advertising and generating traffic to your offers can be quite expensive, especially if you are trying to target everyone in an online or geographic community.
Establishing a buyer persona will allow for lower customer acquisition costs and a higher ROI.
There is no cookie cutter way to define your buyer persona. Researching your buyer persona comes down to gathering as much information as you can and then studying the data to find similarities between people who typically use your products or services.
Let’s take a look at some of these tactics you can use to gather information and research to ultimately formulate an accurate depiction of the person that needs what your business has to offer.
Consult with the Sales Team
Your sales team is a valuable source of information when it comes researching your buyer persona. Since they interact with leads every day, chances are that they can recognize certain aspects that are either a red or a green light for going ahead with a pitch.
Consult with your sales team to find out what are commonalities between leads that usually convert easily into customers as well as commonalities between leads that typically don’t want to buy from them.
Research Existing Clients
Examine all the information you have on your existing customers to find trends about their lifestyles, where they found your offers, and how they interact with your current content.
Finding similarities between people who committed to your products or services can be incredibly valuable in your efforts to define your marketing persona. It may also be a good idea to contact your existing clients and ask them the interview questions listed below.
Use Web Forms
One of the easiest ways to gather persona information is with web form fields, especially if there is something specific that you would like to find out.
This method of gathering information works exceptionally well if the person is filling in the form to get to a downloadable lead magnet like a free e-book or cheat sheet.
You can interview existing customers and leads in person, via the phone, or by prompting them to fill in a form. Try to interview four or five people for every buyer persona that you want to create.
To create a complete buyer persona ask them about the following:
Now that you have gathered a lot of data on existing and prospective customers, you have to research to identify enough similarities to formulate one buyer avatar.
Define the Buyer Avatar
Give your customer avatar a name and a picture to personify all the commonalities that you identified in your data. Next, assign your persona an age, residential location, marital status, job title, and annual revenue. You can also provide additional information about their family and daily routine.
The information on your buyer persona sheet doesn’t have to be entirely accurate, as long as the profile corresponds with your business’s typical customer. There are many online buyer persona templates available online that you can download.
Defining your business’s customer persona can ensure congruency between all the departments in your company, including product development, sales, and marketing. Understanding your business’s customer is also critical for the creation of an effective content strategy.
Finding the most accurate buyer persona doesn’t only allow you to optimize your branding, but it will also enable you to use the best content topics, imagery, channels for interaction, and lead magnets for your sales funnels.
Interviewing prospective and existing clients, setting up web forms, and examining data may seem like a lot of work to define a buyer persona but, when done correctly, it can boost your return on investment significantly.