As marketers, we eat, sleep and breathe tactics to identify and attract the “perfect” customer for our clients. That ideal individual is someone who will seek your service each and every time, knowing they’ll get exactly what they need with no strings attached. But, before you can run, you must know how to walk. We see it many times when a client will market a product or service without knowing who they are targeting. That’s where buyer personas provide the clarification needed to target the right audience. A buyer persona is “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” – HubSpot
Think about it as a “wish list” for the perfect customer, or creating a character in a game or story. You get to describe what they look like, what their goals are and how you’d be able to help them solve a problem. The more detailed you get in your descriptions, the easier it will be to hone in on your ideal customer.
Creating buyer personas gives you a clearer idea of where you want to concentrate your marketing efforts and who they will be targeting. By crafting this ideal consumer, everyone in your company will be able to better understand who they should be reaching and interacting with.
Questions to Ask When Developing Your Buyer Personas
Begin by outlining the demographics of your customer: gender, age, job title, annual income, etc. Be aware of the industry they’re working in and the role they occupy; this can offer insight on what services and products they may be interested in. Demographics like these are fairly easy to obtain, and they provide a more accurate image of the person that you are trying to reach.
How does your ideal customer act? Are they focused, detail–oriented, and creative, or are they relaxed and open-minded? Try to observe how their attitudes, beliefs, and concerns drive their buying decisions. You can also think about what a normal day for them looks like, both in their personal and professional lives. How are they spending their time, and where? Think of where this customer could be, both physically and digitally. In terms of their digital location, brainstorm which websites and social media applications your target customer occupies. Do they frequent blogs or a specific website for their news? Where are they sharing and consuming content? From here, you’ll be able to create valuable content for these buyer personas based on the channels they’re occupying the most.
Goals and Motivations of the Persona
Ask yourself what your customers are trying to achieve, as well as what their reason for buying is. We are all driven by our values and beliefs, so knowing those of your customers can help you gain a deeper level of understanding. Profound knowledge of their motivations and values equates to more insight for providing value. Knowing the interests and hobbies of your customers can also help you see which sort of content may be useful to them. After all, the goal is to cater to the consumer and offer the solution that they’re looking for.
How far along in the buyer’s journey is this customer? Are they still figuring out what exactly they’re looking for, or are they ready to buy? You should be aware of their placement in this process so you know how to approach and lead them to their destination of purchasing. No one wants to feel like they are being pressured into buying something they’re not ready for. On the opposite end, people who are ready to buy may not want to wait to do so. Therefore, it is useful to develop a detailed plan of how you will attend to consumers in each stage of the funnel, from the Awareness stage all the way to the Action stage.
Other Ways to Gather Insight On Your Buyer Persona
Asking questions like the ones we mentioned above are useful in determining who your buyer personas will be, but there are other practical ways to gather this information. Like the definition says, buyer personas are based on market research and real data about your customers. To move forward, it’s always a good idea to analyze trends within your existing customer base. How are your customers already interacting with your content, and what do they seem to find useful? What do your existing customers look like, and what actions are they taking? You can gather information like this through surveys, testimonials, interviews, and forms.
Your sales team can also offer valuable insight into the characteristics of customers and leads, as they’re the ones interacting with these people most often.
Storing the Persona’s Information
Now, you should have some valuable information and insight into your buyer persona(s). The next step is to store this information in a place accessible to all within an organization to view and familiarize. Using buyer persona templates is an easy way to gather all the data on each person in one place. By using an organized format of information sorting like a template, you are compiling a contact card of sorts for your buyer persona. We created an easy worksheet for you to use to start crafting buyer personas for your business. Download your own worksheet for free here!
The Benefits of Creating Buyer Personas
By now, you understand what a buyer persona is and how to develop one. However, there still may be the question of why you should create and maintain them in the first place. Buyer personas are meant to offer a clearer direction towards who you are marketing. You may already have an ideal audience in mind, but a broad idea of who you’re trying to sell to won’t be all that helpful when it comes down to it. That’s why creating detailed images of your ideal customer is so useful: it allows you to get clear on who exactly you want to be buying from your business. From there, you can understand how to create and market content that will be the solution your ideal customer is searching for. Buyer personas come in handy for every branch of digital marketing, whether it’s content marketing, copywriting, product creation, and so on.
Here at PALO Creative, we’ve been talking a lot about the importance of practicing empathy and understanding with your client base, leads, and team. Crafting buyer personas is a great way to put yourself into the shoes of your consumer and understand how to serve them better. This can only help your business grow more.
Now get out there and get clear on who you are selling to!