Simply put, today’s consumers are not interested in generic ads which try and target a broad audience. They want personalised marketing messages, the type that plays into their unique interests and experiences.
The key way of addressing this general consumer need is via buyer personas. By doing this, you gain the added benefit of streamlining your entire marketing and sales process – and ensuring your company’s focus is only on leads that are likely to convert.
Yet before you can harness the power of buyer personas, it’s essential you know what they are and how to create them the right way. This is where the following step-by-step guide can help.
Buyer persona: what is it?
As a starting point, you need to gain a clear understanding of what a buyer persona is. In essence, a buyer persona acts as a fictional depiction of your perfect customer or target audience. This is helpful because, when you develop a clear idea about the people you’re marketing to, it is a whole lot easier to create targeted, effective content which incorporates the goals and challenges of your ideal buyer.
Think of it this way. You’re using buying personas to build a compelling story for your customers. By utilising relevant content and personalised service, you give customers a story that not only resonates with them but also entices them to make a purchase.
Step #1: Research
The first step in the process is unsurprisingly, research. Now you might believe you already have a solid understanding of who most of your customers are, but it’s certainly worth diving in deeper and taking a hard look. This shouldn’t just be at your current clients, either, but those you’re hoping to link up with in the future.
When doing your research, zone in on the following questions:
- Who are your current customers?
- Who do you want to sell to in the future?
- What markets are your competitors successfully targeting?
During the research phase, don’t forget to analyse your analytics. Whether it’s via website visitor stats, PPC advertising campaigns, or social media ads, there’s no better method for finding concrete data about your ideal buyers. See what content is resonating most and which offers are receiving the most clicks. This will help with developing buying personas that are effective and relevant.
Step #2: Segmenting
It’s not uncommon for a business to target customers across different industries. If this is the situation you find yourself in, it makes a lot of sense to segment each specific industry under one buyer persona.
For example, you could create a product which is useful for both farming and food manufacturing. Well, if the goals for those in the farming industry are different from those in the food manufacturing industry, you don’t want them to fall under the same buyer persona.
However, what if the sale process is the same across both industries? In this case, you could look towards segmenting buyer personas via job title.
Step #3: Create your story
Of course, if you want your buyer personas to be a success, you must weave together a story which sells.
Start by identifying and defining a single buyer persona. This information can range from where they live to their favourite hobbies. The more details you have, the greater context you have for the goals and motivations of your buyer persona – hence why the aforementioned research is so vital.
When writing a creative and fully fleshed out buyer persona, remember to focus on these three points:
- Roles: What your customer does, whether it’s their job or outside of work.
- Goals: The goals of the customer and how your product can help.
- Challenges: Identify and solve the challenges your current buyer’s face.
Step #4: Turning buying personas into tailored marketing strategies
You know your buyer personas. You understand their goals and challenges. Now it’s about using this information to tailor your marketing strategies.
There are many different ways in which you can go about doing this step. One tip is to develop ad campaigns which match up to each buyer persona’s favourite social media platform. Another would be to craft content focuses entirely on specific challenges your buyer personas are facing.
Also, with the details you now have, don’t forget to optimise your current content, so it speaks better to your customers.
Image by Daiga Ellaby