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Effective buyer personas help you get in touch with your ideal customers. Also called marketing personas, these imaginary friends help you learn about the types of patrons your business can cater to best. Understanding the character traits of your prospective and existing customers empowers you to optimize your marketing strategy.

Fear not, though! Creating an effective buyer persona isn’t like walking the tightrope! It’s not a main attraction.  It’s more like being the ticket master – meeting and selling to the audience.  Let’s break down the buyer persona process and throw in a little marketing know-how too!

What is a Buyer Persona?

Your marketing strategy is (or should be) based on how to please your customers. To do this, you need to communicate with them and build trust without actively promoting your business. People don’t want to be sold to and struck with sudden bouts of irrational fear (FOMO).

Those pushy tactics are too aggressive for modern consumers.  Instead, woo them by giving them what they keep telling you they want and need! Usually, what they need is something useful, and what they want is something wildly entertaining.

Buyer personas play a big part in successful digital marketing techniques that focus on attracting and retaining the right audience.  Since inbound marketing costs about 62% less per lead than traditional marketing and sales techniques, it’s no wonder these methods are becoming more popular.

Therefore, focus your marketing budget on providing value to your customers through deals, freebies, and knowledge.  Give them meaningful and entertaining content that engages them and makes them feel good about dealing with you.  Show you care by continually asking questions and keeping your buyer personas updated.

How to Develop a Buyer Persona

To optimize your content marketing, you need to have a detailed representation of who your customers are, what they need, and what you can provide them.

Developing different buyer personas will help you identify what kind of content your target audience(s) would like to see.  There are a few places to source the kind of information.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to see where visitors are going and what parts of your website they’re interacting with, along with a lot of other information about their demographics and search behaviors.  GA is robust and sounds complicated when you talk to people who use it; however, a hands-on approach using the Google Academy is the best way to learn.

NOTE:  Google Analytics is essential to your online success!  If you don’t have it installed, and you don’t have access to it, then speak to your webmaster immediately.  This is the best way to track and measure your efforts, and it’s one of the best tools to have for analyzing your visitors.  If you want to grow a business online, you must be able to analyze the data.

Customer Surveys

Don’t be afraid to talk to your customers and users.  Use surveys to help you answer questions about your ideal customer’s personality, goals, and needs. Try to understand what makes your customers tick.

These surveys can be used to target pain-point questions like:

  • What is your idea of superior customer service?
  • What activities frustrate you or stress you out?
  • What’s #1 on your bucket list?
  • What makes you angry?
  • What is the least favorite element of your job?
  • What accomplishments make you proud?

Market Research Data

Another excellent way to gain understanding and develop strong buyer personas is to use available market research data. Read up on the stats linked to your industry, and spy on your competition.  Use online tools and review stocks to get a feel for how your competition is holding up.  Who are they selling to, and what can those customers get from you that they can’t get from them?

Then, combine that knowledge with the insights you gain from surveys and analytics to develop a few killer personas that will allow you to better target your content on the website, social media pages, as well as in your store.

Depending on your business, you might need several different buyer personas, each based on unique demographic considerations. However, before you can develop several, you must develop one!

So, take your time and do the best you can to bring the first one to life. Trust me, it’s okay to stumble on this a bit.  Building characters is tricky business.  Though fictional, they do whatever they want and react in ways you, the writer, could never have expected. Be prepared to adapt and modify.

Buyer Personas in Marketing

When you care about your customers, you want to know them. You want to understand what makes them happy.  It feels good to give it to them, doesn’t it? It makes you grow not only as a business, but as a person.  You do your brand a great service by personalizing your communications with detailed buyer personas, so don’t toss this one on the backburner.

Well-defined buyer personas provide an excellent, although imaginary foundation on which to base your content marketing and inbound marketing strategies. They help you know where to best focus your time, product development, and marketing strategy to optimize your business’s success.

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