by Anya Gully | Sep 03, 2019
Know your customer – why creating buyer personas is great for business
To create compelling content that draws customers down the buying funnel, it’s essential to know your audience intimately. Creating personas is a powerful first step.
What are buyer personas?
Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your primary customers, that help you get a deeper insight into your audience. Use this post as a guide for creating your audience personas.
The creation of personas is an essential – but often overlooked – component of your content strategy. While all marketers know that a successful campaign starts with understanding their customers, many fall into the trap of creating expensive content without thinking deeply about their target audience. As a result, their content fails.
By developing well-considered buyer personas you'll avoid this trap. So before you develop your creative brief, bring together your sales and marketing teams to build a concrete picture of the buyer, so that you can create meaningful and compelling content for them. Here’s how to do it.
What does a great buyer persona look like?
A great persona mimics the behaviours of your customers and will highlight their common pain points, goals and dreams, as well as their general demographic and biographic profile.
By mapping out different personas to inform your content strategy, you’ll increase your customer understanding, while making your campaigns more relevant and targeted.
Building a buyer persona1. List the essential information
Select one or more ideal clients and list their basic demographic factors: age, gender, location, industry, work experience, education, etc.
Now, flesh out this information by thinking more deeply about them. You’re acting a little like a fiction author here – creating a believable character with depth and authenticity, based upon your observations of real people. To make it more real, you should even think about the name you give each persona, as well what they look like (as you'll want to give them a profile picture too).
2. Deepen your understanding
With the basics done, start thinking about your buyer’s behaviour. What products would or could this individual buy from you? For what purpose? What expectations and goals does the buyer have? Be sure to keep in mind your content marketing goals for your product/brand. Then list, in detail, the attributes you’ve created or discovered.
By building a detailed buyer persona, you'll be able to think much more effectively about your customers’ relationship with your products and what content they are likely to engage with.
Detail is important. By being specific, you will give everyone who works on your content a strong picture of the person they are trying to reach. They’ll be thinking of a specific person, not just a “female grocery buyer”. When completed, each one of your personas should fill an A4 page.
3. Test your assumptions
You can test the assumptions that guide the creation of your buyer personas before or after your first draft. To assist you, consider taking the time to:
- Research your customers and prospects - a buyer persona follows a logical format that is easy to populate, either over a phone call or in person. This kind of information is worth its weight in gold.
- Your own face-to-face observations of customers’ behaviour - if you’re close to the client or prospect, spend time with them on the job. It’s a great way to build empathy and understanding.
- Online analytics tools like Facebook Insights or Google Analytics, or desktop research, can add a lot of value, particularly when you’re testing observations you’ve made of your buyer.
In summary – the benefits of building a detailed buyer persona:
- It streamlines content marketing and inbound marketing planning
- It helps you tailor your content to your customers' needs
- It results in greater customer engagement with your content and your product/service
- It helps your content stand out due to its greater personalisation
- It brings greater cost efficiency, customer understanding, and goal orientation