What does your unicorn customer look like? For your next content campaign to succeed, you need to know the people you want to reach. A buyer persona — the fictional representation of your mystical perfect fit — guides your content to generate the right traffic.
Personas aren’t real people. But they are based on real data and educated guesses about demographics, job description, education level, goals, frustrations and more. You’ll know where they hang out online, how they know of your business and what drives them to make a purchase.
The missing link
Buyer personas fill in the gaps to create campaigns that are relevant and targeted, uncovering new topics and interests and setting the tone for future marketing efforts.
Buyer personas also help align your organization across every department — marketing, sales, customer service, product development, etc. You share the common goal of generating revenue, so it makes sense to be on the same page when it comes to your target audiences. And since sales interacts with buyers directly, include them in your brainstorming sessions to gather more detailed and accurate insights.
How does investing time in developing buyer personas give you better marketing results?
- It strengthens your message. Tailor your language, use keywords and phrases and provide specific solutions that meet specific needs.
- It uncovers objections. Get to know common — and maybe not so common — concerns that stand in the way of a customer’s purchase from you.
- It allows you to zero in on relevance. Match your message with the intended audience, ensuring that your campaigns are seen by the right people at the right time. The language, images and offer that entice one type of buyer might be a complete turnoff for another.
You can develop buyer personas through a mix of primary and secondary research: Surveys, focus groups, client interviews, and by simply putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. Look for patterns to identify behaviors, learn what they value and determine how your product or service fits into their life.
When developing personas, focus on:
- Personal details. Gender? Age? Education level? Income? Married? Single? Kids? Pets?
- Location. City? State? Urban or remote? Own or rent? House or apartment?
- Professional role. Industry? Company? Job title? Typical day?
- Aspirations and struggles. Hopes? Dreams? Frustrations?
- Shopping preferences. Stores? Websites? Products? Brands?
- Hobbies. Read? Travel? Gym?
- Communication preferences. In person? Online? Call? Text?
- Watering holes. Professional associations? Social networks? Publications or blogs?
Now that you have a better idea of what drives buyer behavior, you can tailor your efforts to individuals rather than the masses. In our next issue, learn how to put buyer personas into action.