How to build a customer persona
Do you know your ideal buyer? Do you know about their top concerns regarding your products or services and do you know where to find them understanding? Understanding your buyers through buyer personas and addressing their needs are critical if your messages are going to stand out in today’s extremely crowded online market.
What is a buyer persona anyway?
Think of a buyer persona as a fictional representation of your ideal customer. Personas are developed based on customer demographics and behavior along with your own understanding of their motivations and challenges. In the process of researching and creating these personas you’ll learn who your buyers are and define how best to market to them.Your personas will shed light on your audience’s top concerns, consumption preferences and goals all of which will help you create content that engages your buyers and help you determine which kinds of content you need to develop.
If you break your existing content down by persona you can easily see which personas have plenty of content and which personas need more.Persona set the tone style and delivery strategies for your content. Some buyers respond best to a light conversational voice while others trust a more formal tone and creating your personas you’ll find out the best tone and style for your content. You can even target the topics you should be writing about for each persona. Finally personas tell you where buyers get their information and how they want to consume it. Does your audience like to sink their teeth into 100 page guides? Or do they prefer short snappy graphics? Do they spend their time reading third-party reports or do they like to comb through twitter feeds? This information will inform the way you create your content and how your buyers will discover it.
Let’s take a look at a buyer persona and practice. Consider a software company that helps businesses manage their social marketing. One of their personas might be Emily. She is a social marketing manager who is responsible for managing her company’s social media. In a typical week, she reviews her social channels to make sure that posts are accurate well-written and scheduled to go out at the correct times. She communicates and sets priorities with her internal design team and reviews metrics with an external social analytics vendor.
Emily’s biggest challenge is finding the right combination of social marketing activities to continually engage her audience and to build that audience. She also struggles to demonstrate the ROI of her social campaigns. Now whenever we create any new marketing content we should create it with Emily in mind.
Creating a buyer persona for your company
Now that you’ve seen an example of a buyer persona let’s talk about how to create them for your company. To do this you should conduct interviews with customers prospects and members of your sales and customer service teams to find out as much as you can about your ideal customers. Here are some of the areas you’ll want to explore:
- Basic details about your customers such as gender, location etc
- Their companies and job details
- Their key responsibilities and problems they face
- Their likes and dislikes
- What is their daily routine and how will they interact with your product or services
The other things you might want to define are what objections do you anticipate from your persona during the sales process role and purchase process, what is your personas role in the decision making process. Are they an influencer or are they a decision maker? What kind of messaging speaks directly to your persona?
Once you’ve gathered the answers to all of these questions you’ll turn the data into a story. Your personas will be fictional but the more real you can make them the more effective they will be for your team. Adding a first name and a photo also helps bring your personas to life for the team.
Here’s another buyer persona we can look at as an example this time created by a company that markets a fitness app.
Susan is a 40 year old single mother of two boys with an income of $80,000 per year. In addition to taking care of her two boys she manages a demanding high-stress corporate finance job and is trying to stay active and maintain her fitness level. She works 9:00 to 5:00 then picks up her boys from school. She often logs back on in the evening to do more work after her boys are in bed. Susan is organized busy and tired but she likes to work out. She cooks her own nutritionally balanced meals buys organic and subscribes to several fitness magazines. Susan’s biggest challenge is finding the right balance of healthy eating and a manageable fitness routine. She is looking for motivation maintainability and convenience.
Now that you have your buyer personas it’s time to engage your buyers with targeted compelling content they can discover in the spaces where they get you.