What Are Buyer Personas And Why Should I Use Them?
Creating buyer personas has become an essential first step in the creation of a solid content marketing strategy. Buyer personas provide a detailed picture of a buyer’s perspective, challenges, motivators, goals and purchase habits. Personas, semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers, are not buyer profiles. Rather, they are characters that silhouette insights into what your buyers think and feel. You will use these personas to shape the content that drives your marketing efforts. Read more..
Before creating personas, it is important to identify your company’s buyers. Personas should then be built for each of these different buyers. Take, for example, a technology marketing company. It might need to build personas around buyers responsible for operations, data analysis and customer acquisition. The personas should take into consideration such attributes as:
- Demographics and personality
- Title and background
- Values and goals
- Challenges and pain points
- How to win
- A day in the life
- Preferred resources
How Do I Create Personas?
To understand your buyers and develop personas, it takes research. You can conduct client (and non-client) interviews or surveys. You also can review existing customer profiles within your CRM system or analyze intent and “digital body language data” (an aggregate of all the digital activity you see from an individual).
The more sources you use to understand your buyers, the more accurate the personas. Using only one source to create personas can result in misalignment, which will negatively impact lead engagement and conversion. If your messaging is created to appeal to a one-dimensional persona, your marketing will not resonate with actual prospective customers.
Once you have a complete understanding of your defined target buyers, you can create your personas. Your personas can be in any format that works for your team. What’s important is that the personas are readily accessible and used throughout the entire marketing effort.
How Do I Use My Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are a baseline for your marketing team to clearly understand a customer’s needs. Buyer personas help determine content requirements and messaging including tone and style, and they provide an understanding of where buyers find and consume information.
With personas, you can get truly personal. By segmenting your leads based on personas, you can structure outbound messages and align content to resonate with your prospect’s unique responsibilities and challenges. Personas provide a level of understanding that when used in outbound marketing can result in improved customer engagement.
From the customer’s perspective, your message is “heard” above others because you understand what they are facing. The result: Email engagement increases and leads progress more rapidly through the pipeline. In fact, data from Hubspot reveals that sending emails by persona increases click-through rates by 16 percent.
As part of your inbound marketing efforts, you should categorize prospects, as they engage, into persona-based segments for future engagement. This digital body language alignment provides marketers with the best possible information for segmentation. It is more effective than using standard demographic data such as title because it’s more recent, more finite, and it is action-based.
Not only do personas empower marketers to speak the language of the customer, but they also impact other aspects of the marketing effort including:
- Better-quality leads. Knowing customer traits provides insight into what to look for in leads matriculating through the sales funnel.
- Improved lead generation capabilities. Because communication, messaging and content align to the needs of the leads, conversions occur at a higher rate.
- Consistency of communication. Personas provide a framework of messaging across marketing, sales and customer service departments.
- Better product development. An in-depth understanding of customer wants and needs provides great insight for product modification and new product development.