Learn about creating buyer personas

Want to make sure your content marketing is engaging prospective buyers and generating leads? Creating buyer personas will help you determine what kind of content you need and how buyers will find and consume information.

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 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.
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. Personas help to 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. Personas 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. In 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.
So 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.
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. Background: these are basic details about your ideal customer and their company. Job details: what are the key job responsibilities, likes and dislikes your persona has about their job? Daily life: what is their daily routine? When and how do they want to interact with your products or services? Main sources of information: where does your persona do research on products or services like yours? Goals: what are your persona’s primary and secondary goals in their job role? Challenges and pain points: what are your persona’s challenges and what emotions accompany those challenges? Preferred content media: how does your persona prefer to consume content? Quotes: what quotes from your interviews can be used to bring your personas to life? Objections: what objections do you anticipate from your persona during the sales process? Role and purchase process: what is your persona’s role in the decision making process? Are they an influencer or are they a decision maker? Marketing message: 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 nine to five, 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 gather. -