Meet & Greet : Your Buyer Personas and What You Should Know About Them

October 26th, 2017 by Search Influence University

When you ask a small business owner what kind of customers they want to attract, it’s not uncommon to get an answer like “everyone” or “anyone who can use our service.” When you’re creating marketing content, however, it’s not often possible to create something that will appeal to every single person on the planet—some people simply won’t be interested. For example, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to try and convince a college-age renter to install a new roof. It’s a more efficient use of your marketing resources to zero-in on people who are most likely going to be your customers. The best way to do this is to create buyer personas. Doing this will help you to define exactly who you are trying to reach.

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What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is the Everyman of your customers. It combines all the characteristics your customers have in common and puts them into one fictionalized person who represents your average consumer. The buyer persona is based on real information about your clientele, and it defines their age range, gender, income, common pain-points, and what they’re hoping to get from your product. It also combines your demographics with psychographics to build a buying character that is pretty much human.

Why are buyer personas important?

Having a well put-together buyer persona helps two people: you and your potential customer. According to a survey by Rapt Media, 63% of consumers would think more positively about a brand that gave them content they found valuable, interesting, and relevant. Whether you’re reaching out via a direct mail campaign, emails, or Facebook, no one wants to be stalked by content they’re not interested in.

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By focusing your marketing efforts on your buyer persona, you’re ensuring your message gets in front of people who are most likely interested, without alienating those who aren’t.

At the same time, knowing your buyer persona means you can give your customers exactly what they’re looking for, ensuring they trust you when it’s time to make a decision. For example, if your buyer persona is an on-the-go business traveler who doesn’t want to waste time during the research stage, you can present them with content in an easy to digest infographic. The potential customer is now more likely to engage with your content and come back to you next time they need a problem solved.

How can I build a persona for my business?

Your buyer persona should be based on who your real customers actually are. You can do this by directly surveying your current or past customers. Ask them about their background and demographics, as well as more probing questions like how they heard about your product, why they bought it, how they’re using it, and what (if any) difficulties or reservations they’ve had since their purchase.

Talking directly to your customers is the preferred method, but if you’re not getting enough information, supplement it with searches on sites like Quora and industry forums to see what kinds of information people are seeking. Content Marketing Institute recommends you ask these three questions when searching: 1) What is the first thing my customer thinks of in the morning; 2) What are their last thoughts at night; and 3) Why is this so. The first thoughts they think about will reflect their daily to-dos and frustrations.

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By the end of the day, they’ll start considering the macro level of what they’re doing with their life. The ‘why’ gives context to the first two questions. If you end up getting a couple of different answers for some of the above questions, that’s totally okay. It just means you probably have more than one buyer persona.

What does a great buyer persona look like?

A strong buyer persona will read much like a character description from a play or TV show. Describe Olivia Pope from the TV show “Scandal.” What does she do for a living? How old is she? Does she live in a city, the country, or a suburb? East Coast, West Coast, the South, or Midwest? What kind of clothes does she wear and what is her favorite pastime? With her line of work and hobbies, what kind of products would she be most interested in and find to be most helpful? This is a short list, but you get the picture. Buyer personas completely flesh out your customer base, creating what may look like a complete person or personality. The more detailed, the better. The sharper your assessment of your client base, the better targeted your marketing and the more likely you will attract your most likely customer.

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Need an expert to help you build your buyer persona? We offer a variety of great services to target your customers and engage them online. For help creating a digital marketing campaign that speaks directly to your potential customers, contact our team!

 

Images:

Zoolander

Wedding Crashers stalker

Titus To-Do List

Olivia Pope