Nowadays, online service providers work through an immense amount of noise to capture the attention of their audience. Buyers are riddled with a large number of marketing messages every day, and inevitably, most of them go ignored. Only a select few of these messages connect with recipients. How can an online service provider stand out from the crowd? What is so different about these messages – and how do they capture the attention in the midst of the storm? The answer: they have taken the time to identify their ideal audience and hone in on their buyer persona.
What is a buyer persona?
According to Hubspot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of the ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. A buyer persona can go by many names. It will be often labeled as a buyer persona, ideal audience, ideal client, or customer profile. In this article, the word buyer persona will be used.
When creating a buyer persona, consider including marketing-relevant data such as the audience’s challenges, demographics, interests, pain-points, and goals.
A detailed persona is a crucial element to accurately understanding your audience – and therefore, to market to it. It is an excellent tool for understanding your customer’s needs and wants. In return, you craft quality content that meets their needs.
Once identified, all marketing efforts should speak to a marketing persona. The description includes as many details as possible, especially on fields or categories most relevant to a specific target.
To precisely determine the information that goes in these fields, your business has to do market research and measure customer data.
Why do you need a buyer persona?
In order to compete in the crowded digital landscape, the content has to be customized. It should speak to customer needs and interests. And if it does not, a message is simply unheard or surpassed by potential customers.
An B2B company can have more than one type of ideal audience. It could have two, three, or even four main audiences for persona creation.
For example, a SaaS company that delivers email marketing software could create two buyer personas; one for big enterprises who mostly care about functionality, and another one for small businesses who are more worried about ease of use.
Each audience group needs a personalized experience, and creating a persona for each customer group means that each one will be targeted with the right message.
For you, this personalized experience is important. Online competition is high and these individuals need to stand out by creating customized, helpful and converting content that begins with defining the buyer persona.
Content begins with a buyer persona, and it is nearly impossible to hit the nail on the head without defining it as a first step of the process.
Yet, many businesses skip on creating a detailed buyer persona because they feel like they understand their audience enough.
But more often than not, there are mistakes or new things to learn about an audience that does not rise to the surface until you write it down on paper.
How to create a buyer persona
Now that you have better insight into the benefits of a persona, it is time to craft your own. For a simple step-by-step process, follow the directions below.
Understand and research the audience. Creating a description with real-data, instead of with uneducated assumptions, is paramount. Gather information by creating surveys, doing market research, using social media, website analytics tools, or by interviewing clients. The data will help accurately describe the ideal audience.
Determine audience pain points and goals. A buyer persona contains different description fields on customers’ characteristics – such as demographics, goals, job, values, and other traits.
Out of all these fields, the most important ones to get right are pain-points and goals. Why? Because the goal of an online service provider’s content should be to help customers achieve their goals and solve problems through quality content.
Identify the basics. Choose a few characteristics fields to define the buyer persona. Important fields of almost every buyer persona are goals, pain-points, demographics, firmographics (for B2B), and job title. Create fields relevant to a specific company.
For example, in a loan company, a field called “budget” or “yearly salary” can help to better determine what offers to make to clients.
Overall when the time is taken to identify and befriend the buyer persona, it can then be crafted into visual to be used as a reference every time new content is created. Here is an example:
During the process, it will take some research to fill in the blanks, so do not be surprised if it takes a few days to create the ultimate version of a buyer persona. Creating a buyer persona is the first (and arguably the most important) step in defining and creating content that is purposeful and converts to sales. Buyer personas are more than a tool to increase the efficiency of marketing efforts and ROI. They are a representation of target audiences that allow us to more accurately and deeply understand how to create content, products, and services that suit them.