Have you ever been in a situation where you've poured all your resources into creating content that didn't attract a single prospect/client? We know that sucks.
From our experience, the number one factor for people dismissing content is lack of relevance. Here enters 'buyer personas' - the key to creating relevant, engaging and useful content that leaves your audience wanting for more.
Creating detailed buyer personas can guide your business and keep it centred on your customers' needs. Based on market research and actual data about your existing customers, buyer personas can help you understand and relate to your audience, which will help you drive effective content and improve your overall marketing efforts.
If your company hasn't figured out its buyer personas, here are 4 simple steps to get started:
77% of the most successful B2B content marketers use personas, compared with 36% of the least successful. (CMI)
Identify and name your personas
The first step to creating a strong buyer persona is to identify, group and define your target audience. Most organisations have about 4 to 7 buyer personas, often with names which help to identify or associate the persona, e.g. CIO Simon or Business Owner Becky. When grouping these, you need to consider the different audience types your business will come in contact with and their uniting characteristics. For instance, key decision makers, versus influencers might be key personas for your organisation; or the criteria may relate to the type of engagement they have with you, e.g., members v's students.
Describe your personasThe second step is to describe each persona at a broad level. Think about some common demographics such as age, gender and education level. This is different from segmentation but helps you create a more rounded, clearer picture of the persona which will influence your marketing and sales strategies.
Build rich dataThe next step is to build more depth about your personas. Describe their work goals, challenges, and day-to-day responsibilities - put yourself in their shoes and see the world from their perspective.
At this step, you might include details about their job role, industry, and their seniority level. This could involve looking at how their job is measured, the skills required to perform their daily tasks and their biggest challenges. These details will help you uncover the insight about their typical day, and use that insight to craft marketing strategies that will engage them.
Identify their sources of knowledgeIf you're going to market to your buyer personas, you need to understand how and where they consume information. This step involves uncovering the tools, publications or blogs they read and the networks they're most active in. And it's not just social and digital networks. Also, think about the physical groups they belong to. This step is crucial to understand how they learn about new information and who they look to for advice and influence.
How to start?
Knowing where to start can be daunting, but it doesn't need to be. You can begin compiling relevant information through traditional market research or dig into your existing platform analytics such as Google Analytics or your social media analytics. Another effective way is to talk to your customer-facing staff (sales, customer service, etc.) as they're likely to have a wealth of information.
When compiling your buyer personas, we recommend using either a buyer persona template or start from an interactive buyer persona tool by Hubspot.
The process of building a buyer persona can reveal a lot of useful information for your business, leaving you with clear direction about your target audience at a deeper level. Rather than assuming what your audience wants and cares about, personas enable you to build insightful data, your entire business can embrace.
We know that persona development is a crucial aspect of any marketing strategy. If you want expert help in developing buyer personas for your business, ask us how we can help.