What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of the ideal customer for your business. Whether you’re in sales and marketing or any other part of your business, a buyer persona is going to be helpful. With a buyer persona, you’ll be able to internalize your ideal customer so that you know exactly who you’re trying to attract. You’ll also be able to relate to your customers more as real people. And content creation is much easier if you know who you’re creating the content for.
Why are buyer personas important?
Simply put, a buyer persona will help you understand your customer or potential customer better. This will make it much easier for you to adjust your content, messaging, products, and services with the persona in mind.
How Are Personas Used in Marketing?
Not only can you use a buyer persona to better target your content, but you can also create multiple personas that can help you to better segment your content, particularly email lists. So instead of sending one monthly newsletter to everyone on your mailing list, you can segment your list by buyer personas and send more targeted emails.
How Do You Create a Buyer Persona?
There are a lot of different ways to create a buyer persona. You can use audience interviews, surveys, and research. Your audience consists of a mix of prospects, customers, and individuals outside of your contacts that may align with your customers.
Here are a few ways you can gather this information:
- Look through your contacts to discover trends in your prospects and customers. How are they consuming your content?
- If you have forms on your website, include fields that would give you specific information you can use to create personas.
- Ask your sales team about the leads they are interacting with. Are there any generalizations they can make about these potential customers?
- Interview prospects and customers to discover trends.
How Can You Find People to Interview?
Finding people to interview is one of the most important ways to create buyer personas. Here are some of the people you can interview:
- Customers – Don’t just reach out to the “good” customers. Customers who are unhappy with what you are offering can provide just as much valuable information as the customers who are happy.
- Prospects – You’ll want to interview people before they become customers. You can even interview people who know very little about your business.
- Referrals – This is especially important for businesses in new markets who don’t have a lot of customers or prospects yet. Reach out to the people you are connected with – social media contacts, co-workers, existing customers.
What Questions Should You Ask to Create a Buyer Persona?
Once you have some interviewees in mind, you’ll want to be prepared with some questions. Here are some you can start with:
- What is your job title?
- What do your typical days look like?
- What skills are necessary to do your job?
- What tools and knowledge do you use in your job?
- What is the size of your company?
- Which industry does your company work in?
- What are you held responsible for?
- What are your goals?
- What are your challenges?
- Describe your personal demographic. (Age, gender, marital status, etc.)
- Describe your background. What is your educational history?
- How do you interact with vendors?
- Describe a recent purchase you made.
- How do you learn new information about your industry?
These are just some questions you can start with. You will likely come up with other questions once you get into your interviews.
You are trying to understand the goals and motivations of your customers so that you can create better, more detailed buyer personas. Once you have created a persona, you’ll want to give each one a name like Human Resources Jenny or Landscaper Joe. Find a stock photo that goes with your buyer persona. It may seem a little strange to do that, but the more you can think of a buyer persona as a real person, the easier it will be to use that persona to create targeted content.