Possibly the most important thing you will need if you are planning on selling anything is a buyer persona. A persona represents the ideal customer looking to buy your product, service, or concept. Without one, you will be stuck trying to find your way in the dark. That is why they are so important; they help illuminate what prospects you want to attract, where those prospects will be searching for information, what content you want to create, and why you are making your content beyond a need for profits. A good way to look at the process of creating a persona is to think of the five Ws and the H as your questions—Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How—as a guide for making the right persona.
Who Is It For?
The quick answer is that a buyer persona is for you. It is meant to make your life as a marketer or salesperson easier. Having even one persona will enhance your company’s ability to lock on to new customers who fit the profile faster.
What Makes Them Useful?
Though the buyer you are aiming for isn’t actually a real customer, by creating a marketing plan around your persona you are identifying the type of interest you want to attract for your company. With the right knowledge, you will create content that gains the attention of real people and incites their interest in your product or service. Ask what they want, what they do, what they are like, and other details to flesh out who they are and what they care about. These questions will help you focus in on the type of content that you will use. Some good options for content are blogs, videos, and posts shared on their preferred social media outlets and websites. Learn to make enticing content so it’s helpful and not harmful to your prospects’ buying journey and companies’ brand image. You need to make sure your quality content is properly tailored to your persona.
There are a lot of guidelines to help you solidify your buyer persona. If it is engaging, it should feel like a real person, with thoughts, feelings, failings, successes, family, and friends. The more realistic they are, the more successful they will be at actually growing your bottom line through targeted marketing and sales efforts.
When Are They Used Best?
After all of the advice is taken into account and used to the best of your ability, that is when you want to start using your new persona. The goal is to create content around the buyer persona that is engaging, interesting, and can attract the attention of real people. Use your self-made buyer as the first step in the process of making your content better. Be sure you know the who, what, where, why, and how before you start creating content for them.
Where Do They Look for Information?
You will probably want to understand and utilize social media, as those sites are likely where many of your customers are looking for their information. If you want to find your personas on Twitter, then you want to be able to use Twitter effectively. The same ideology applies to Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and any other sites your customers will be searching on a semi-regular basis. Don’t let your inexperience be your downfall. Educate yourself so you can target the right future buyers.
Remember to also optimize your content for how your prospects might be searching for it on search engines, as that's often the starting point for buyer's online research. A great trick here is to write headlines as questions, since that's how more and more people search for things online.
Why Make One?
The main reason to create a buyer persona is to illustrate the type of customer you want to single out and aim your product at. This identity is a gateway to actual customers and used to help you and your company keep on a set path, while clarifying a solid marketing strategy. This is a great help in specifying where you want to focus your efforts, because you are targeting a specific persona and trying to solve for their specific pain points without distraction.
Always Be Testing
You want to test your content against your personas to make sure it is ready for actual customers. You need to mix and match images with text, calls-to-action, and other visual cues to make sure you are getting the most out of your content. A/B testing is one of the keys to getting out the right content because it is a simple way to test how each modification to your content is being received by your audience.
Do You Want to Use Personas?
After everything that’s been laid out above, how can you not? The strategies that come from the use of them outweigh any problems that there may be in creating them. They help focus your marketing efforts and prioritize your sales efforts. With all of this in mind, isn’t it a simple decision to make one for business?
Posted by Kevin Glancy
Kevin Glancy is an east coast transplant who has had a taste of the inbound Kool-Aid and is pumped to share how it can help your business grow. He loves video games, a good laugh, and enlightening conversations.