The marketing game has changed over the past few years. Marketers have switched to content based marketing or inbound marketing instead of selling to leads and potential customers. The new goal is to focus on providing people with valuable and educational information to establish your company as a knowledgeable expert in your industry. However, simply writing content is not enough. You need a strategy of who you are targeting and why. The answer to this? A Buyer Persona.
We can assume that your content will not be valuable to everyone in the world, nor would you want it to be! However, if you take the time to create a buyer persona to figure out WHO your content will be valuable to, you can then target it to that specific group of people.
So, What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a more specific version of a targeted audience. You can do some base research and say your target audience is women between the ages of 30-65 with a certain background, income, location, etc. But with a buyer persona, you can create a fictionalized version of your ideal customer within this audience.
You can say that your buyer persona is a woman named Sarah age 47 who works as a mid-level manager at a company within your target industry. Sarah has a husband and two teenage children and she likes to golf in her spare time. You can create an entire story about your ideal customer so that you can truly tailor your content to that audience.
How Do I Use My Buyer Persona?
Buyer personas can be used in every area of your business. Once you have determined your ideal customer within your target audience, you can use this persona to determine every aspect of your marketing and sales strategy. Some examples include:
Use your buyer persona when writing blog topics, social media posts, or creating content offers. After taking what you’ve learned about your buyer, use it to determine if that person would be searching for the topic you are covering. Would they look on Google for this information? Would they search social media? Would they ask a friend or consult an expert?
Providing your audience with valuable content is the end goal and you buyer persona allows you to decide if what you are producing will be valuable to that person or not.
Where to Focus Marketing and Sales Efforts
Another great benefit of creating a buyer persona is it allows you to determine where your ideal customer “hangs out” online. You can see which social media platforms would be best. If your ideal customer would not typically have an Instagram account, but does usually have a Facebook, you could focus your efforts more towards Facebook and less on Instagram.
Some personas would prefer to receive communication through email while others may prefer phone calls. Some personas will only use Google to find their information so maybe your efforts are best spent focusing on creating killer Adwords campaigns.
You won’t know this until you sit down and really delve deep into your ideal customer: who they are, what they’re looking for, and where they go to find it.
Having a buyer persona is great for segmenting your contacts or creating contact lists for specific communication. Not all contacts would fall into your buyer persona category. Once you have created your persona, you can use it to segment your contacts into the appropriate category.
You could possibly even have multiple personas for your company. By creating lists that put your persona contacts into categories, you have an easy way to communicate with each persona and provide them with information you believe will be valuable to them.
How Do I Create My Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona takes time and research. It is not something you can come up with arbitrarily. You must take the time to really get to know your current customers and your target audience. A good way to do this is to interview both current customers and people who you want to be your current customers. All of this information will be compiled to create your ideal customer or buyer persona.
Although it takes some time and effort, creating buyer personas are worth it for your marketing and sales goals. Being able to get inside the head of your target customer is invaluable to marketers and creating a buyer persona is a recommended way to accomplish that.
Get started creating your own buyer persona by downloading our free Buyer Persona template!