How to Use Buyer Personas to Understand the Audience Better
Anyone who has sat down to write an article or website content knows how hard it can be. It can take an eternity to find the right approach as we wonder endlessly whether it will actually be helpful or not. This really shouldn't be the case given that most office going people today can type at around 50 words a minute.
Now, think back to when you were writing an email to someone? Did it take nearly as long as it did when you were writing the content/article? More often than not, you know exactly what to say and an email (even a lengthy one) rarely takes more than a few minutes to finish.
The difference between an article which we struggle with and an email which we zip past is that when writing a mail, we who we are talking to, what their problem is, and how we intend to solve it, and this is precisely how buyer personas can help us!
What is a Buyer Person anyways?
A buyer persona is essentially a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. It contains their age, marital status, professional occupation, income, personal quirks, likes, dislikes, goals and challenges to give you a snapshot of who you are talking too. A buyer persona is ideally used to define marketing and sales goals. Here's what a buyer persona looks like...
The utility of having such a factsheet in front of you at all times is that you will now know exactly who you are talking too, and what their problems are. For instance, in the example above, we know that Sally needs to generate leads and come up with marketing campaigns. We also know that she has trouble getting quality leads and getting a lot of work done with a small staff.
So, let's say you work at a company that specializes in IT marketing. Taking this information into account, here are a few ideas you could turn into blog posts and share with your target audience...
- How to get more done on a small budget
- How to find highly qualified leads quickly
- The art of automation -- How to delegate and syndicate online
- Strapped for cash? How to work with freelancers at a fraction of your budget
You need not be restricted to just one persona either. It is entirely possible that your target demographic can be segmented into multiple buyer personas.
How to create a buyer persona
As you can see, buyer personas are indispensable tools for helping us stay focussed on our objectives. Here's how you can create a persona for your business goals too...
We start by putting together basic background information. Gender, age, marital status, education level, income and what industry they are employed in should be identified.
Next, list their main professional goals, although, if you can identify their personal goals as well, you will have a lot more to go on.
Below the goals should be listed your target persona's main challenges with respect to their goals. You should also try to ascertain where your target audience gets their information fix from.
And finally, make a list of all the solutions that you can provide. These can include both direct solutions as well as information based solutions such as content.
You can want to start by digging deep into your own database and by brainstorming along with your sales team. However, a survey answered by your clients/prospects will be even better. Here's an awesome template by Hubspot for creating buyer personas. This tool by Hubspot also lets you create a persona online rather quickly.
It is far too easy to lose track of our goals and give ourselves to the illusion that we know more than we actually do. With the aid of buyer personas, we can remain focussed on the requirements of our target market and will also have realistic goals to pursue. Try this out and see your marketing achieve laser like focus!