Creating content regularly has become essential for businesses to compete in the age of the internet. With the immense amount of competition for people’s attention online, it is no longer enough to just make one size fits all content. Today your business content needs to really connect with people, to show that you understand them, in order to be an effective lead generator or an effective part of your marketing funnel. One of the best ways to know exactly what kind of content can achieve this is to create buyer personas to represent each segment of your customer base.
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. It is vitally important that they be based on research and data, not on intuition. Buyer personas give you a better understanding of your current and future customers and prospects. This way you can tailor your content, products and services to appeal to them in a meaningful way, which will lead to more conversions and quality relationships. So, how do we go about creating buyer personas?
To get started we will need to conduct research on our ideal customers. The information that we are looking for are details on their demographics, motivations, online behavior, language styles and common objections.
- Demographics – Age, location, language, interests, stage of life, etc.
- Motivations – what problems are they trying to solve or what goals are they trying to achieve that relates to your product or service?
- Online behavior – where do they hang out online and what do they do?
- Language styles – how do they use language online and through speech? Using language in a similar way will help your marketing messages connect more effectively.
- Common objections – what hesitations come up regularly and how can you address them?
We may find that we have ideal customers that fit into different groups, and will want to create a persona for each one of these groups. This information can be collected from current customers (use the top 10%-20% of your customer base), prospects, referrals and various sources on the web. The best way to get this information from our ideal customers is to just ask them, either through surveys, questionnaires, interviews, etc.
Chances are good that our ideal customers lead busy lives and getting them to actually participate in our research can be a challenge in itself. We want to maximize our response rates and a good start is making participation as easy as possible. We need to be clear that we are not trying to sell anything, be flexible with scheduling and send them a calendar invitation/ reminder. Using some sort of incentive, like 10% off their next purchase, is a good way to encourage participation as well.
When conducting an interview, or questionnaire, we will want to have a list of questions prepared specifically designed to discover their demographics, motivations, online behavior, language styles and common objections. Each question, and this is important, should be followed by asking “why?” A couple examples for motivation might be “what does it mean to be successful to you and why?” or “what are some of the biggest challenges you are experiencing when trying to reach your goals?” Aiming for a few questions in each category is a good idea. Finding where our ideal customers hang out on the internet and observing can give us a lot of insight as well. Check out FB groups, forums, reddit, amazon reviews, Instagram, and anywhere else that you can learn about your ideal customer.
After compiling our research and data, we need to look for the shared characteristics between our ideal customers. This will be the foundation of the persona(s) we create. The goal here is to try to make our persona as real as possible, so we need to give them a name, a job, interests, a home, motivations, etc. Making them as real as we can humanizes the segment. This does 2 things; it allows us to stop thinking in terms of statistics, like 35 yr old married male, and, instead, think in terms of people, and it also allows us to view our products or services from our ideal customers point of view.
So, instead of thinking in terms of statistics:
- 40 yr old male
- Married/ Father
- In the propane and propane accessories industry
We should think in terms of people:
- Propane Hank works as assistant manager at Strickland Propane and lives in Texas with his wife, Peggy, and son, Bobby. Hank just celebrated his 40th birthday last week. He is motivated to provide for his family, has a love for propane and propane accessories, and is interested in lawn maintenance and mowers. He doesn’t spend much time on the internet, but when he does it is generally to check his email and peruse Facebook. Having this persona gives us a much more in-depth view into why the people in this segment act the way they do than the stats alone.
As business owners and marketers, we know our products and services inside and out. This makes us very feature focused. What creating buyer personas does is make us realize that our customers are not feature focused, but they are solution or goal oriented. The best marketers realize this and tailor their marketing message to reflect it. Instead of selling the features of our product or service, we should create a message that shows how the features of our product or service solve problems or support the achievement of goals that our ideal customers care about.
Direct Placement, LLC is a digital marketing agency that offers a variety of digital ads and services. Our trained and certified team of Account Managers and Internet Marketing Advertisers is dedicated to helping your business achieve its advertising goals. They will work diligently with you to help ensure our advertising efforts are tailored to your specific needs. Contact Direct Placement, LLC today or visit our website to discover how we can start transforming your business one click at a time! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Blogger for more online marketing related content.