They’re fictional people. You probably won’t find an actual person named “Soccer Mom Sally” or “Techy Tim.” Alliterative names aside, Buyer Personas are quite realistic in their personality, profession, and buying habits. They are also one of the most useful tools a company can employ when targeting potential buyers. In fact, they are what we call your “ideal consumer” - the person tailor-made to engage with your company and buy your product.
Buyer Personas - An introduction
When designing any marketing campaign, Buyer Personas represent the people you want to target. Instead of approaching everyone with your product (an unrealistic goal), you target the individuals who are naturally inclined to seek you out. What makes buyer personas great is they allow your company to reach these individuals naturally - in their buying habits, the way they seek information, their professional goals, their role within their company, and so on.
In order to understand why these semi-fictional individuals can make a tangible impact on your content marketing strategy, there are a couple basic questions we need to look at: Why are Buyer Personas important? And how do you create an accurate Buyer Persona for your specific business?
Why are Buyer Personas important?
Imagine you have a shiny, metal table (chrome is in style these days, right?). It has a flat metal top. You have a hand full of marbles. Just for kicks (and analogy purposes later), you drop the marbles onto the table. Immediately when they hit the surface, they scatter. Some fly off the edge, some hit each other. A few come to rest on the surface, but the vast majority come in contact with the table, then leave.
Now, imagine the same metal table. This time, you have specifically picked out a handful of magnets. You drop these magnets onto the surface… and behold! They stick, because they are naturally attracted to the surface.
What does this analogy have to do with your marketing strategy? It illustrates the power of targeting your ideal consumers, the purpose of Buyer Personas. The metal table is your business. Initially, you target potential buyers at random, illustrated by the marbles. You succeed in getting these people in contact with your business, but what they do after this contact is much less certain. Sure, you net some new buyers. But even then, the connection is somewhat weak because your product may not be exactly suited to their needs.
What Buyer Personas allow you to do is target the magnets - the potential buyers who naturally need something your business offers. Defining your target audience is one of the four main components that every business owner should identify to create a marketing strategy. Targeting your ideal customers (your “magnets”), you have a much more likely chance of capturing new buyers, and developing a strong connection with them.
In order to know who your company’s “magnets” are, you have to know your ideal consumer on a deeper level. You have to get inside their lifestyle, professionally and personally. You have to know what their professional role is, and the goals they want to meet. What challenges do they face in meeting these goals, and how do they find information? Fleshing out these real details into a semi-fictional persona gives your company a specific target to form your content marketing strategy around. Targeting your message will increase efficiency and strengthen your message, generating quality leads from serious potential buyers. Learn how to write buyer personas in this blog that takes you through each step to ensure that you include all the necessary elements.
How do you make an accurate Buyer Persona?
Buyer Personas are only helpful if they accurately represent your ideal consumer. A great way to target future consumers is to look in the past - who has bought your product before? Research, surveys, and interviews are all necessary to build one accurate overall persona.
There are also specific areas you will want to build out in your Buyer Persona, from personal demographic information to professional environment and goals. We have developed a guide to writing Buyer Personas that will help you get started in developing your unique buyer personas. You can download it here to get started.