If you aren’t familiar with the term, a buyer persona is a fictional character you create that shares the same characteristics as your clients. When done effectively, it can help you understand the wants and needs of your customers, which will allow you to create a content marketing strategy that truly resonates with your target market.
How to Create a Buyer Persona
There are two ways you can create a buyer persona. The first is to conduct extensive research and surveys of your current customers to identify their key traits. Obviously, this takes quite a bit of time, but it’s crucial for many corporate companies, especially those that cater to more than one type of customer.
The second option is to create a persona for your ideal customer. This route does require some research, but it’s more about you identifying traits you want in customers and then targeting your marketing collateral to those traits. In other words, you get to make up a person and determine everything from age to preferences to challenges. (I did this for Bikini Marketing – check it out at the end of the post!)
As far as what information to include, it’s fairly straightforward. You’ll need some demographic info (age, where he/she lives, etc.) as well as job info (responsibilities, goals, challenges, etc.). This data will help you craft your marketing message for each persona, ensuring you target specific needs. There are lots of free buyer persona templates available, but I recommend looking at three or four and combining the fields they include to get the most cohesive guideline possible.
Are There Different Types of Buyer Personas?
For many companies, it’s actually necessary to create multiple buyer personas. When doing this, you’ll want to make sure that each persona is distinct from the others. Creating buyer personas with too many similarities will defeat your purpose because it will be too difficult to target a specific type of client.
You can also create negative personas – types of people that you don’t want as customers. This might seem like a waste of time, but it can keep you focused on the type of content you should be producing to get your target market’s attention.
What Do I Do with a Buyer Persona?
Once you have your completed buyer persona(s), it’s time to put them to work. Use the information you gathered to readjust your content marketing plan. Sort your leads into their respective buyer categories so you can send them more personalized marketing messages. Create content aimed at specific personas. Make sure you’re on the same platforms as your ideal clients. In other words, become your target market.
Creating a buyer persona is often one of the first steps in any successful content marketing campaign. If you work in a corporate environment, your company most likely already has at least one buyer persona. I suggest taking a look to see how closely your marketing department follows the persona. If you find that your company’s buyer persona is either 1) extremely outdated or 2) non-existent, take the initiative to create some new ones. Use it as an excuse to remind your boss of all the great things you can do with a content marketing strategy.
Check out the buyer persona I created for Bikini Marketing below.[slideshare id=36714939]