Buyer PersonasBuyer personas may be one of the most talked about but least understood parts of the marketing process. Understanding who you are marketing to and how to get them interested in your product is the key to converting prospects into leads and ultimately sales.

The first step in creating winning buyer personas is to interview the people you are targeting. Ask them open ended questions about their likes and dislikes, what their favorite social media outlets and websites are and what they are expecting from the type of product or service you market. Use this information to create your ideal customer. Then give him or her a name – Sally or Ian, for example. Make this person as real as possible. Socialize your ideal customer with your marketing and sales groups so that everyone knows exactly who is being targeted. Keep in mind you may have more than one ideal customer.

Once you’ve defined your ideal customer, identify what excites him. Find out what he likes to read and watch on TV and sculpt your blog posts to speak directly to him. Think about some of the most popular niche brands out there, Details Magazine for example. Every reader of Details feels at some point that at least one article in each issue is addressing a concern or problem they have – whether it’s holiday weight gain or finding the perfect suit. In addition to your blog, talk to your ideal customer on his chosen social media platform – which may not be Facebook. If your prospect occasionally uses Twitter but primarily relies on LinkedIn, you have to engage him on both platforms.

Creating great content for your customer is the key to success. Know the language that your buyer uses when he searches for your product and target  those keywords. For example, if your market is upper class real estate buyers in England you’d focus the keyword “flat” instead of “apartment”. Learn what your prospect thinks is funny. A joke filled with sophomoric humor is going to fall flat with the baby boomers. While humor is a great tool when used correctly, used inappropriately – it can alienate your buyer.

Once you’ve hit all of the major chords for your buyer personas you’ll have a good idea of what his likes and dislikes are and when and where to reach him. So, how do you mold this into an actionable plan? Find the problem that your product or service will be solving for your buyer persona and create a story around it – Bob is a small business owner, Bob isn’t backing up his data, Bob’s hard drive crashes, Bob doesn’t have a small business anymore. Identifying these “pain points” and showing how your product can eliminate them from your prospect’s life will make the product invaluable to your prospect.

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