Originally Written: Sept 2015
Updated: Dec 2019
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional creation of your ideal customer. By collecting and using information about your target market, you can create detailed profiles of the types of customers you’ll deal with. If you understand their ambitions, attitudes and priorities, you can create content that will engage with them.
Now that you know what a buyer persona is, do you honestly need one? (Spoiler: yes you do as they’re a key to boosting conversions).
- Why buyer personas are important in marketing
- “Can I not just skip this?”
- Why creating personas are useful for your business
Why buyer personas are important in marketing
Buyer personas help you market your business efficiently so you can effectively engage with your customers. It’s a good idea to create more than one as you’ll probably have different types of customers. For example, there might be people who start the research process to those that have already completed a purchase.
When you create them, you need to really understand the types of customers that will turn to a business like yours in their time of need. You also need to consider what motivates them to make certain decisions as well as other important factors such as:
- What’s their lifestyle like?
- Do they check their social media accounts regularly? Or do they even have any?
- Are they career-driven?
- Do they prefer to consume short, snappy written content or videos?
Questions like these will help you create the right content for your ideal customers. It’s also a good idea to create more than one, especially if your business can solve problems for different types of customers.
“Can I not just skip this?”
Creating buyer personas can take time as you need to get everything really accurate. Although, some marketers find it super frustrating. While they agree it’s important to have a general idea of who their general audience is, they prefer a one and done approach.
So if you’re wondering if it’s worth skipping this stage, sure. If the following applies to you, go for it.
- You want to create content that nobody wants to read.
- You want to attract the wrong people to your website.
- You want your sales team to handle the same, challenging situation over and over again.
- You don’t really care about lead generation.
- You want to waste as much of your marketing budget on irrelevant tactics.
- Your sales team loves the challenge of engaging with prospects that will never buy from your organisation.
- You love the chaos between sales and marketing and don’t want them aligned.
- Your content has no focus.
- You love throwing sh*t against the wall to find out what sticks.
You get the idea. Nobody wants to conduct business like this and buyer personas are vital to growth. Without knowing who your customers are, you can’t reach your goals without them.
Why creating personas are useful for your business
Having a business online is massively competitive. To get ahead of your competition, you should take time to properly understand the different types of customers that will be interested in your product or services. It also leads to other benefits…
Helps you understand your market
To have a successful business, you need to understand your industry and also who your audience is. You need to create engaging content that will actually resonate with your audience and make them want to contact you and eventually buy from you.
For example, a beauty salon owner wants to create engaging content but has a range of different clients. The business owner can create fictional buyer personas based on those real customers so they can tailor content to specific customers.
One of the personas could be a young student that doesn’t have much money but waits for special offers. Another could be someone older with thousands in her bank and visits every week or month for a beauty treatment. Although these are just brief examples, the business owner in this scenario will better understand what motivates each persona to buy.
Understanding customers = improved conversion rates
It’s pretty simple. Research and understand your customers’ motivations and attitudes so you can create content that connects with them if you’re engaging. They’ll be more willing to listen to what you have to say which will help improve conversion rates.
By honing in on these personas, you’ll know exactly the type of content you should create and where you should focus. Going in blind and not having that understanding is going to waste your time, resources and likely raise questions from the boss on why conversion rates are so low.
Oh, and another useful tip on personas - make sure they’re always up-to-date. Treat them as living documents that get revisited on a regular schedule. As your business grows, your audience might change so personas could need tweaking accordingly.
Don’t let them get outdated and when you have them, actually use them. They should influence every part of your content creation and lead generation process.
However, even with the greatest personas, results can take time. Although, eventually seeing results is a lot better than not having personas, not knowing who your audience is and never seeing results. While you can’t expect transformation overnight, we’ve created a slide deck to show you what a typical first year in inbound looks like.
What to expect in a typical inbound marketing journey
Loads of stuff goes into an inbound strategy and buyer personas are just one piece of the puzzle. There are different phases which all contribute to the success of campaigns. Our download will give you a visual guide on what you should expect throughout the year - when you implement everything correctly (and that includes creating buyer personas).
To see the typical journey for yourself, click on the link below.