If you want to have the best chance of getting prospects' attention in a content-fatigued world and convince them to buy whatever you’re putting out there, you’ll need to build comprehensive buyer personas.
The starting point.
Clearly defining your ideal customer is essential to high conversions. The first thing you’ll want to do when creating a buyer persona is research your existing customers (if you have any). Ask your marketing and sales teams to see what they can tell you about their demographics and other characteristics like age, gender and occupation.
Here’s what to ask next.
What are some of the customer pain points?
A detailed buyer persona paints the picture of an individual buyer. Someone who could (and might) exist in real life. What problems or challenges are your potential customers trying to solve? What’s holding them back from success? What barriers do they face in reaching their goals?
Look at real data from current customers or interview existing ones. It’s also a good idea to check in with your customer service team to see the kinds of questions they get the most. Find out if they can help you identify patterns for groups that tend to face different types of challenges. You could even ask them to gather customer quotes that you can use to help give your audience personas depth.
TIP: If you have demographics and interest reports enabled in Google Analytics, you can pull insightful audience reports.
What are some of the customer goals?
While pain points are problems your customers are trying to overcome, goals or aspirations are positive things they want to achieve.
Those goals might be personal or professional, depending on the products and services you sell. What’s their end game? These goals might directly relate to the solutions you can provide. This is more about getting to know your customers rather than just trying to match customers exactly to features or benefits of your product.
Consider adding a pop-up survey to your website to gather customer data that can help you get to know your target buyers better. The personality that shines through in those responses can really help you flesh out your buyer persona.
Even if your personas’ goals don’t relate specifically to your product’s features, they can form the basis of a campaign or they might simply influence the tone or approach you take in your marketing.
TIP: One key way to find out is to engage in some social listening. If you don’t have any leads at all, go look at your competitors' customers.
How can you help them?
Now that you understand your customers’ pain points and goals, it’s time to create a clear picture of how your products and service can solve problems. So when you sit down to write your content, you can address these things directly.
Although it’s difficult, you’ll need to stop thinking about your brand in terms of features and dig deep to analyse the benefits you offer to customers. When you write for a large group of people, the message gets watered down because it’s trying to address too many different needs.
Ask yourself one question for each of the pain points and goals you’ve collected: what can you do to help? The answers to this question will provide the basis for your unique customer personas.
TIP: Gather all of your research and start looking for common characteristics. As you group those characteristics together, your personas will come together.
The buyer persona exercise.
Now that you’ve gathered your information, you’re ready to start the customer avatar exercise.
As you flesh out your buyer personas, be sure to describe who each persona is now and who they want to be. This allows you to start thinking about how your products and services can help them achieve their ambition.
Write down everything you know about your ideal customer and then make it easy to follow and accessible to your colleagues. There are tons of buyer persona templates, tools and generators freely available on the internet but HubSpot is my favourite.
It’s simple to use with fun avatars, sliders, dropdowns and form fields you can fill in detailing personal information as well as job specifics to generate your persona. If you’d like something you can share with the wider team and complete in your own team, we’ve created some templates with this in mind.
Get your FREE buyer persona template.
You should think about your buyer personas every time you make a decision about your business and your marketing strategy. Honour those personas and you’ll build a bond with the real customers they represent, boosting sales while nurturing brand loyalty and trust.
They’re so essential to the success of your inbound marketing campaigns that we even created resources to get you started. Go ahead and use our free templates to create your own buyer persona today.