Do you know your buyer? What type of character are they? And how would you target them?
Fundamental questions like these might be explored by giving buyers a recognizable character and help you take your content to the next level. Below, we explore how to begin this process.
Lots of content creators use something called a ‘buyer persona’ to help them relate to their audiences. It’s a character built around their buyers’ typical traits.
A buyer persona helps with a lot of things, including:
- Making content relevant and personal for your buyer
- Improving focus when creating content
- Driving engagement
- Boosting ROI
- Making content creation more fun (and content is always better when you’re having fun!)
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Table of Contents
Why should you create buyer personas?
Buyer personas help you relate to your customers
It sounds obvious, but humans relate best to human traits. Brands know this. That’s why they often use characters, and mascots to build customer/brand relationships.
Characters like Tony the Tiger, the Michelin Man, and Ronald McDonald help to humanize companies. Customers like these characters. They relate to them. And, through these characters, they develop a relationship with the brand.
Buyer personas do the same thing, but the other way around.
Think of your buyer personas as mascots for your audience(s). Just like brand mascots, buyer personas help you understand and relate to your audience.
Rather than creating for an abstract concept, you’ll be creating for a person. When you’re dealing with a person rather than a concept, you can tap into your hardwired ability to connect with other humans. This will be reflected in your content.
For example, if you’re trying to explain something like small business VoIP, a relatable buyer persona will help you to hit the right tone. If your persona is an experienced tech nerd, you will know to skip the basics, and to try and find a more sophisticated angle. If they’re less experienced, you’ll know to explain concepts how to get two phone numbers on one phone in more basic terms.
This kind of relatability isn’t just important for content creation. It can influence every aspect of your business. From designing new products to dealing with complaints, buyer personas help you to understand both who your customers are and what they want.
Buyer personas are perfect for personalization
Personalization is a big deal. Your audience will appreciate content that’s relevant to their interests, circumstances, and personalities.
If you don’t personalize your content, audiences may not even turn up in the first place. They could be giving their precious attention to a ton of other stuff. If your content isn’t relevant to them or doesn’t fulfill their own needs, why bother with it?
You can use your buyer persona to tap into what your customer likes, wants, and needs. This will help you to give your audience the kind of relevant, personalized experience they require.
Personas are particularly useful if your topic is hard to personalize. For example, if you’re discussing something like website hosting unlimited, you might find it hard to bring out the personal appeal.
However, if you are creating with a persona in mind, you often find new angles presenting themselves. If your persona is a blogger, you can discuss how different web hosts could impact traffic to their blog. If your persona is a gamer, you can discuss the way online games use different domains or even boldly gamify the content.
This brings us back to that basic point: personas help you to understand your audience, and when you understand your audience, you can give them what they want.
Buyer personas drive conversions, traffic, and ROI
Relatability, personalization, deeper customer relationships; the result of all of this is better business.
Whatever you want your content to do – boost app performance, generate leads, raise customer loyalty, or simply make more money – buyer personas will help.
The bottom line is that buyer personas make for better, more relevant, more useful, and more relatable content. Better content drives business.
So, how do you make a buyer persona?
How to create a buyer persona?
You’re going to be working closely with your buyer personas – so you need to get to know them!
Getting to know your buyer personas means getting to know your buyers. Dig into your customer data, and discover as much as you possibly can.
Gather data on things like:
- Education level
- Preferred platform
Include anything else that’s important for your content.
There are various ways of collecting customer data. You can ask for it directly, infer it from buying behavior, gather it through tracking pixels, and more.
When gathering data for customer research, do it ethically. Be honest and transparent about why you want the data. Tell your customers where you will be storing it, who will have access to it, and what you will use it for. Let people opt out of data sharing and never scrape or steal data.
Data security is also very important. Make sure that your cybersecurity measures are up to scratch before going on any data-gathering mission.
Segmentation and buyer personalization work hand in hand to help you create intensively targeted content.
As you gather and analyze data, you will start to see patterns. For example, you may find that a lot of customers come from a certain place, have similar interests, or prefer certain types of content.
As these patterns become clearer, you can separate them into segments.
Segments are a lot like custom shipping boxes – personalized packages full of customer data. They help you to understand the distinctions between your customers, and enable you to target buyers much more closely.
In this case, your segments will become the basis of your buyer personas. The data you gather, and segment will tell you important things about the different groups your customers fall into. You can use that information to build relatable buyer personas.
The segment types most useful for you will depend a lot on your customers and your content. Common types of segmentation include:
- Age – you might have one segment for younger audiences, and another for older
- Location – you may use different slang or regionalisms for different audiences
- Preferred content type – you may build a persona based on the data of people in your ‘blog’ segment, and a different persona for those in your ‘video’ segment
If the data starts to feel overwhelming, don’t worry. There are plenty of options out there to help you manage your data, and segments.
For example, a single pane of glass software can integrate and analyze data from all sources in a single display. This can make segment creation as simple as dragging, and dropping data points.
Now, it’s time to transform your segments from a bunch of grouped data points into fully fleshed characters.
Depending on how you’ve segmented your audiences, you already know quite a lot about each persona. Each segment will probably have one major, defining feature plus a cluster of smaller features that tend to accompany it.
Let’s say your company sells telecom systems. In this case, you may have segmented your audience by the best business phone system for each group.
In addition to this major feature, each segment will feature data on the kind of people/businesses that can most benefit from each system. Simpler systems may be better for older owners of smaller businesses.
Now that you know that your ‘Simple Phone System’ audience contains a lot of older small business owners, you can flesh that out into a persona.
Create a character for your small business owner. Give them a name. Go back to your data and find out their interests and the kind of content that most appeals to them.
Give them a full backstory, dreams, ambitions, a personal style, a Myers-Briggs personality profile, a family – even a heroic origin story if you want. Get deep into their character – but don’t get carried away!
It’s fun to play with personas. But do make sure that your buyer persona stays true to your buyers. After all, the whole point is that the persona acts as a stand-in for your actual audience. So, be creative – but not too creative. Always let your customer data have the final say.
Create great content with buyer personas
Once you’ve built your personas, it’s time to start working with them.
Refer to your personas whenever you feel the need for that human connection in your content. If you’re not sure which creative route to take, check out your personas’ likes, dislikes, preferred tone of voice, and whatever else helps.
If it turns out that you’ve got your persona a bit wrong, and that the actual audience doesn’t respond as well as you’d hoped – don’t worry! You can go back and change the persona, or even scrap them altogether, and start again.
This last point is pretty important. Don’t set your personas in stone. Audiences change, and your personas need to change along with them.
So, keep the audience research current. Clock any changes in the data patterns, and tweak your personas accordingly. As your audience builds and you generate new leads, add or merge personas as needed.
Just as with anyone, you need to pay attention to your buyer personas (and the buyers behind them) to have the best possible relationship.
If you keep listening to your buyers and updating their personas, you’ll reap the rewards in content that’s more engaging, audiences that keep coming back, and (ultimately) greater ROI.
Good luck – and we wish you a very profitable relationship with your new personas!