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How to get your buyer personas working for you

Businesses operating in competitive, fast-moving industries should be doing everything they can to get ahead of their rivals and win the loyalty of their customers.

The growth and development of content marketing means it offers many ways for you to take on this challenge. However, before planning and launching any marketing campaigns, you need to be sure you have some basic foundations in place, including an understanding of your customers and what they want.

One of the best ways to achieve and present these insights is through buyer personas, which could prove to be a vital and highly valuable component of your marketing strategy.

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What are buyer personas?

Buyer personas are fictional models of ideal customers that you can use to understand and target your audience more effectively.

With a persona in place, your marketing content can more accurately reflect the needs, pain points and goals of your buyers. This leads to increased relevance and impact, which will help you build brand awareness and trust among your customers.

Carefully developed buyer personas will also help you make predictions about the behaviour of your target audience and key steps that affect their decisions to buy, interact with your company and possibly recommend you to other prospects.

How do I get the data I need?

This is one of the hardest aspects of creating a persona. After all, it’s unlikely that you have access to a ready-made database with all the facts and figures you need to define and represent your customers.

The best way to find out about your audience is to conduct interviews. You could choose to do this at the end of the buyer cycle, with new customers prompted to complete surveys after a purchase.

Another option is to send out questionnaires to all existing customers who have signed up to your mailing list.

It goes without saying that you won’t be able to track down everyone from your audience, but a good sample will generally give you the relevant information you need.

However you choose to go about the data gathering process, there are certain types of information that you should be looking to collect from your customers. Demographic data – their age, gender, occupation and so on – is crucial, but you also need more nuanced information about their buying processes, preferences and interests.

Consider asking questions such as:

  • What are the most important considerations for you when choosing a company to buy from?
  • What pain points or problems do you want to address with your purchases?
  • What do you value most in your chosen brands?
  • How do you prefer to interact and communicate with companies?

Develop and refine your personas

Once you have your raw data in place, you can start to create your key personas. This means determining how people act at each stage of the buying cycle and developing your personas to reflect these choices and moments.

Key steps and stages you’ll need to focus on during the process of creating your personas include:

  • Using the research you’ve done and information you’ve gathered so far to identify patterns and trends in your customer base
  • Starting by developing at least one primary persona, then expanding into more nuanced, detailed profiles if possible
  • Working closely with the sales team to learn more about the leads they’re interacting with and common questions and feedback they’re receiving
  • Looking at persona templates to get a better idea of what information to include in yours and how to structure them

Target your content

When you’re happy with your personas, you can start to think about tailoring and targeting your content.

What do you need to generate awareness? Will a blog post suffice or is a ‘how to’ guide more in keeping with your persona’s needs and expectations?

When a lead is approaching the point of conversion, would a compelling case study or infographic give them that little push they need to choose you over a rival?

Having put this level of effort into your persona research and development, you’ll have a much more informed idea of what content to create and how to promote it to have the greatest impact on your audience.

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If this is an area of your marketing that you want to improve, but you’re not sure how to go about it, Axonn has the knowledge and experience to help.