Buyer personas — also called audience personas, marketing personas, or customer personas — are a fictional representation of your ideal customers, based on a mixture of real data and speculation. They encompass the demographic and personal information, challenges, motivations, and ambitions of a particular customer type.
Buyer personas are the cornerstone of any marketing strategy, but they’re also critical for product development and sales.
In this post, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about buyer personas in 2021.
What does a buyer persona include?
A buyer persona generally covers four areas:
- The buyer’s job and demographics
- Their story — what do they do? What is their industry?
- Their pain points/challenges, and how they look to solve them
- Where they go to look for information
This is an example of a fully-fledged buyer persona, similar to the ones we use at Inflowing when writing for clients:
30-45 years old
Key influencer/Decision Maker
Roles — HR Manager, HR Director, Head of HR, Head of People
Industries — Professional services, marketing, legal, finance, technology
Company size — higher end of 50-150 and possibly 150+
- Possible gaps in knowledge/training
- Resource and time
- No time/expertise to be strategic
- Specific challenges around culture, turnover, engagement
- Many hats to wear
- Improving key metrics around people in the business — reducing staff turnover, increasing retention
- Build a strong company culture
- Put a strong strategy in place
How they learn and discover
- Younger personas will be digital natives
- Actively searches for and seeks advice online and through her networks
- Member/subscriber to HR relevant publications
How to create a buyer persona
The aim of a buyer persona is to help you know them on a deep level; taking the abstract idea of an ‘audience’ and turning it into a tangible person that you can create content for and relate to.
Above all, look for commonalities between your customers and prospective customers. How can they be grouped together? What do their stories tell you? Find an image that represents them.
Once you have this information, set it out in an easily digestible way.
Why create buyer personas?
Creating buyer personas lets you put a face to the customers that you want to attract, allowing you to aim your content at the kind of individuals who will benefit most from your offering, instead of the masses. While this may sound counter-intuitive, it allows for a more personalised, tailored approach that will resonate more deeply with your customers, both emotionally and intellectually.
- Product development uses buyer personas to identify and prioritise changes to your products and services based on what your customers want and need the most.
- Marketing uses buyer personas when creating content marketing strategies. Buyer personas help to inform keyword research and are referenced when writing copy.
- Sales use buyer personas when building rapport with potential customers. By referencing buyer personas, your sales team will be able to better understand what the prospect is dealing with and be better prepared to address their concerns.
- Finally, insight gained from buyer personas can be used to tailor training for customer support teams. Tailoring training to tackle the problems that your customers are trying to solve with your products and the emotional impact the problem is causing results in a more empathetic support team that can handle even the most upset customer.
If directly speaking to your audience isn’t possible for whatever reason, try stepping into their shoes. What do they feel is important? What are their goals, challenges? In other words, really try to get inside their head.
Doing this exercise and creating personas puts you in a prime position to craft content, products, and services that provide the most value to them.
In other words, creating buyer personas for your customers allows you to understand them better. Therefore, buyer personas put you in a great position to bring more value to your customers,
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