Buyer Personas: Buyer driven content marketing

Added 24.11.15

Digital Marketing Company

Never heard of a Buyer Persona?
Think of them like your Target Market upgraded to Version 2.0!

Where Target Market data revealed basic demographic details about your buyers such as gender, age, income and location, it didn’t address the motivations, needs and perceived barriers of our buyers.

Enter stage left, your Buyer Persona – a detailed profile of your ideal buyer, the buyer you are directing all your marketing content and advertising dollars towards.

Your Buyer Persona:

  • is fictitious
  • represents the needs of a segment of buyers
  • is developed using knowledge of real buyers

Why should I invest time in researching Buyer Personas?

Simple! So you don’t have to make uneducated guesses about the best way to connect and engage with your buyers.

One of the top challenges we face today is creating engaging content. By getting to know your personas your marketing efforts will be more focused and better targeted, saving you time and money. As an example: if your persona likes to use YouTube, a video based ad campaign would help get your message in front of them, you haven’t wasted time creating newspaper adverts.

As a result of understanding what your buyer wants, what motivates them and how they make decisions your marketing communications should make your persona feel like “this blog/post/advert was written just for me!”.

How many Buyer Personas should my business have?

More often than not your business will have more than one ideal customer. Particularly if you sell a wide range of products or offer both products and services. That certainly doesn’t mean you will have a Buyer Persona for every product!

There’s no magic number, however one thing to watch out for is that you don’t end up with too many buyer personas that reveal little in the way of insights. If you have too many personas your team will also find it hard to focus. How will you have the time and resources to please all of your personas?

We suggest aiming for a manageable set of personas (3-5), knowing that they represent the needs of many users.

How do I create a Buyer Persona for my business?

There are a number of ways you can conduct research for your Buyer Personas, you could use a combination:

  1. Surveys: use a program like Survey Monkey (online survey software) or ask questions through your social media channels.
  2. Interviews: ask some of your real buyers some open ended questions. Of course we all love a glowing report about our product/service but it’s important to include buyers who you’ve experienced challenges with.
  3. Feedback from within your company: turn to the staff who have daily contact with customers, be it answering the phones or your sales staff. Understand the challenges they face when working with your buyer persona.

Try and make your personas as real as possible. By doing research this way we ensure that the buyer persona doesn’t just represent the opinions of the person writing them.

How do I make the process of documenting my personas practical, and not a theoretical, academic exercise?

Have some fun with it! You don’t need to be writing a thesis. Think about how you could present the personas to your staff in a way that is clear and concise so that they can get on board with the concept. Here’s some ideas:

  • Put on a morning tea (did I hear cupcakes?!) and brainstorm together with other staff members who frequently interact with your buyers
  • Take some of your customers out for coffee/lunch and casually ask questions
  • Present your personas visually. Set up a board and pin information such as their name, a profile photo, images of where they like to shop, icons for the social media accounts they own, etc.
  • You could try writing the persona as a list of bullet points rather than as a narrative.

Keep each persona to 1-2 pages, so that it can be a quick reference point when in meetings about content creation and design.

How does understanding my persona affect my choice of social media platform?

As part of getting to know your personas you need to hone in on how to best reach them. How do we do this?

  • You could ask your buyers outright (in interviews/surveys) – which social media accounts are they active on? Is there more than one?
  • You could match your persona demographics with the demographic data of the top social networks to find the right fit. For example: Facebook is more popular with Women aged 18-29 and LinkedIn with Men who earn a higher income.

Consider the scenario where your persona occasionally uses Twitter but primarily relies on LinkedIn. Should you engage with them on both platforms? Yes, however you need to prioritise which accounts to create and which conversations to participate in. You simply won’t have time to be an expert in every platform.

So, what happens if you set up an account and find that your persona isn’t active there? Don’t worry, sometimes we don’t get it right the first time. Have a coffee, review your persona and think about alternative platforms you could redirect your efforts towards. 

FREE Downloads!

To help you develop your Buyer Persona(s) simply download our free 3 Step Buyer Persona kit:

STEP 1: Buyer Persona Template - with suggested details to capture in your research phase.

STEP 2: Example Buyer Persona - bringing your persona to life, a concise summary of the details you uncover in Step 1.

STEP 3: How to use your Buyer Persona - highlighting the points you should focus on in your marketing strategy and content creation.

If you have any feedback we'd love to hear from you!

1300 881 594
Email us