Do you know the true power of buyer personas? Read on as Charlotte Howell reveals why building buyer personas will benefit your business.
Buyer Personas Vs Market Segmentation – What’s New?
Buyer personas are fictional characters that broadly represent your audience base, which essentially allow you to understand your customers better. So, if one of your personas were to be placed in front of you, you should be able to identify them.
Your business may already have market segments in place, but these don’t provide the same level of detail as buyer personas. Market segmentation uses statistical data to group your target audience by what they have in common – it’s very data driven. Personas, on the other hand, represent a different kind of thinking – one that takes an in depth look at your customers’ needs, challenges and motivations. The focus is shifted from numerical data to people. Personas hone in on the key aspects which differentiate customers from one another, focusing on their jobs, hobbies and behaviour.
The Benefits of Using Buyer Personas
Buyer personas increase the likeliness of turning prospects into customers by providing you with the necessary information to effectively engage with your target audience. They help you understand what your audience wants from your website, which in turn helps you:
- Set the tone of voice and strategies for delivering your content
- Identify the topics you should focus on to help continually grow your business
- Recognise gaps in your content
- Understand where buyers get their information and how they consume it
How to Build Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are based on research, and lots of it. The best way to ensure you have the full picture of your persona is by combining quantitative information from analytics with qualitative data and insights from interviews and surveys conducted with your actual customers. Typically, each of your buyer personas should include the following information:
- Work life – including job title, roles and responsibilities, company size, location and industry
- Family life – including household income
- Challenges and pain points
- Role in the decision making process – are they an initiator, influencer, decision-maker, buyer, user or gatekeeper?
- Content consumption – what messaging and USPs speak to this persona?
Also, creating visual cues for your personas by adding images to them and naming them will help you to relate to them better.
The Dos and Don’ts of Buyer Personas
Do: Use analytics to source relevant data about your personas.
Do: Survey or conduct interviews with your customers to collect qualitative data on them.
Do: Listen to your customers on social media to hear their thoughts and opinions.
Do: Frequently update your personas to reflect shifts in audience trends.
Don’t: Make up information about buyers – this will be inaccurate and will help no-one.
Don’t: Develop too many buyer personas – you should be able to target your content just as effectively to a handful of personas. As a rule of thumb, most businesses should create at least three.