What is a ‘Buyer Persona’ and why it is important?
You may or may not have already heard the term ‘buyer persona’ or ‘marketing personas’ or ‘customer personas’ or ‘user personas’ either way they all mean the same thing. However, not everyone knows what they are.
Not to worry before we go into what a buyer persona is, the first question we need to ask ourselves or realise is how well do we really know our ideal customers?
How well do you really know your ideal customers?
You can’t sell your products or service all that well to customers (and potential customers) if you don’t know who they are.
Sure you’ve got your bank off customers that you currently work with. But to grow your marketing or sales strategy, you need to be able to identify the type of customers you want to be working with. That will help to define your messages, designs and posts you create tailored to the specific customers you want to work with.
Do you know your ideal customers’ backgrounds, their goals, and their challenges? How well do you understand their interests and needs? Do you know how old they are? Where they went to school? Whether they have kids? What a day-in-the-life looks like?
It might sound very specific and even personal, but here’s the thing by doing this it will drastically help your business results and create focused campaigns!
In order to grow, you need to understand your ideal customers inside and out and then integrate that research into your marketing and sales process.
What is a buyer persona?
So a buyer persona is a research-based profile of your target customers’. You don’t need to have just one but you can have a few or as many as you think you need and each one will have its own strategy to reach out to them. Creating these will help you to understand things like your customers’ interests and challenges and what their daily lives are like.
Buyer persons are functional, generalised representations of your ideal customers. This will let you better acquire and service your customers by tailoring content specific to their needs, behaviours, and concerns for different types of buyers.
The strongest types of buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights from your actual customer base – this can be gathered through surveys, interviews etc.
Why are buyer personas important?
At its most basic level, it’s important as it allows you to personalise or target your marketing for different segments of your audience. For example, sending the same lead nurturing emails in your database, won’t be as effective as being able to segment your database by buyer persona and tailor your messaging according to what you know about those different personas.
An advantage is to create a negative buyer persona, those people that aren’t a great fit for your company. That way you can separate these out to your ideal personas as a result not spend time and effort and leads that wouldn’t be your ideal customer.
This sounds simple enough and you would think that many larger businesses would have nailed it. But it’s not as simple as you think, if you pay attention you start noticing that most businesses start talking about what they do, or their service or their product (and we’re all probably guilty of that) and not based around what the customer needs.
Customers’ generally gravitate towards businesses they know and trust. And to do this you need to demonstrate you understand their concerns and needs to be able to address this for them.
To gain customers’ trust you need to shift the way you present your business. From talking about what you do, sell or provide shift the focus to what your customers’ pain points are or their needs and challenges. By doing this you begin talking to them and building an emotional connection. Only then they will start exploring what you offer.
Therefore it’s important to continue to work on your buyer personas as what you provide might not change but the needs and challenges of customers’ will change. By understanding this you will always be building trust and authority by helping overcome a pain point for them.
How is this used?
Once you understand their needs and pain points. You can start implementing buyer personas into your marketing and sales strategy. Creating effective campaigns that are focused on your ideal customers addressing their challenges. Building trust, authority and a relationship. This will create awareness of who your business is and allow your ideal customers’ to explore what you offer.
Should a small business bother creating a buyer persona?
So you might be thinking you’re a solopreneur or a business of a very small team so is this going to be effective for us. The answer is yes!
By doing this you will clear up who you are going for, a clear idea of going after the right customers. You can use it to tailor your website, your content, social media posts targeted towards these people. For example, if you were in a service-based business but only wanted to target mums then your website layout, text and even images will be adapted to appeal to that audience that you want to work with.
If it’s a bit more general then that and you have a few different types of persona as a small owner start with a maximum of 3 so not to create too much confusion in your messages. Use a general style of language and images to incorporate all those types of personas. You can create social media posts for each type of persona. Perhaps not necessarily changing the language you use, but helping solve a challenge or pain point for each of these personas in various posts.
So in conclusion a buyer persona is super important to start building trusts with the type of customers’ you want to work with. You can start tailoring your marketing efforts to those type of ideal customers’ and start by solving their challenges and pain points. By doing this you become focused on your audience and work towards building that up. Implement this through all channels and as it grows to review it continuously making sure the challenges and pain points are still relevant. Conduct interviews and surveys to stay on top of it making sure it’s always up to date.
If you need help creating professional buyer personas for your ideal customers’ we can help at Pencil and Coffee by interviewing you and understanding your business. Running interviews and surveys with your current customers and your ideal customers. Putting it into something professional and easy to update!
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