Regardless of your role in your organization, it’s critical to understand your target customers and exactly what they’re seeking in your product or service. Fortunately, the intelligent use of buyer personas can make your task much easier. These are fictional representations of your ideal customer, backed by data gathered about their background, motivations, goals, and pain points. Here’s an example:
Essentially, buyer personas give everyone in your organization the opportunity to understand and visualize the ideal buyer you’re aiming to attract. This is crucial to developing a winning marketing plan, an enticing product, and relatable campaigns. Organizations who use a buyer persona and map content to the customer journey experience 73 percent more conversions compared to organizations that don’t practice persona marketing, according to Aberdeen Research. Put simply, personas allow you to tailor your ads, website, and copy to the preferences of your potential customers.
How to Collect Meaningful Data
To build an accurate persona, you’ll want to gather meaningful data about your prospective customers. This requires taking into account characteristics such as their demographics, psychographics, buying habits, digital behaviors, and overall lifestyle. Below are some suggestions on how to collect relevant information.
Surveys are perhaps the most recommended tactic for gathering information about potential buyers. Ask your target audience 5-10 questions related to demographics, buying habits, pain points, and favorite companies can provide more than enough data to fuel your buyer persona. SurveyMonkey and Google Forms are a few great tools for designing a survey to send out via email, social media, web, live chat, and more. Alternatively, you can reach out to an agency to help with this.
Search for Reviews About Your Product or Service
While the insight from surveys is undoubtedly priceless, a simple evaluation of the reviews posted about your product or service could reveal useful information as well. In addition to learning what people think about your organization, you’ll also be able to identify your weaknesses, especially in relation to competing businesses. Another benefit of using this tactic is quick access to demographic information, as those leaving reviews also tend to mention their personal name and company position. Take a look at sites like Trustpilot, TrustRadius, and G2 Crowd to see if there’s any strength you can build upon or weakness you can address by upgrading your offerings.
Browse Through Online Communities
Besides searching for reviews, dedicate some time to browsing communities dedicated to companies like yours. In most of these communities, almost everyone is a valuable contributor, with their comments ripe for the picking for the development of a buyer persona. More importantly, the ongoing discussions usually reveal problems and issues with a company’s offerings, which should cut down the time you spend on evaluating your target persona’s pain points. Go through communities like Quora, Reddit, and LinkedIn to better flesh out your customer persona. If you can spare some time, you can even engage with the members to gain a deeper understanding of your target audience.
Tap into Your Analytics
Analytics tools can provide a wealth of information about the individuals who interact with your company online, even if they’ve not yet made a purchase. With the new advanced segmentation features from Heap, companies can more accurately determine key user behaviors on their websites. You can create segments that reflect new versus repeat visitors, engagement with certain touchpoints, and more. This makes it easy to answer key questions like which touchpoint within a customer journey is the buyer most likely to engage with first and which cadences get prospects to convert to paying customers.
Creating a Buyer Persona
Once you’ve gone through the data collection process, you’ll have a lot of raw, insightful information about your target audience. The next step is to leverage the research for identifying commonalities and trends, create at least one buyer persona, and share it with the rest of the team. Here’s a step-by-step overview of measures you need to take to make it happen.
Fill Out the Bio
It may be tempting glance over or skip the bio part of your customer persona completely, but challenge yourself and give the persona a face that depicts an actual human. This includes a profile image, name, job title, and city/country where your persona is based. Ideally, you’ll have data on file from your own research endeavors, but if not you can get obtain information from your audiences’ social media profiles.
Jot Down Your Persona’s Preferences
This is where you’ll put in the insights you’ve obtained from those customer surveys. What do your prospects expect from companies like yours? What keeps them up at night? Read over the answers within the survey form and write up the patterns indicating their preferences on your persona template. You can also write some of the answers as quotes to exemplify what your audience is concerned about. Additionally, you can draft a list of concerns to ensure your sales and marketing teams are ready to address them during their interactions with prospective customers.
Craft an Elevator Pitch
Through your initial research, you’ve probably uncovered what features interest your target audience, the language they use to discuss them, and what brands they’re already using. Use all of these findings to craft an elevator pitch that positions your company in a way that resonates with your target persona. Do you sell enterprise management software? A social media tool? Then your marketing message can go into the nitty-gritty of your offering and deliver a consistent message to the customer. This will also help you ensure sales and marketing are speaking the customer’s language at the different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Documentation is Key for Persona Marketing
When all is said and done, make sure to documenting your buyer personas. Don’t assume everyone in your company truly identifies your ideal buyer or is capable of retaining insights. Creating, documenting, and distributing personas company-wide is necessary to ensure all aspects of your marketing are executed with the same approach. Documentation of personas is also a rewarding activity that keeps your personnel in the loop about how your audience thinks, how they behave and ultimately how they make buying decisions. The result: a systemized, proven marketing asset that will help you blast through your growth goals.