The average American is exposed to up to 10,000 marketing messages per day, making it more difficult than ever for marketers to engage with potential customers. So how can your business stand out from the crowd? The simple answer: create a buyer persona. Buyer personas are fictional profiles of your ideal customer. Creating detailed buyer personas for your business will help you segment your customers and provide valuable insight for smarter, stronger, targeted marketing campaigns.
Research Your Target Audience
Start by gathering relevant information about your customers through market research and analytical marketing platforms such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics Audience Report. These powerful tools will help you find data about your Facebook visitors and website users such as demographics, location, interests, purchase behavior, lifestyle, and more.
Perform Interviews and Conduct Surveys
Interview your existing customers to get a deeper understanding of their psychological attributes such as habits, values, and hobbies. Alternatively, or in addition, conduct surveys to help define your buyer persona. Surveys can save time and resources, and many online survey companies offer analytics tools to help you sort and analyze your data.
Identify Customer Challenges and Goals
Talk to your sales and customer service teams to see what kind of questions they answer the most. What problems are your customers or potential customers trying to solve? What are your customers trying to gain by using your products or services? You can also search social media platforms for mentions of your brand, products, and services to find out what people are saying about you online.
Build Your Buyer Persona
Use the commonalities you discovered in your data collection to come up with more than one ideal type of customer. Outline each persona to include age, gender, location, income, profession, hobbies, aspirations, and fears. Then, take the general characteristics of your persona and narrow them down to a very specific personality. It can be helpful to name each of your buyer personas and give them a short biography. To create more depth to each persona, include:
- “A Day in The Life” scenarios, written in the first person. By thinking about what a day in the life of your persona looks like, you can better understand their problems and objectives. For example, if your persona is ‘Diana,’ a full-time administrative assistant also working towards her CPA online, ‘Diana’ might say: “I work a nine-to-five desk job but I’m studying for my CPA at night so I can get a better job and help pay for college for my two kids.”
- Objectives, goals, and responsibilities. For example, ‘Diana’ wants to “find out quickly if my kids will qualify for direct, subsidized student loans.” This targeted information allows content creators to tailor their marketing specifically toward the persona’s objectives.
- Problems that the persona might face. For example, ‘Diana’ is pressed for time because of her full-time job and part-time studies. She also has limited use of the telephone for personal phone calls during the day because she is an administrative assistant. With that information, marketers could create online forms and FAQs about student loans that are relevant and easy to find.
- Preferences, such as topics she has shown an interest in, personal communication preferences (email, text, online chats, telephone, mail), her favorite social media websites and how she uses them, her favorite content platforms and channels, and where she finds news and information.
- Keywords and phrases she might type into Google’s search box. People typically search similar phrases to what they use in conversation. ‘Diana’ might search “how do I find information on what student loans my kids will qualify for.”
- Engagement scenarios that pull together all the information about your persona. Create questions or concerns your persona might have and then provide answers to them via the content you create. Think about how your persona will interact with your content over time to find meaningful ways to link your content together.
Ensure that every piece of information in your persona is something your business can use, either from a content creation, sales, strategy, or marketing standpoint.
Create a Negative Buyer Persona
Use a similar process as explained above—just look for different qualities—to create a negative buyer persona, also known as an exclusionary persona. A negative buyer persona can help you understand who to avoid and who isn’t a good fit for your business. Ask your team what customers they disliked working with and why. Find out which customers were difficult to retain, and which customers generated the least amount of revenue. Knowing the characteristics of your negative personas will provide valuable insight into attracting the right leads.
Once you have created your buyer personas, you can start to personalize your messaging and branding campaigns. Create customer experiences, targeted advertisements, and blog and email content catered specifically to various personas. By targeting your messaging to distinct buyer personas and addressing their priorities and goals, your business will attract quality customers and increase sales while building brand loyalty and trust.
It takes time and effort to research and build buyer personas. Not sure you have the time or inclination? Give the marketing experts at Millennium Agency a call today.
About Millennium Agency
Millennium Agency is a national, award-winning, digital, creative, content/PR, and video marketing firm. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, our team unites creative branding and data analytics to accelerate our clients’ growth, while combining our clients’ vision with our marketing expertise to increase sales opportunities and drive brand success. From video advertising and web design to social media and PR, Millennium can guide your marketing efforts every step of the way. Contact the professionals at Millennium Agency to learn more!