As you produce content for your website, are you addressing people who are CEO’s of their business or a recent college graduate? Are those individuals reading blogs about how to manage a busy work schedule or the latest social media apps? Do these people prefer to interact with vendors through email or phone or maybe even in person?
The answers to these questions will lead your business to attract the right customers to your company. This is where buyer personas come in.
Buyer personas help you understand your customers and make it easier for you to know what content to produce, how to effectively develop your products and relate the right messages to acquire the right customers with the specific needs and concerns that they are looking for. They’re an essential part of any inbound marketing strategy.
I understand the importance of buyer personas but what exactly are they?
Buyer personas are semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and data about your existing customers. The buyer personas are created by considering demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals. The more detailed the personas, the more insight your company has on the type of content your business should be producing.
Having well-developed buyer personas can have a huge impact on your inbound marketing strategy and assist you in creating the most appealing messages to your target audience. Of course, you can have more than one buyer persona tailored to specific needs of your buyers.
OK you convinced me. How do I create one?
Easy! (No,really!) Buyer personas are not difficult to create. All you need to do is ask the right questions to the right people. You can do this through research, surveys and interviews. To gather this information, you can look at trends of your current customers, gather information on your landing page forms or even interview your customers and prospects.
To be more specific, we have broken down the three essential steps to building your buyer persona.
1. Identify the questions you want to ask. The best example for this is to use HubSpot’s Persona Profile Checklist.
- Describe your demographics. Are they married? What is their annual income? Where do they live?
- Describe your educational background. What level of education did they complete? What schools did they attend?
- Describe your career path. How did they end up where they are today?
- In what industry or industries does your company work?
- What is the size of your company (number of employees, industry size)?
- What is your job role? Your title?
- Whom do you report to? Who reports to you?
- How is your job measured?
- What does a typical day look like?
- What skills are required to do your job?
- What knowledge and which tools do you use in your job?
- What are your biggest challenges?
- What are you responsible for?
- What does it mean to be successful in your role?
- How do you learn about new information for your job?
- Which publications or blogs do you read?
- Which associations and social networks do you participate in?
- How do you interact with vendors?
- Do you use the internet to research vendors or products?
- Describe a recent purchase.
Of course, it is not necessary to find answers to each of these questions. Use this as a guide and customize your own set of questions that will help you learn more about your ideal buyer persona.
2. Find the right ways to research your persona.
Like we stated earlier, surveys, forms and interviews are great ways to gather your information. Of all these methods, interviewing a customer or a prospect is the best way to really learn about your buyers and get to the source of what your customers or prospects need and want.
You can start by interviewing your customers since they have already been involved in your product or service. Talk to both happy and unhappy customers to get a good sense of what your company is great and not so great at doing.
You can also interview your prospects who may not know a lot about your company or any referrals in your network. These individuals will help you get a better insight into markets that you may not have even known to look at!
Simply interviewing just a handful of these individuals can really set your personas to an ideal representation of your buyers.
3. Compile your research and build your buyer persona.
After your research, you will have plenty of data to organize and transform into a complete persona. Identify patterns in your data and motives behind the behaviors since these will let you understand the real reasons of why your customers and prospects are acting the way they are while in their buyer’s journey.
Make sure to have a primary buyer persona that anyone in your company can refer to and know like the back of their hand. Give that buyer persona a name and include an image to make them look realistic and help put a name to the face!
Now that you have a better understanding of how to build buyer personas to attract the right customers to your business, we wanted to make it even easier for you to get started! We created free buyer persona templates for you to customize and be well on your way to using the inbound best practices techniques.