Successful business owners know the importance of never putting the cart before the horse.
If you’ve begun marketing your company without knowing who you should be marketing to, you’ll likely have the same amount of success generating leads as the driver of the cart.
Creating a buyer persona is essential to accomplishing your goal of generating leads for your business. Below we’ll help you determine who your buyer persona is, and why it’s critical to have one in order to grow your business.
What Are Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior. When determining a buyer persona, other information taken into account includes speculation about their personal histories, motivations and concerns.
In simple terms, buyer personas are your target audience. However, your buyer persona shouldn’t be a vague description of the type of person you’re trying to gear your marketing efforts toward. Your buyer persona should define that person according to well-researched demographic information.
More importantly, your buyer persona should reveal the type of information THEY are searching for online.
Our article, What Is A Buyer Persona And Why Is It Important, provides you with a real world example to better help you understand the quality of information you can receive by determining your buyer persona.
Why Do I Need Them?
According to Hubspot, 63% of business owners say generating traffic and leads are one of their company’s top marketing challenges.
Understanding who your target audience is in great detail helps your marketing and sales team create useful and relevant content that is valuable to your ideal customer.
It didn’t used to be this way, however.
Back in the early days of your business, before the rise of the internet, mobile phone technology and indoor plumbing, company marketing content was either non-existent or created around product launches. Simply put, it was done only when perceived necessary.
Instead, many companies simply skipped any formal marketing strategy and relied on sales teams or word of mouth referrals.
Times have changed!
Corporate buyers and savvy consumers have made business marketing an up-at-dawn, all-day, everyday necessity.
It can be overwhelming to think about the constant flow of marketing strategies you need to implement in order to drive business. Creating relevant content for your prospects on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis can be an enormous undertaking … often leading companies to dump their marketing strategies, or worse, push out bad content that attracts the wrong type of prospects.
This is where buyer personas become crucial. Business owners should have a clear, detailed picture of who their targeted prospects are in order to create the right content for them.
This not only saves you time, resources and costs, but also increases your level of success in connecting with the people who are in need of your services or products.
How Do I Find My Own?
You’re probably asking yourself, how do I determine my buyer persona? As a starting point, ask yourself the following three questions:
1. Who are my ideal customers and prospects?
A great starting point is to look at your existing customer base and identify the most common buyers for your product or service. If you are like most businesses, you have a variety of customer types, so break these customers into smaller sub-groups, and give each one a detailed description.
Your description can include items like:
- Name and family members
- Occupation: Industry, job, aspiring career path, size of company they work for, who reports to them
- Demographic information: Male or female, age, income, location
- Other identifiers: Their demeanor, communication preferences
Doing this will help you paint a picture of a real individual with unmet needs.
2. What are my prospects’ needs?
Based on the profiles you created in the first step, you can now outline the pains, needs and challenges of each persona by asking yourself several important questions:
- What is their biggest challenge?
- What do they need most?
- What are they typically searching for?
- What influences personal or professional success?
- What can we do to help them achieve their goals?
- What are some objections that may cause them to not buy our product or service?
Figuring out the journey a prospect takes on the way to becoming a customer is a good way to learn about the needs of the audience for your online content.
3. What do my prospects do when they are online?
The final question we want to ask and develop addresses what your prospects do when they are online. The key is to figure out how and where prospects research future purchases online. Here are some areas you want to target:
- Where do they spend their time online?
- Are they active on social media sites?
- Which social media sites do they frequent?
- Do they watch videos? Listen to podcasts?
- Who are their influencers?
- Do they find information on blogs, eBooks, white papers?
By taking the time to determine your ideal prospects, figure out their needs and narrow down where they spend their time online, it will be easier to develop great content that draws the right prospects to your business.
Need more help? Our article, Keys To Finding Your Ideal Buyer Persona, helps break down what you need to know when painting a picture of your target audience.
Buyer personas are the key to developing killer content and ultimately driving new customers to you. Figuring out that journey that a prospect takes on the way to becoming a customer, however, can be overwhelming.
Working with an experienced inbound marketing agency, can help you determine your buyer persona and deliver high-quality leads through creating engaging and targeted content.
Marketing is critical to your company, and creating your buyer persona is the first step to developing a strategy that will be effective and help you grow your business.
Bill is the CEO and Founder of InTouch Marketing. Bill drives the vision and direction of InTouch except when England's playing in a soccer tournament, because everything stops!