To drive sales to your business, you need to market to the correct people — which may seem obvious but can be tricky. Creating buyer personas will help — they are the foundation of a solid marketing strategy. Here is the information you need to develop, work with, and drive results with buyer personas.
What Is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your company’s ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. It can include information about their demographics, career, hobbies, and more. Creating them helps you clearly define your target audiences and build marketing campaigns that resonate with them. You’ll likely develop between three to five personas.
How Do You Create a Buyer Persona?
To create buyer personas, you’ll need to conduct interviews with your customer or prospective customers to help you gain the insight you may be missing. Here are some topics to cover and questions to ask during your interviews.
Use the section below as a guide to structuring your buyer persona interviews. Please note that not all questions will apply to all interviews or products/services. Use your best judgment and pick the ones that will be most helpful to you.
First things first: Demographics. Getting the background information of your audience will help paint a picture of your buyer.
- Education level
- Income status
- Relationship status
- Family unit
- Company size
- Company revenue
Asking basic demographic questions is an ideal way to begin building a relationship with the interviewee, preparing them for more in-depth questions. Demographic information can additionally help determine the type of content to create as well as the most effective place to promote it, be it Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or another channel.
Next up, understanding the social habits of your audience also contributes to the effective targeting of content, offers, and promotional channels.
- What are your hobbies and interests?
- What do you do for fun?
- Where do you get your news: TV, radio, newspapers, specific websites, other online avenues?
- Where do you spend your time outside of work and home?
- Where do you spend your time online?
- What are your communication preferences: text, email, phone, mail, other?
- What content do you like to consume?
- How do you learn new information for your job?
You especially want to focus on their online habits, asking about their social media platform memberships, how frequently they interact on them, and any websites they regularly visit or subscribe to.
Buying Decision Process
All buyers have a process they go through before they make a large purchase. They may read reviews, perform product comparisons, and research various companies that offer the solution they need.
- Who makes the purchasing decisions in your home/workplace?
- What research do you conduct before making a purchase?
- How do you determine a budget?
- Walk me through the steps of making a purchase at your company/home.
- What barriers do you face when making a purchase? How do you overcome them?
Pay particular attention to their specific pain points during the purchasing process and how they were addressed. Focus on what made them choose one product and company over another.
Since work and work-related activities take up a major portion of the average person’s weekday, it makes sense that most B2C buyer persona interviews focus on the role of the persona at work.
- What is your job role?
- What does your average day look like?
- Who do you report to?
- Who reports to you?
- What does it mean to be successful in your role?
- What are your biggest challenges?
- What type of content are you most likely to read?
Understanding what a persona’s day looks like unveils critical information that points to their biggest challenges and where they need the most help to be successful at their job.
Working With Your Company
Customers who agree to be interviewed are likely to already have a positive view of your company, and you can learn a lot more about this relationship with additional inquiries. Ask how they decided to work with your company in the first place. Find out if they were comparing other vendors and, if so, what ultimately swayed their decision in your direction.
Learning more about the ongoing relationship with your company is also important. Here you can ask what they think is the key differentiator that sets your company apart from competitors. Also, inquire about things they admire and things they feel could be changed.
Having a real, live customer on the phone for your persona interview can also uncover crucial information regarding the type of content they want, need, and would enjoy seeing on your website. Take advantage of this direct access to find out what content they would most like to see as well as what content they feel would be most beneficial to help someone in the midst of making a buying decision.
How Do You Apply Your Buyer Personas to Your Website and Content?
Once your buyer personas are finished, you can use them as a reference to enhance your marketing efforts and, subsequently, your sales revenue. To do this, start thinking of how you can apply the information from your personas to your website and content. An audit of the following elements can help ensure you properly use your buyer personas for these pieces.
When you look at your website, do you notice any unnecessary elements in your navigation? Try limiting this to pages important to converting your personas by asking yourself, “what content do they need to see?” When you cut away the fluff from your website architecture, not only will it be beneficial to your personas, but it also boosts your SEO.
The layout of your site should prioritize the information and content that your users need to answer their questions and address their pain points. So, with your buyer personas in mind, organize these components from top to bottom — with the most relevant content for your personas at the top.
If you’re not sure if your website layout is strong enough, you can ask your customers to conduct usability tests. Ask them to complete tasks on your website, see where they go, where they stumble, and what you could improve.
Headlines and Copy
This is an easy website element to audit. Start by looking at your headlines and related copy to see if they’re straightforward. Are you asking the right questions and promoting the benefits your personas care the most about?
Pro tip: To better appeal to your top personas, use HubSpot’s smart content tool to display more relevant copy based on your users’ tracked data.
Website and Other Content
One of the main purposes of your buyer personas is to enable your marketing team to create content that appeals to your audiences. With your buyer personas in tow, you should know what challenges they face and, thus, can offer content that helps them get ahead or solve a problem.
Your persona research also allows you to know your audiences’ content preferences like:
- Technical tones or relaxed tones
- Video or text
- Blogs over checklists or infographics
- Premium content like eBooks
- Favorite social media channels
How Do You Drive Results Using Buyer Personas?
Now that you know how to apply your personas to your website and various content, you may wonder how you can use them in different ways to drive real results for your business.
Here’s how you can do that:
Define Your Ad Spend and Customize Your Ad
With clearly defined personas, you’ll better understand where they spend their time online. When you couple this information with analytics, you'll know what they like best. Then, you can use this information to identify when, where, and how much to spend on ads – whether they end up being paid social ads, Google Ads, or something else.
When creating the copy for these ads, your buyer personas will reveal what messaging appeals to what user. That information can ensure the text or images in your ad appeal to your user, which will help your ads perform better.
Segment Your Lists to Personalize Their Experiences
The key to delivering more personalized experiences to your leads is list segmentation. Use your buyer personas to segment your lists in your marketing platform and begin sending relevant campaigns to your personas.
For example, if one of your target audiences struggles with juggling tasks, you can tailor your messaging to touch on that pain point. One method to ensure you segment by the right buyer persona is to include questions on your landing page forms that relate to your personas.
Optimize Your Landing Pages
If your next marketing campaign utilizes a landing page, make sure it resonates with the persona you’re targeting. Use the language they prefer and show how that piece of content can help them solve a problem or make a portion of their job easier.
Like your website pages, you can utilize HubSpot’s smart content to tailor your landing page to your personas. With its machine learning capabilities, you’ll be able to display relevant messaging to the correct persona.
Combine Your Personas with Lifecycle Stages
Lifecycle stages show how far along someone is in your company’s sales cycle. By adding this element to your efforts, along with your buyer personas, you can create content for the right people at the right time. Hopefully, this hyper-targeted strategy will move them to the finish line of your sales cycle much quicker.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
The most important thing to remember after creating your buyer personas is not to forget about them. Some companies put forth the effort to craft them, then don’t utilize them. With our tips and suggestions, you should be able to create thorough personas and then employ them to boost your bottom line.
At Lynton, we recognize that buyer persona creation is no easy feat. We’ve helped several companies create and market to their personas. If you would like more information or direct help, contact us today.