Who is your ideal customer?
When you create messaging and programs, who are you writing for? Do you really know your ideal customer–or are they nameless, faceless statistics? Do you have a buyer persona template to work from?
If all you know about your customer is dry demographic data–their age, gender, income, and title–there’s no personal connection. You may stereotype them, or simply guess what their problems are. Worst of all, you can fail to engage them in a way that leads them to your unique products and services.
So what exactly is an audience persona? Hubspot defines it as follows:
“Personas are fictional, generalized characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns among your customers. Creating personas allows you to target these groups and categorize your contacts.”
Why It Matters
Buyer personas open the door to understanding your customers. This helps you build solid marketing tailored to the ideal customer you want to reach.
8 Great benefits of knowing your ideal customers include being able to:
- Match your marketing strategies to your customers’ needs.
- Gain insights into how to segment and create messaging for various audiences.
- Streamline marketing campaigns by tailoring your content.
- Improve lead quality by understanding your persona’s interests, content preferences, and where they find information.
- Improve messaging for web content, blogs, social media, and advertising.
- Create marketing programs based on their goals, daily challenges, and “pain points.”
- Deliver relevant content that matters to your personas.
- Build trust and credibility by providing more high-value information.
What You Need to Know About Your Ideal Customer:
Different organizations choose to include different elements in their audience personas depending on what’s useful to their marketers and salespeople. The important things is that personas representing different types of customers are unique.
The Content Marketing Institute recommends these areas:
- Day in the life
- Keywords and phrases
- Engagement scenarios
Drilling Down to Find Key Information
Audience personas allow you to drill down into what drives your customers to purchase your products and services. Finding out what their personal lives and workdays are like can help identify their priorities, goals, and obstacles.
In the B2B landscape, these questions will help you build a solid persona:
- What is their demographic information?
- What is their job and level of seniority?
- What is their role in decision-making?
- What are their goals?
- What does a day in their work-life look like?
- What are their pain points?
- What problems do you help them solve?
- Where do they go for information?
- What are their most common objections to your products/services?
Where do you find the answers?
There are many ways to find out answers to questions that are relevant to build your personas. Some require looking at company or industry information. Others require talking to people directly.
Here are some ways of finding information to build your personas:
What are the specific items to include in your buyer persona template?
Here’s a template you can follow to complete your audience personas. You can tweak it to best suit your marketing needs, but this is the overall idea.
1. Customer Demographics
- Decision-Making Power
What goals is the customer trying to reach? What does success look like? How will the customer improve results?
3. Pain Points
Identify key problems your ideal customer experiences, such as budget, staffing, productivity – and how you can solve their problems.
4. What Your Customer’s Day Look Like?
Understand the customer’s typical activities, such as internal and external meetings and phone calls, monitoring progress on activities, planning, report analysis, reviewing staff’s work, etc.
5. Where Does the Customer Get Information?
Determine where they regularly go to find information to solve business problems–trade publications, blogs, social media, or other sources.
It’s Time to Complete Your Buyer Persona Template.
Before I set you loose to develop your own buyer personas, here’s an example I’ve completed using a buyer persona template.
Click here to view it as part of my complete buyer persona presentation.
Marketing Manager, Paul
- Age: 35
- Gender: Skews Male
- Title: Marketing Manager
- Industry: Technology
- Company Size: Mid-Size
- Level: Middle Manager
- Income: $60-125k
- Decision-Making Power: Up to $500
- Raise department productivity.
- Use resources/budget efficiently.
- Create quality content.
- Improve branding consistency.
- Lack of creative resources
- Long work hours
- Not meeting social media goals
- Lack of experienced talent
- Inconsistent branding
What Paul’s Day Looks Like
- Officially 9-5; Typically 8:30am-6pm
- Several planned and ad hoc meetings
- Phone calls and answering emails
- Developing programs and strategies
- Dealing with multiple agencies
- Reviewing business and creative work
Where does Paul Get Information?
- Sales reports
- Industry research
- LinkedIn and industry blogs
What’s your next step in Creating Buyer Personas?
Before plunging ahead into future marketing programs, maybe it’s time to step back and consider who your customers really are. They are not data points. They are not users you lure to your website. They are real human beings with goals, with problems you can solve, and with important questions you can answer.
Developing buyer personas is not a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing process that must be revisited from time to time to make sure your insights are hitting the mark–and you can provide value to your customers.
If you need assistance engaging your ideal customers, reach out to an experienced freelance copywriter and content marketing expert. Contact Boston-based Westebbe Marketing to take your next step toward original, high-quality content crafted specifically for your ideal customers. Email me or call (617) 699-4462.
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