Imagine for a moment that your newly found business is like a movie. You’re the protagonist and hero. But a movie just about you isn’t as interesting if you don’t have anyone to interact with on-screen. You need supporting characters and backstories to make your protagonist role have more value. Those characters will set up scenarios in which you can be that hero.
In your real-life business, those supporting characters are actually your customers. And as you prepare your best marketing efforts, you need buyer personas to help you target those customers with pinpoint precision. You used buyer personas to help develop your brand. Today, we’ll tell you how to weave your story in line with the stories of your audience so that you can make the absolute most out of your marketing efforts. And just like in the movies, these buyer persona characters will make what you have to offer that much more valuable.
What Are Buyer Personas?
You explored creating your buyer personas back when you first established your company brand. But buyer personas are relevant for far more than just brand development and messaging.
Officially, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional character that is intended to represent your ideal customer. This sketch or avatar should look, behave and communicate like the various target customers you seek to attract the most. These will help you identify what your target market values and prefers most. Bring these fictitious characters to life in your marketing strategy by delivering messages where, when and how your customers prefer.
Tina’s Cleaning Service: Tina is just getting started with her house cleaning services. Initially, her business took off significantly with home cleaning clients. But more recently, she’s realized there is more revenue potential if she can secure commercial cleaning contracts with local businesses in her area. How can she develop her marketing plan to incorporate two different audiences? Can she diversify herself to meet both B2B and B2C groups?
In Tina’s case, it would be a disservice to her business to assume the same marketing message would work for both residential and commercial customers. If she were to have an in-person conversation with the decision-maker in both scenarios, those conversations would be different from each other. One sales pitch would be catered to a busy mom who doesn’t have time to clean. The other conversation would focus on offering a cost-saving and efficient service to a business owner. That’s why she needs a distinct buyer persona for each.
Paul’s Used Car Lot: Paul has been exploring how to bring in more car buyers. Looking at some of his past customers, he realizes there are two distinct camps. He often sees the folks who fall into that credit-challenged category but are in need of financing and a reliable ride. His other ideal car buyers are middle-class parents shopping for the household teen car. They’re more interested in a quick cash, out-the-door deal. Paul wonders what his next step might be in developing the right messages to meet these two very different types of car buyers.
Everyone needs to buy a car. But not everyone is going to be in Paul’s wheelhouse of core buyers. He needs to start with his bread and butter customers and build personas based on them. Paul, at the very least, needs a buyer persona for the credit-challenged car buyers and another buyer persona representing those teen-car-buying middle-class parents on the hunt for a great deal.
What Characteristics Should You Define for Your Buyer Personas?
You might assume to know a few details about your core customers. But creating a fully-developed buyer persona means identifying more than just entry-level demographics. We have a template guide that can be a great place to start. You can check it out here. In our next blog, we’ll dive into the specific questions to ask when creating your template, too. In general, every buyer persona should include the following details and characteristics:
- Age, gender and family demographics
- Occupation, education and salary information
- Homelife and household dynamics
- Personal goals, values and beliefs
- Personality traits
- How they spend their free time
Why Are Buyer Personas Important to Your Business Model?
Marketing is about meeting your audiences’ needs and making a profit. When you use personas, it helps you meet those customer needs by more fully defining who those customers are or could be. For example, you can put a name, an age and a range of interests on the buyer persona. This, in turn, ensures characters depict real individuals with specific values, which will influence how your product or service fulfills their needs as well as what marketing strategy would best suit them.
Creating personas helps you better understand your audience, and if properly executed, can help in profitably fulfilling the needs of consumers. Meeting these demands is important because, without understanding who they are or what their pain points may be, we cannot meet them to give a profitable return on investment (ROI).
How Buyer Personas Influence Your Ad Spend
- Stop Using Channels that Don’t Reach Your Personas
- Focus Efforts on Key Engagement Techniques
- Save Money in the Long Run
How Buyer Personas Boost Your Website Engagement Efforts
- Adjust the Style & Tone of Your Messaging
- Make Sure You’re Solving a Problem
- Use Website Language that Resonates with Your Audience
Buyer Personas for Social Media
- Engaging in Real-Time Conversations with Your Audience
- Finding Where Your Customers Hang Out
- Staying on Top of What’s Important to Them
Buyer Personas Allow Your Business to Explore New Solutions
- Knowing & Adjusting to Market Trends
- Launching New Products or Services (to the right audience)
- Grow with Existing Personas in New Directions (changing with your audience)
How to Harness the Power of Personas in Your Marketing Strategy
Once you know what buyer personas really are and have an understanding of why your business needs them, you can explore creating yours. We’ll help you get into the details in our next segment. But the key takeaways here are these critical points:
Be as detailed as possible. The best way to draw your target audience in is by being very specific when you describe them in the first place. This is your chance to personalize and customize the conversation. Knowing everything you can about them will allow you to do just that. It’s essential to include as many details about each person you intend to represent, including personality traits and how their lives flow. Paul might be able to identify what kind of cars his credit-challenged buyers like or where his middle-class teen car buyer parents like to hang out on a Saturday night. All of those details matter and can be incredibly helpful when building buyer personas. Keep in mind, too; you’ll stumble into new persona information as you go. And your buyer personas can be amended based on new information you uncover later.
Consider the customer’s stage in the buyer’s journey. In engaging with your product or service, you should tailor your message to the buyer’s stage. If they are still researching solutions, then a different message is needed compared to someone who has already converted from their research into action and those that understand industry terms and concepts well. In other words, buyers don’t just fall out of the sky and into your wheelhouse.
Use templates. Create a standard process, so you’re not chasing outliers or recreating the wheel every time. While each buyer persona is unique, you should create and use an overarching template to ensure your personas are well-developed and have the same level of detail across campaigns, products, and departments for optimal results. Each character you develop should create a clear picture that then becomes more transparent for everyone involved with using the persona.
Now that you likely have a better understanding of what buyer personas are, what advantages they bring to your business and why they’re so important, it’s time to put your ideas into action. Keep reading into our next segment, where we discuss precisely where to get started with building your personas. It may sound like a great deal of extra work, and it can be. But trust us on this one. Not creating your buyer personas now will lead to wasted marketing dollars and failed campaigns later.
Remember, too; your FREE consultation is just a click away. Let Awareness Branding & Consulting be your ultimate marketing guide in creating buyer personas and more!