Research shows that your customers expect you to understand them, and want your offers to be personalized to their particular wants and needs.
In this post and infographic, find out why and how the most successful marketers are using buyer personas to realize the most benefits from their content marketing efforts.
What are personas?
A persona is a fictionalized character that is a concrete representation of your ideal customer. Personas are grounded in research and developed based on the common traits of your ideal customers.
The Benefits of Creating Personas
Studies show that your prospects and customers expect you to understand what they’re about and to reflect that understanding in the way you interact with them.
In fact, Salesforce’s “Trends in Customer Trust” report states that 67% of Millennials and Gen Zers expect offers from companies to always be personalized.
In order to personalize your offers to your buyers, you obviously have to understand who they are as people. And that’s where buyer personas come in: studies show that 90% of companies who use personas have a clearer understanding of who their buyers are.
And with a greater understanding of your audience come demonstrable benefits.
Successful content marketers use buyer personas
An effective content marketing plan hinges on a solid understanding of your audience. In their B2B Content Marketing 2019 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, the Content Marketing Institute reveals that 77% of the most successful B2B content marketers use personas, compared to only 36% of the least successful.
Buyer personas help you reach your revenue goals
You can use buyer personas to segment your customer base and to tailor your marketing and development plans to each segment.
As a result, your offering will be more likely to resonate with prospects and to convert them into customers.
In fact, according to Cintell’s Understanding B2B Buyers Benchmark Study, companies who exceed lead and revenue goals are 2.4 times as likely to use personas for demand generation than those who missed lead and revenue goals.
The Elements of a Buyer Persona
Your goal for your personas is to turn them into very relatable characters that you get to know as well as if they were real. You’ll want to get as specific as possible about the traits that define them.
What are your ideal customers’ most common demographic attributes? For example:
- Are your ideal customers likelier to be men or women?
- Do they skew to a certain age group?
- Are they likely to have a particular level of education?
- Are they married? Do they have children? If so, how old are their children?
- What is their household income?
Make sure your persona reflects your answers to those questions.
And how about key personality traits? Are there certain personality characteristics that your ideal customers embody? For example are they fun-loving extroverts? Are they more serious and detail-oriented? Are they prone to stress? If certain personality types stand out among your ideal customers, make them part of your persona definition.
Motivations and preferences
Your buyer personas should help you understand the motivations that drive your ideal customers and the best way to reach them and resonate with them. Find out:
- Which goals and aspirations are your ideal customers are desperate to reach
- Which obstacles stand in their way of achieving their objectives
- How you can help them reach their goals overcome their challenges
- What their communication preferences are. For example, do they prefer phone calls or email? Do they want to be kept apprised of all details or do they prefer fewer, more summarized exchanges?
- What their content preferences are. For example to they prefer quick overview videos over long-form text content or are they the type to want to pore over as much written information as possible?
- What their media consumption habits are. For example, do they watch TV? Listen to the radio? Read magazines? Spend their time on social media? Get as specific as you can.
Do your ideal customers have similarities relating to their jobs or the types of companies they work for?
If so, your persona should reflect these common attributes.
This is particularly true if your company is B2B. Here are factors to consider as you define your buyer persona:
- Do your ideal customers often have the same job title and responsibilities?
- Which industries do your ideal customers work in?
- What size companies do your best customers work for? (You can define company size based on annual revenue as well as on their number of employees.)
- Do the companies you sell to tend to have a certain type of corporate culture?
- What budget do your ideal customers have for solutions like yours?