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What is a Buying Persona?
Buying personas are a really key element to marketing, and knowing your buying personas is so important to creating a successful marketing plan. Many companies who are building a marketing plan, or venturing into a content campaign are still not considering their marketing buying personas. Therefore what is a buying persona? and how do you build an accurate plan.
Buying Persona, what is one of those?
A buying persona is quite simply a description of your typical target customer based on your overall audience research. The idea is to create a profile of what this ideal customer would be like, so you are able to create a marketing plan to target these people.
Different groups of people buy different products. You will therefore need to create more than one buying persona. A starting point will be to focus on your key products, and work through each to create a buying persona. It will really help when you then go to market your products to attract the correct audience.
How should your business use a buyer persona or audience persona
Creating a buying persona helps to then create a bespoke message which targets each group. By understanding your buying personas also means you will know exactly how and also when to reach these people.
Buying personas do also help to influence key business decisions outside of just marketing. What products you are going to introduce are influenced by your audience, so knowing who you are going to approach can really make the difference to your company.
Creating Buying personas
If you do not know your buyer personas then you need to conduct your research, not just work on gut instinct. Knowing your individual buying personas, or group personas really help you to tailor your overall marketing plan. So the 5 very easy steps to follow are as follows:-
Do thorough audience research
- Learn who is already buying from you
This should be information you have easy access to, or able to answer this very easily. Gather your information and analyse. You will want to consider age, gender, location, language, income, interests and also buying behaviour. From here you can really tailor how you are going to market to them. It may be you need to use email marketing, or it may also be your audience if of that age range that social media is going to be the best tool for you to use.
- Use your website and social analytics
If you’re using social media, and are utilising business pages this is where your analytics will come into play. Take a look at the data. You will be able to analyse age, gender, location and even the times you are posting your content. This will help you to be able to put your plan together for your audience.
- See what your competition is up to
Once you have had a look at your own audience, and analysed your own data, now you want to look at your competition. What are they doing to promote their business? Are they using social media? Do they use email marketing? And most importantly are they attracting their audience? It is a really good opportunity to learn from them.
Identify customer pain points
Customer pain points are great when it comes to building a buyer persona, as ultimately your products and services are going to solve these. Knowing pain points helps to build a better customer profile outside of the normal demographics. And may also help you to tailor your marketing efforts.
Marketing is a great way to sell your products and services, but your products and services need to solve customers issues. If they don’t, then marketing is a pointless task. Your customers will naturally be curious after seeing your marketing, and your customer team may find they get asked numerous questions when speaking to prospective customers. The questions of your customers can be easily answered with your marketing as well.
Identify customer goals
As important customer pain points are, so are their overall goals. Customers will have an idea in their mind what they are wanting to achieve, and your products or services will need to help. Knowing these goals or aspirations will help you to target the correct demographics, age categories or even industries.
Using a process called Social Listening is going to be the best way forward. Listening to the people within your market, regardless if you can solve their pain points, or achieve their goals will really help to drill down on who you need to be aiming your marketing campaign at.
Understand how you can help
So we have looked at pain points and also goals, so now you need to understand how your business can help. This is where knowing the difference between your products features and benefits will come in. Being able to demonstrate why your products or services will benefit your customers, will help to enforce why they should purchase from you.
Features naturally are the marketers main focus point. But remember, a benefit is how your product makes your customers’ life easier will need to be the main focus for this part of the task.
Turn your research into buyer personas
So now you have done all your research, you are sitting with tonnes of data. But what you will have seen is some very common characteristics. This what you will base your personas on. For example lots of people in the same location, same gender or even same age range.
Taking all the above data now you need to create a buying persona. This persona needs to be very similar to an exact person. Someone you could imagine in front of you talking about your business, brand and also products. These are the people you need to target.
Yes, there are going to be some people who fall outside of these personas, but this is a more generic list to use. If you are able to build group personas then you are also able to target a larger percentage of your target market. Whereas before you were trying to target anyone and everyone.
If you also feel at this point you do not have enough information, then take a look at this article by HubSpot. They have some essential tips to what research you could be doing to help. 17 Tools & Resources for Conducting Market Research
As you can see knowing and being able to research your buying personas is very important to overall business success. Buying personas do not just affect marketing but overall business decisions. The question of what is a buying persona quite simply is your ideal consumer. Knowing your buying persona can be found through a variety of channels.