What are buyer personas?
The other day I was encouraging a client to create buyer personas before she set out to start her company blog. To which she replied:
"What are buyer personas?"
A valid question.
Buyer personas are semi-fictions stories about your dream customers based on data and educated speculation.
When I first heard of buyer personas I thought, well, these are a little silly. How could writing fictitious stories about potential clients help me with my marketing efforts? It seemed kind of like a waste of time.
Well, turns out they are INCREDIBLY helpful. So helpful in fact that I'm sorry I'm just now blogging about why you should use them.
By creating buyer personas you can really put yourself in the shoes of the person looking for your products or services. Sure, everyone does that, right? Well not to the extent that I'm about to encourage you to do.
I'm sure you have an idea of who your target market is, but by taking the time to build these profiles out, you may realize you don't know as much about your target market as you think you do.
They also will most likely start triggering some ideas of where and how you can further reach your market.
Before you start, think of how many "types" of customers you have.
Then, for each type of customer answer the following questions:
- Age range?
- Job level?
- Income level?
- What does a day in their life (in and OUT of work) look like?
- What do they value?
- Where do they go for information?
- What blogs/ online publications do they read?
- What associations do they belong to?
- What are their main problems? (Answer this in the frame of reference of how you can solve them for them.)
- How do they want to solve them?
- What experience are they looking for when they are searching for your product or service?
- What are their most common objectives for your product or service?
After you answer these question for each type of customer, take the time to write a story about this dream customer. Have fun with it! Use photos! (I know this is the part that seems a little silly and excessive, but TRUST me, it'll help.)
Now, say you have 3 buyer personas built out. How do you incorporate them into your day to day marketing? It's simple.
For EVERY piece of content you create and WHERE you create it, be it a post for Facebook or Google+, a tweet, an email, a Facebook ad, you should create it with one of these people in mind.