UNDERSTANDING AND DEFINING BUYER PERSONAS

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As we discussed in the previous blog post, customer experience is the single biggest priority for marketers, moving into next year and beyond. One of the first steps Total BS Media recommends when starting to analyze the customer experience is defining your buyer persona(s).

 A buyer persona is a fictionalized, generalized representation of your ideal customer. They help you understand the unique needs and wants of your target audience and allow you to directly address those needs and wants through your content marketing efforts. To identify your buyer persona take the data you have on current customers. You can use surveys or marketing automation tools to identify patterns within that base or, if you are early in the process, simply make educated assumptions based on research about your target audience. Your company may have one or two, or as many as twenty buyer personas.

 Below we will outline the questions that need to be answered to identify a buyer persona and the steps to create great content targeted at that persona.

 One thing we love at Total BS Media is a good party. How does every good party get started? With a great invitation! Let’s take a queue from that invite. (I wanted to say Ice Ice Baby dance off)

 Who, What, Why & How

 The Who (Know this and you won’t get fooled again)

Give your persona a succinct, descriptive name. Example: Marketing Manager Mary, Tech Head Todd, or Analyst Allie. You get the drift. By giving them cute pets names, you form a relatable identity and can craft content based on their traits.

 Questions to ask in the Who phase:

  1. What are their background, job title, and career trajectory?
  2. What’s their demo? Girl or boy? Age range? Income level? Geographic information?
  3. Talk to me. What are their communication preferences? Email? SMS? Smoke Signals? Pigeons?

 The What

Dig into their goals and challenges and figure out what content you can create to help.

 Questions to ask in the What phase:

  1. What is the number one goal of this buyer persona? What is their secondary goal?
  2. What are some of the biggest challenges they face at their company? What challenges would take second place?
  3. What do you do or offer, that can you help them?

 The Why

You want to mimic as closely as possible how they talk about their challenges and what are some of their common objections to seeking out help.

 Questions to ask in the Why phase:

  1. Get real. Write a real (or as real-ish as possible) statement about their biggest challenges and goals.
  2. I object! What are some of the biggest objections you get from potential buyers about using your product or services?

 The How

You need to get into the nitty-gritty of describing your solution to the buyer persona and then understand where your personas hang out, so you can target messages in the correct medium.

 Questions to ask in the How phase:

  1. How do I clearly describe my solution to this buyer persona? What is the most effective platform to deliver that message?
  2. Going Up? How do you sell your solution to your persona? You need to be able to describe your solution, while touching on their needs and goals, in just a couple of sentences. Think elevator pitch, or if you’re claustrophobic, think two flights of stairs pitch.

 Once you have your first buyer persona defined, you can work to effectively market to them, because you now have a better understanding of what makes them tick. Some last questions to ask before crafting a content marketing strategy would be:

  1. How will they search for a solution?
  2. What phrase or words will they search for?
  3. What is the preferred delivery format for that information?
  4. Do they like Infographics, E-books or whitepapers?
  5. Where do they go for information on how to solve their problem?

 There are a lot of questions in this post, and they are all meant to spur thinking and discussion. Walk through each question and answer as much as you can. You might not have all of the facts right away, but having a general idea of who your ideal buyer persona is can make a huge difference.