The term, buyer persona, has most likely presented itself a few times throughout your career in marketing. Whether you have a general understanding, use the word loosely in daily conversation or overlook that fact that you might have no idea what it means, understanding buyer personas is essential to your strategic marketing execution.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a representation of the type of individual that you’re trying to reach with your marketing efforts. The strongest personas are fictitious figures of the prospective customers you should be targeting based on your existing customer data, analytics and strategy.
What to include and how to reach your specific buyer persona.
Before beginning to construct your interpretation of the idealized consumer, you need to step back and take a hard look at your established customer data. A detailed buyer persona should focus on the person’s demographics, behaviors, career paths, goals, hobbies, values and whatever other aspects are necessary to that specific persona. The data that you want to narrow in and focus on should be comprised from the consisting consumer metrics you already have access to. Shine a spotlight on your site analytics, contact databases, existing customers or prospects and use surveys, interviews and focus groups to begin to gather persona insights from relevant audiences.
When combining the collected data, be mindful of the persona’s main problems and objectives. If you can put yourself in the shoes of your buyer persona to understand how they’re thinking, then that’s half the battle. Also, being aware of the platforms that your persona frequents is imperative. Are they active on Facebook or Twitter, but not using LinkedIn? Do they consume all of their news on social media or do they prefer to read about the day’s happenings in their local newspaper? Understanding how your personas prefer to access content is another way to reach your target. If you work in higher education and are targeting prospective students, your persona may focus more on geographics, education, income status and other factors that directly contribute to the idealized student you want to reach.
How do you create a persona?
Creating a buyer persona derives from research and all personas are different. Each one is tailored to be as specific as the audience you’re trying to reach. By including every detail, marketers can grasp a better understanding of how their customer is thinking. The main reasoning behind a buyer persona is to get inside the psyche of your target and understand their purchasing decisions and the power they have, so you can predict their next move.
Why are personas important to marketers?
Buyer personas are a fundamental part to implementing any marketing strategic decisions. The key behind a solid buyer persona is to utilize it when creating content. Fabricating content based off of what your buyer person wants to read, access, share or is searching for is one of the most effective ways to reach your target.
Now that you have a clearer understanding of what a buyer persona is and why it’s a crucial part to any marketing strategy, check out how you can improve upon your existing buyer personas, or if you have any questions, drop us a line at [email protected].
Hayley is a social media strategist at Incentric. When she’s not working or at the beach, you can usually find her dreaming about traveling back to Italy or all over the world for that matter.