Buckle up because today we're divining into the wild and exciting world of... creating buyer personas. Yes, I know it might sound as thrilling as watching paint dry but trust me, it's way more exciting, useful and less messy.
Now, you might be asking, "Why on earth do I need to pretend my customers are characters in a novel?"
Creating detailed buyer personas is like crafting an elaborate backstory for your favorite superhero. You know, like how Batman wouldn't be Batman without a bat, a cave, and some serious parental issues?
In the same way, understanding who your customers are – their dreams, their challenges, their favorite midnight snacks – is crucial to making your marketing hit home.
Buyer persona is one of the most popular criteria for segmenting content, with 40% of B2B marketers segmenting content by buyer persona. In fact, 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized, which underlines the importance of defining buyer personas.
So, let me start by showing you what it usually looks like in the end.
This is a buyer persona profile I did for a client that was going through a rebrand at the time. It was crucial in defining the communication strategy, the tone of voice I'd use for the copy and many other things.
Now, how did I get here?
How to Create a Buyer Persona: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Inside Your Customers' Heads
Step 1 - Defining the Basics: Pinpointing Your Buyer's Demographics
First off, we've got demographics. That's a fancy word for the basics: age, sex, location, family status, level of education. You know, the stuff you'd put on your Facebook profile if you didn't care about privacy settings.
It's like the DNA of your persona – it won't tell you everything about them, but it sets the stage for their life's drama. For instance, a millennial living in a bustling city is probably going to have different needs and wants than a retiree chilling in a countryside cottage.
Step 2 - Work Life: Profiling Your Buyer's Professional Status
Next, we delve into their professional life. Are they a hotshot CEO? A fresh graduate finding their footing? A freelancer living the dream in their pijamas?
What's their job title? Are they a desk jockey or a remote warrior? What's their level of seniority, and how much dough are they raking in? This is especially critical if you're in the B2B space - because you want to make sure your product is catching the eye of the decision-makers.
Step 3 - The Driving Factors: What Makes Them Tick?
Demographics and professional status are great, but they're the tip of the iceberg. To really understand your customers, you need to delve into the murky waters of psychographics – their values, beliefs, political views, lifestyles.
This is where you really start to understand your customers on a deeper level. What motivates them? What are their fears? Do they believe in aliens? Understanding these psychological factors can help you build a genuine emotional connection with your customers.
Step 4 - Influences and Information Sources: Where Do They Hang Out?
Then, you'll need to identify where they spend their time online and who they trust. Do they get their news from Twitter or are they still into traditional newspapers? Are they lost in the rabbit hole of YouTube or do they prefer to get their news from blogs or print media? Do they have a thought leader they practically worship? This info is like your secret weapon - it helps you know where to place your content and who to hobnob with.
Knowing this helps you decide where to focus your marketing efforts and how to communicate your message effectively.
Step 5 - Pain Points - What's Bugging Them?
Next, we have pain points. Think of these as the villains in your customers' lives, the nuisances, the frustrations, the obstacles. Understand these, and you can swoop in like a superhero, saving the day with your product or service.
Step 6 - The Purchasing Process - How Do They Shop?
Finally, the purchasing process. Now, this is where we get into the head of our customer when they are about to hit that 'Buy Now' button. What's their role in the decision-making process? How often do they buy or use the product? Are there any hurdles they face during the purchasing process? Understanding this can turn you from a mere vendor into a trusted partner.
Crafting a comprehensive buyer persona profile is a lot of work but it's necessary if you want all your marketing and communications to be as effective and serving a cold Cola Cola on a scorching summer afternoon.
But that’s just me, thinking out loud.