Like they say in the marketing world, “Know your audience.”
A buyer’s persona is created considering factors like demographics, behavioral patterns, goals, motivation, and involvement with the issue/product at hand. These personas are what constitute the final target audience. A B2B buyer persona will ideally represent your final client or, better still, the final decision-maker.
Creating a buyer persona is the first step to any marketing or research campaign. One must be very sure about the target audience for a product to guide the development of strategies.
Having an explicit characterization of a buyer helps you to increase leads and drive customers to the business while optimizing content creation and, finally, sales.
How to create great user personas
Till a few decades ago, buyer personas were segmented mainly based on demographics. It referred to gender, age bracket, and purchasing power expressly. But, in recent times, with the advent of multiple varieties of every product, marketing strategies have channelized a buyer’s persona into more detailed segments.
It still broadly refers to the divisions mentioned above, namely age, sex, and income, but has now been advanced to include influencers and the ultimate buyers and final decision-makers. For example, for a child’s toy, a child may be the influencer, but his or her parent is the top buyer. Demographics also refers to the place, weather, and living conditions of a persona. For example, a dishwasher or an air conditioner cannot possibly be marketed in small villages or hilly regions.
It refers to the mental make-up of the people you want to sell to. For example, if you are marketing sports gear, you need to understand which sport is preferred and by which section of people. Psychographic segmentation enables creating clusters of buyers with similar characteristics and then grouping them accordingly. These clusters are formed based on social class, interests, and lifestyle.
Attitudinal segmentation keeps the inner motivation of a consumer in mind. What influences them and what their attitude is towards a particular category of product. For example, whether a class of people prefers home-schooling or traditional schooling will decide the target audience for marketing a new school. For this segmentation, one also considers the kind of media customers are exposed to, what they watch or listen to and what ideas they resonate with.
It refers to the behavioral pattern of a persona with a specific product in mind. For example, if the product is a women’s bag, how often does she use it? Where does she use one? How often does she like to change? Does she prefer high-end bags, branded bags or functional bags?
Keeping these factors in mind can help create great user personas who will be more focused.
Everything you need to do before building a user persona
Before creating a persona, these are the things one must do, for starters.
Collective knowledge and social listening
This is an excellent time to brainstorm with the team, as collective knowledge is always better. It allows a wide spectrum of thought processes and mindsets to be explored. Try to involve as many minds as possible. Sticking to single-minded ideas can make your campaign tunnel-visioned and disastrous.
Do internal and external surveys, including questions about the solutions the marketing content concerned wishes to offer. As B2B marketers, the database will execute most of the content and persona-building.
Understanding the problem
Every content marketing effort targets a problem. Every product seeks a USP in the issues and weaknesses of that sector. For example, a cream for sensitive skin will target people affected with acne-prone, imperfect and damaged skin. A sun-screen lotion will target people who have to be outdoors a lot. Sanitary napkins will talk about leakage and discomfort. Identify the problem to touch the soft spot of an audience and create a perfect buyer’s persona accordingly.
Pick a team that will be unconditionally involved in the content strategy. Include frontliners of the organization. They are the people involved with the general public and understand the target audience’s likes and dislikes much better. It is where real data lies. Have one person represent every key area to smoothen out the various clusters of personas effectively.
Marketing automation and CRM
Scan through marketing automation solutions and CRM. Persona-based segmented lists are available in the marketing automation system. CRM contains a lot of buyer persona fields like title and industry that you can work with.
This is a significant factor in building a buyer’s persona for marketing content. The spending capacity and loose cash of the chosen segment will determine the pricing of a product. Inversely, consider the pricing of a product to determine who the ultimate buyer will be.
Some templates of building user personas
‘Keep it simple’ is the key to a good and effective template. The survey should not be tedious to the demo group. The template sketch depends on the complexity of the service or product on offer. Determining the number of personas is also important. A standard rule of thumb is creating 3-5 buyer personas.
A simple standard template:
- Decision-maker: yes or no
Detailed information to be included in buyer personas:
- How we help
- Messaging strategy
Example #1: Decision-maker at a small advertising agency
- Name: Priyanka Juneja
- Title: Sales director
- Decision-maker: Yes
- Industry: Advertising
- Age: 36
- Salary: Rs. 60,00,000/year
- Education: Masters in Advertising and PR
- Goals: Increase content with an increasing client base.
- Challenges: Wasting time vetting freelancers.
- How we help: Connect Priyanka with experienced, efficient writers.
- Messaging strategy: Focus on saving her time by supplementing her with a pool of efficient writers for client projects.
Example #2: Non-decision-maker at an enterprise tech company
- Name: Arijay Ray
- Title: Marketing manager
- Decision-maker: No
- Industry: IT
- Age: 29
- Salary: Rs. 36,00,000/year
- Education: BS in Marketing
- Goals: Delivering prospective leads to the sales team for the growth of the user base and achieving targets.
- Challenges: Improvement of conversion rates on portals with relevant content.
- How we help: Connect Arijay with technical writers.
- Messaging strategy: Providing subject matter experts to write B2B content for Arijay.
Mapping a buyer persona to content
Once you define your buyer personas, it is time to plan your content around them. This is crucial when setting a content marketing strategy. You can map your personas to various types of content: from blogs to website copy, ad copies, and even your videos. Storytelling can be a great tool in the hands of marketers to create an immediate connection with your buyer persona.
Content mapping uses the marketing funnel and various content types to define a visual flow of content between two user actions. Defining your buyer personas is the first step towards building this map.