Summary of the blog: An accurate buyer persona lays the foundation for a successful digital marketing campaign. It guides your customer strategy by empowering brands to understand the user’s likes, preferences, behaviour, and so on. Read on to understand the tips, tricks, and hacks on how to build a revenue-driven buyer persona.
Think of a buyer persona as the blueprint to your ideal customer. A well-researched buyer persona demonstrates your customer’s personal narrative, which includes their interests, buying patterns, intent, purchase behaviour, among other things. If you wish to leverage this powerful content tool, keep reading.
So, what is a buyer persona exactly?
A buyer persona, quite simply, refers to a research-based, semi-fictional representation or outline of your ideal target base. It helps brands to understand their customers better – from understanding who the buyers are and what they want to how they think and why they make buying decisions.
Understandably, brands end up creating various versions of a buyer persona to target different customers for multiple products. Each persona created helps build targeted strategies for that specific customer base. In other words, the marketing communication is personalized and tailored to the customer’s liking.
Here is an example of a well-conceived buyer persona of a millennial customer for a food kit delivery service:
Why are buyer personas instrumental to digital marketing success?
In today’s digital landscape, creating a buyer persona poses multiple benefits. Here’s what the research indicates:
● Website user-friendliness: A buyer persona can make websites 2-5x more effective and easier to use by targeted users.
● Lead generation: Around 71% of organisations that exceed lead and revenue goals have personas in place.
● Better user understanding: A staggering 90% of organisations are able to create a better understanding of their buyers by using personas, and 82% of them have an improved value proposition.
The writing is on the wall: creating a data-rich buyer persona and extracting insights from the same can have 360-degree benefits for the business. After all, not understanding the fundamental needs, motivations, and behaviour of your users can cost your business quite literally.
Top 4 applications of a buyer persona
Buyer personas can be used for a host of useful activities such as:
● Product maps: The product team can benefit from insights related to the product. For instance, if a customer wants specific features within an existing product, the product team can make changes accordingly. They can prioritize development based on customer needs and solve user issues in real-time.
● Digital marketing campaigns: One of the biggest advantages of leveraging a buyer persona is the ability to create personalized content that engages the target audience. By clearly understanding the ‘who’ behind the buying decision, the content and designing teams can improve their copy as well as visuals and target customers with the right messaging. In simpler words, a buyer persona can pave the way for more relevant, authentic, and personalized content.
● SEO Services: When coupled with your SEO efforts, a buyer persona can provide the much-needed visibility, traffic, and boost that your digital campaign needs. Marketers can engage in keyword research, and draft targeted messaging that’s aimed at the correct target audience.
● PPC advertising: Another area of great interest is Pay-Per-Click advertising. Using a buyer persona as the guide, businesses can run targeted ad campaigns and reach out to potential leads more effectively (and profitably).
Useful strategies on how to create a targeted buyer persona
Creating an ROI-driven buyer persona is an exacting science – it requires a heady mix of both qualitative and quantitative research. In other words, it is much more than getting the basic demographics (think: age, gender, email, etc.) of your target audience right. Here are a few tried-and-tested tips for building a credible buyer persona:
● Say no to herd mentality: When it comes to buyer personas, what may work for some brands may not work for others. Marketers should not follow a one-size-fits-all approach to cater to their customers. By blindly following what others are doing, they will end up putting their brand affinity at great risk.
● Focus on collecting data relentlessly: Most buyer personas are created based on inaccurate data or worse, no data at all. Your buyer persona will only be as effective as the customer data that you input. To that effect, marketers should constantly update the persona and focus on understanding what drives their target audience to make purchases in real-time. In fact, research indicates that 65% of organisations that update their persona frequently (within 6 months) exceed their lead and revenue goals.
● Do not forget to research user behaviour: Buyer personas help marketers understand their customer’s goals, what the latter is trying to achieve, and how customers end up at the brand’s doorstep. All this information becomes vital when trying to build a life-like buyer persona.
● Deep-dive to learn about the user’s pain points: The end goal of every buyer persona is to throw light on the user’s most pressing pain points and issues. This is why marketers should ask questions about how the customer views the brand/product. This critical piece of information can help marketers understand the customer’s mindset, experience and expectations with the brand, and any preconceived notions they may be harbouring.
● Do not rely on stereotypes: Another blind spot for most marketers is creating personas based on stereotypes as opposed to ‘real people’ that make up the loyal customer base. Additionally, it is important for marketers to move beyond giving their persona a name and a face; they need to base their persona on insightful, actionable user information that can be collated from open-ended surveys, in-person interviews, exit surveys, etc.
Impactful buyer personas are not an end-product of gut-driven light bulb moments from marketers or created at whim. They need to be drafted strategically, with real-time customer data that are extracted from various authentic and relevant sources – be it interviews, focus groups, surveys, and the like. Audience relevance plays an integral factor in buyer persona-led digital marketing success.
All in all, buyer personas empower marketers to put themselves in the customer’s shoes and approach every initiative from the customer’s viewpoint – a big win, if you ask us. If brands do not invest in the time and effort that’s required to understand their core customers, they’ve already lost half the battle.