If you think top brands haven’t got you profiled, think again. Ever see certain emails or ads ‘pop up’ after purchasing an item? What about a change in your Facebook content after clicking ‘Like’ on certain posts? Yes, you’ve been profiled. Somewhere among vast computer databases, there’s a buyer persona with your name on it. In fact, companies have been using consumer profiles for years and 3-4 buyer personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales. Brands that use personas are more likely to see increased sales and lower marketing costs because their campaigns are more effective and efficient.
So, What Is A “Buyer Persona” and Why Do They Work?
Think of buyer personas as snapshots of your ideal customers. But a persona goes even deeper. It takes you from a two-dimensional model of your customer (think stick figure), to a detailed, 3D picture that allows you to thoroughly understand your customers’ needs, wants and interests.
And according to a MarketingSherpa case study, the use of buyer personas led to a 900% increase in the length of a website visit, a 171% increase in marketing-generated revenue and a 111% increase in email open rates.
The reason they work so well, especially when it comes to content marketing and email marketing, is best explained by a simple analogy:
Think about two sandwich shops. You walk into one and they offer you 5 to 10 pre-made sandwiches. They’re all good, but maybe not exactly what you’re craving. Now, imagine you walk into the shop next door and they ask you what you want. You get to choose every ingredient, from the bread to the fixings, and you get a customized sandwich exactly to your tastes.
Which shop are you likely to return to or recommend to a friend? Probably the second one, right? Because instead of a generic product and experience, you’re getting a personalized one.
Good Content Is Like The ‘Meat’ In Your Marketing Sandwich
You don’t want to sell people turkey when your customers want roast beef. That’s why it’s so important to understand what your customers think, feel and like.
This is where it pays to spend a bit more time profiling your target audiences before you send out your messaging, ads or branded content.
The good news is that personas are very easy to create.
Crafting The ‘Right’ Persona
There are many great persona templates that can help you get started. However, you can always create your own. Try to create at least 3-5 different personas of your ideal customers that include:
- The Persona Name – e.g. Laurie Thinks A Lot – slow adopter
- Their Job Title and Essential Information About Their Company – including size, sector etc.
- Their Demographics – which include age, gender, salary, location, education and family size
- Their Goals and Challenges – what are their main goals and common challenges?
- Values and Fears – outline personal values and any fears about doing business with you
- Your Marketing Message – outline the ways you could explain your products or services to this person and the messages you think will appeal to them
Then add extra details, such as preferred social media, personal hobbies and preferred news sources.
Don’t Forget Negative Buyer Personas
Negative buyer personas or exclusionary personas represent the customers you don’t want to reach. But they’re equally important to create. By clearly defining who you DON’T want to reach with your branding, you will streamline campaigns to those who are likely to be receptive to your messaging and products.
Make a list of personas that you want to eliminate in your targeted campaigns, such as consumers or businesses that:
- Are involved in a similar industry and could be viewed as competition
- Have values that don’t align with your brand
- Are unlikely to buy from you, such as students conducting research, industries that have no practical use for your products/services etc.
Parting Words on Effective Personas
Of course, the strongest buyer personas are mostly based on consumer and market research. For this, you may want to hire a brand strategy agency. They can do all the legwork, while you focus on running your business. It’s worth the investment. The right messages, delivered to the right audiences, can move customers through sales funnels more rapidly, can lead to greater customer satisfaction and retention and will often move them towards either liking, buying or becoming advocates for your brand.
Need a leg up when it comes to understanding your target consumers? Our brand consultants can help you with customer analysis, brand strategy and content generation. Call 778.298.1966 or Toll Free at 1.855.298.8650 or fill in our contact form.
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