So you just created this in-depth e-book that you want to give away for free. It’s eight pages of pretty juicy but easy to read content but don’t know who to give it to? Who can I market this to?
You need a plan. How about developing a fictitious profile of the ideal customer or what’s called a Buyer’s Persona. Sound like a plan? All right, lets make it happen then.
Buyer’s Personas or Marketing Personas, as they’re sometimes called, are templates of your potential customers based on real data and your market research, and maybe a few assumptions when you’re still staring up.
Personas allow you to get a feel for who your true readership is. You get to immerse yourself in their thoughts to see what makes them happy, what stresses them out, or what makes them motivated.
As seen on this slide share by Act-On, A MarketingSherpa case study found that buyer personas added the following value:
- a 900% increase in length of visit
- a 171% increase in marketing-generated revenue
- a 111% increase in email open rate
- a 100% increase in the number of pages visited
They’re closely related to the value proposition for your company and ideally form the rational basis of your product development. Most persona needs should focus on what the person could get out of using a well–designed product or service.
But why do we need to spend time creating a fictitious person?
ITSMA knows, their pdf outlines some interesting facts such as, only 44% of B2B marketers use buyers personas.
It’s hard to write an article or create a video but not know anything about the group of people that you’re writing for. All of your hard work and research would be for nothing and who wants that?
A detailed buyers persona can give you a target to create your content for and what type of content they like.
As quoted from an Infographics done by HubSpot, Skytap, a self-service provider of cloud automation solutions, implemented a targeted content marketing strategy and saw the following results:
- 124% increased sales leads
- 55% increase in organic search traffic
- 97% increase in online leads
- 97% increase in online leads
- 210% increase in North American site traffic
So let’s get into what makes up a detailed persona.
Businesses that have been around for a few years and are more established have customers and therefore have experiences that they can call upon to create their personas.
Startups on the other hand, have to start out with vague descriptions and attributes until they have their own clients. They don’t have enough measurable data to use so some assumptions need to be made.
But no matter how much data you have, your always going to want to tweak and edit it.
So from a startups perspective, your personas will probably have a lot of superficial data such as demographic or speculative information. That’s ok as long as you go back and add to your personas after your business has taken off.
Here’s an example:
- Name and Title – Millie Marketer, Marketing Director for a women’s retail store.
- Age – 32
- Gender – Female
- Location – Bolder, CO
- Marital Status – Single but dating
- Children – None
- Reports To – VP of Marketing
- Company Size – 175
- Likes – Snowboarding, skiing, reading novels, vacationing once a year in the Caribbean, and walking her dogs
- Dislikes – She hates cold sales calls
- Millie likes to view videos and listen to podcasts regarding marketing and fashion on YouTube and iTunes.
- School Background – Undergrad communications degree at a state collage and a masters degree in business marketing.
- Technical Background – Millie began her career as a sales associate at a department store while she was doing her undergrad studies. She quickly advanced to store manager in less than 2 years. Once she graduated, she started her masters in marketing and business development. She was full of marketing ideas and moved from the store level into a position with the marketing team at corporate. After only a few years of being on a marketing team, Millie became the youngest director of marketing and business development the company has seen.
- Millie is a strategic thinker and a problem solver. She is very creative and can think out of the box to come up with excellent marketing campaigns.
- Millie is hesitant about entering into an agreement with an outsourced marketing company. She has been burned by other companies in the past and is comfortable with the one she is with now.
- Millie is an avid social media user. She posts pictures of her, her friends, and her dogs on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
- Favorite Websites – Some of Millie’s favorite sites include dmnews.com, eventmarketer.com, nytimes.com, inc.com, advertisingage.com, sethgodin.com, problogger.com, threadless.com, ryz.com, exuve.com, shopflick.com, ustrendy.com, stylecaster.com, adage.com, campaignlive.co.uk, theoutnet.com, etsy.com, copenhagencyclehic.com, urbanjunkies.com, whatkatiewore.com, marketingoffashion.com, and marketingoffashion.com
- Goals – Millie wants to do business with a marketing company that she can trust. She needs a company that can deliver on what they promise and can make her look good to the board of directors of her company. Money is not a concern; the only concern is whether she’s wasting the company’s money on a marketing company that is unable to produce.
These are just a few of the questions that are included in our free Buyers Persona Template.
Tools To Build a Buyers Persona Online
Creating a detailed persona can be time consuming, but it’s a must for gaining crucial insight on your customer’s minds. Businesses want loyal customers, well personas are will can help develop them.
Here are some tools that can help in creating personas. But remember, they aren’t going to create the holy grail of personas and must be edited along your journey to success.
The first on the list is a list of questions to help you think about what information you need to know from you’re future customers. It’s a free PowerPoint download from yours truly at East West Hosts.
Up Close and Persona is an online buyers persona builder that can be used as a starting platform for a persona.
They begin by getting a few basic demographic questions out of the way such as Gender, Race, and Age.
Next they go into some questions on the company and industry that your persona works for such as name, annual revenue, current trends, and industry leaders.
The product includes questing like:
- Who does he/she answer to?
- Is there potential for growth?
- What are the role responsibilities of your prospect with that title?
- What outcomes must they achieve?
- Does your prospect know about the problem?
- What is a problem in the industry that your business can solve?
After the creation of your persona, they will email a copy to your inbox, which is pretty slick.
Persona.io works pretty similar to Up Close and Persona in that it asks basic questions to form a simple profile that you can work with to create a super persona.
After creating an account and logging in you can begin creating a new project as they call it.
It shows you four quadrants each with it’s own set of fields that you can add realistic needs, wants, and daily behavioral traits. Also, make sure to upload a picture to make it as realistic as possible.
Each section should get at least 4 or 5 different fields for a basis where you can build upon in the future.
After creation, your persona can be exported as a pdf, shared via a public link to be viewed, or printed incase your just used to having stacks of paper on your desk.
It also has a pretty nice help section, which includes topics such as what personas are not good for, a step by step of how to use the software, and some do’s and don’t tips.
MakeMyPersona is a tool built by our friends at HubSpot and like the others, allow you to pick a picture for your persona and asks a few baseline questions.
This menu driven builder makes creating a persona easy and it will email you the results when you’re done. HubSpot also has a free customizable template if you want to build a persona offline.
Most startups need to produce documents such as marketing material for their business. Well, Xtensio does that and then some. With the ability to create press releases, media kits and content strategy calendars comes the ability to create what they call User Personas.
With Xtensio, you don’t get an online menu driven experience. Instead, you are presented with a template that’s divided into 8 sections for you to edit. Once complete, you can download it, get a link that you can send via email or blog post, or present it on a large screen projector.
The Secret Sauce Of Buyers Personas
The one thing that all of these persona templates have in common is that they really just cover the Demographic data and not really the Psycographic Data. This is where accurate statitsics and details come in to play.
Psyographic Data is the study of a persons or a groups of persons actvities, opinions, values, intrests, behavior, and personality to give you better segmentation and advertising in you’re marketing campaigns.
When you’re are able to learn why people buy then we can take our marketing campaigns to new hights. You can begin to really target you’re audience with new offers, improve you’re marketing strategies, and focus you’re markering budgets.
Good Psychographic data will lead you to do smarter keyword targeting. If you know how the differences in what’s important to them then you can focus your social media ads at those interests.
So now that you understand what psychographics are, lets see how we can go about getting this type of data.
Want to know what they do in their spare time? Just ask! Surveys and Questionnaires are a great way to get connected with your audience.
With surveys and questionnaires, you can ask questions such as “ What social media sites do you use” or “What is your opinion on Windows newest operating system”.
They can both be included in email blasts and on your website. If you know how to ask the right questions then they’ll give you all the information you want.
Create surveys and focus groups in your social media platforms that will give you even more insight as to what users are interested in. Ask questions and sit back and listen to the conversations with you’re listening ears on.
There are a few ingredients to great marketing and a rock solid buyers persona is one of the. When it comes to getting content in front of the right people, you need a clear and concise persona complete with demographic as well as psychographic details in order to target the right augment of your audience.
This list is definitely not the most comprehensive document on buyers personas so if you have a thought or tip that you want to share, leave a comment below or share it on our Q&A page.