The Buyer Persona: A Content Creator's Best Friend
I’ve written before about the importance of keeping your audience in mind when you create content, but how do you identify that audience? How do you know what your audience wants and needs, and how they want it presented to them? The answer lies in the buyer persona.
Simply put, a buyer persona is an archetype or model of your company’s current and potential customers. The best buyer personas are crafted using actual data from your customers; generalizations based on assumptions usually miss the mark and can even alienate current and potential customers.
The type of data that builds the best buyer persona varies depending on the industry (data that’s important in B2B isn’t as applicable in B2C, for example), but in general, these are the things you’ll want to know about your customers when building your buyer persona:
- Age Range
- Level of Education
- Shopping Habits
- Attitudes and Beliefs
- Purpose, i.e “Why are they buying the product or service?”
- Challenges and objections, or “What might prevent them from buying from you?”
- Pain Points, or “What frustrates them about your industry?”
- Search and Social habits
- Content Preferences
- Role in Buying Cycle
Surveys have always been an efficient way to get data from customers, but the data collected isn’t guaranteed to be accurate. For more effective results, collect your data via conversations with your customers. Social media is a great tool for fostering conversations with both current and potential customers.
Meet Your New BFF
Your data should give you a pretty clear idea of what your customers like and want in general, but it’s up to you to break the data up into buyer personas. If your customers are all in the same age range and otherwise share the same interests and shopping habits, you may only need one buyer persona. But if your customer data varies, multiple buyer personas are the way to go.
Some companies name their buyer personas and even use stock images to represent them in order to make it easier to visualize them and create content with them in mind. Whether you give them a name and a face or not, by the time you’ve gathered your data and crafted your buyer persona, content ideas will likely already be springing to life.
Creating buyer personas may seem a little silly at first, but once you have them you’ll wonder how you ever created content without them. When you’re creating content for a buyer persona, it takes all of the guesswork out of crafting your content and leaves you free to be creative. You already know what tone and words to use, and you know what your persona wants your content to do. All that’s left to do is create.