- Explore why they’re so important.
- We’re going to discuss how you can develop them into more than your typical “Exercise Ed” type profile.
- In addition, we’ll look at how we can adapt them for SEO and use them throughout your SEO campaign and beyond. There’s no point investing time or even paying a branding consultant if you’re never going to use them.
Why are buyer personas so important?
Switching from brand-led to customer-led communications
Coherent Cross-Channel Messaging
More than marketing
- Sales teams can use them to have more customer centric conversations. If you’ve ever worked in sales you’ll know that it’s as much about asking the right questions and identifying issues as it is selling your product or service.
- Product development can use buyer personas to create a better product/service for the customer. This is especially effective when buyer personas are adapted according to data and experience in the market.
- Management can start to identify changes in the market and adapt the business plan to stay relevant and competitive.
What does a great buyer persona look like?
- What are their goals?
- Why are they looking for your product/service?
- What problems are faced by your persona?
- What do they want from a product?
- How have they been disappointed in the past?
- What do they fear?
- Do they have common objections?
- What motivates them to purchase?
Clear and Concise
How do you create buyer personas?
The questions you ask yourself, existing clients and prospects will be different between industries. They will differ between businesses and personas. Why? The stock templates you can find online are exactly that….templates. Useful, but not specific to your needs. Personas differ, products and services have their own USPs, brands have specific positions within the market.
Understanding this, we’re going to look at the key information and processes that can be used across industries and businesses. Pick what is pertinent to you, not what is easiest to achieve. Think critically about your own business and audience and you’ll soon have valuable personas that help drive your business forward.
There are three points to take note of:
1) We’ve started with internal processes because they provide a benchmark. You can also identify where your internal brand differs from your externally facing brand. Starting with external processes can influence any internal brainstorming or positioning. You can choose a different order, but be aware of the biases that will enter the process.
2) This is not an exhaustive list. Add items that you believe will have an impact on your personas. Remember that we’re looking to create personas that are actionable and concise.
3) We already know the purpose of our buyer personas. As such, we’ll be providing an overview of the processes, rather than granular questions that might unspecific to your needs. This is going to require some adaptation of the core theory as you run through the process, but don’t let that scare you. The better you understand the underlying principles, the more effective you’ll be throughout the process.
- Customer Service
- Product/service development
- Senior Management
Understand your current positioning and your desired position
Gather information from existing clientele
Use tools to extract data
Key questions to ask
- What are their professional goals? What are the overarching business goals?
- Are they a decision maker? Where does their role sit in the company structure?
- Identify the challenges they face in their position. How does your business help them with these?
- What role does your company play in their position / their team’s goals?
- What pressures/fears do they have?
- What is their level of knowledge in relation to your product or service?
- How would they gain more knowledge?
- Any common objections? e.g are they price sensitive or goal oriented?
- How is a tender process structured? How do they go out to market?
- What are the implications for them making the wrong choice?
- What are the benefits from them making the right choice?
- Why would they choose your business?
- Identify key buying motives. For example, is it emotion, status, utility (usefulness)? It may even be knee jerk purchases or even boredom!
- How important is your product/service in their daily/weekly/monthly lives?
- Do other customer reviews influence their purchasing decision?
- Are there any factors that would influence their decision. For example, the opinion of their family or friends.
- Are there any other products/services that they would buy in conjunction?
- Are there any other products/services that they would buy instead/replace with?
Create your personas
Use your Buyer Personas to develop your Sales Funnel
Now use them!
- Keyword targeting.
- Identifying where SEO has the highest impact within the sales funnel.
- Content creation. What problems are we solving with our content?
- What content is going to resonate with them, in relation to the sales funnel. Will it influence the purchasing decision? If not, we’ll need to question why we’re creating it.
- We can use this process to develop personas for link building purposes. What is going to make someone amplify our content? What would the drivers behind this decision?