One challenge of running a company is marketing your product to others. You have to make sure the messages you send and the images you use are attention grabbing and strike a chord with your target audience, compelling them to take action. But how do you know what consumers want?
Start with personas
One way to understand what consumers want is to think about who you are targeting, and exactly what these people’s interests and habits are, so you can tailor your marketing to be as effective as possible. A technique to do this is creating personas of possible people you are targeting. A persona gives you concrete ideas of how a consumer would think, act, or react, so you can customize your marketing strategy to meet their specific needs.
The added value of personas in content creation
Say hello to Eefje, Bram and Femke! These ‘human beings’ are personas, created by me based on gut feeling, educated guesses and some real data. Maybe you are Eefje, looking for some basic guidelines about creating personas and Bram could be a marketeer just finetuning his content strategy. Both Eefje and Bram are interested in the topic of creating personas, but have some different needs. As may have noticed when it comes to your business, you probably have multiple buyer personas for the same product or service you offer.
That is what personas are about: to be successful in creating online content, your content must meet the needs of the reader and provide them with solutions and or valuable insights. Each customer - like Eefje or Bram - has different challenges and interests. Speaking to their pain points and challenges throughout their journey will help you close the deal.
Know your audience
So, to create content that your target audience really likes, you need to understand exactly who they are and what their journey looks like. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. This fictional person is based on real data like customer demographics and online behaviour, along with speculations about their whereabouts, motivations, feelings, and concerns.
Without personas you will create content based on guessing what your target audience really wants. The most common mistake in creating content is making content about what you know or think is best, instead of what your target audience really is looking for.
A first date with Femke
When you start creating a buyer persona, you should see it like a first date. You would love to know more about your date, in this case Femke. So you will ask a lot of questions to get to know her better. You start simple with questions like “Where are you from?”, then move into details about her personal life. When you create a persona you need to know what they feel, see, think and act.
And just like dating, after creating several buyer personas, you’ll get the hang of it! Building solid buyer personas that accurately reflect who your ideal customers are is the foundation of inbound marketing strategy.
Bring your persona to life.
The fun part of creating personas is that the personas will come to life during the process and you will notice that you are referring to Femke or Bram when you are talking about your marketing ideas. What would Femke do or what will make Bram buy your product? You can craft your entire inbound marketing strategy around Bram or Femke from web pages to content offers and blog posts.
One last tip - Don’t forget to give them a ‘real’ face and give the personas a prominent place on a board or something in your office. From this day on, in everything you do: think of your buyer personas!