Growing up, we all had that favorite uncle or grandparent who knew how to tell the best stories ever, so we felt as though the story was written just for us!
This personalized storytelling tradition has since migrated into content marketing. In business today, we tailor a particular sales narrative to fit a certain “buyer persona” in what becomes a semi-fictional portrayal of our ideal customer. Buyer personas are usually based on the market research and customer data.
This blog post, the first in a series about buyer personas, will explore the best methods of creating the ideal buyer personas and how to profile (classify) them.
Writing the Story
To put together a buyer persona, it’s best to position it in a story-like setting—just like your favorite storyteller would do.
The buyer persona assumes the role of the main character and must have a compelling story to tell. For example, let’s imagine you own a travel agency and your ideal client, “Tony,” travels frequently.
The biography for “Traveling Tony” can be easily put together by including:
- Who he is and does?
- What information he needs from you?
- What he must have in order to receive value from your organization?
So, in the case of Traveling Tony, his buyer persona might look like this:
“Tony is a 50-year-old married male with no children. He’s an avid diver and enjoys traveling to exotic and undiscovered locations to scuba dive during the day and enjoy fine dining with his wife at night. Tony needs targeted information about secluded islands that isn’t normally available to mainstream tourists. The information he receives must be credible, regularly updated (to ensure that other tourists don’t know about it) and kept in confidence by the travel agency, so that his favorite diving trips aren’t discovered by others.”
As noted in Tony’s buyer persona, there’s a lot of demographic information that is important to capture. While the specific criteria you need to capture will be defined by your product or service offering, commonly used profile demographics include:
- Gender – common sense, but communications to men and women may vary in tone and content.
- Age – the age of a buyer could play a key role in the way you communicate with them. Younger buyers might prefer headlines while older buyers might like to read paragraphs of information before purchasing.
- Purpose – why does your buyer persona buy your product? The core functionality or purpose of your product offering is key to your content marketing success. If you don’t know why customers are buying from you, you can’t continue to sell to them effectively.
The End Result
Now that you’ve created your sample buyer persona and come up with a list of the most important demographic information you will need to capture, the next step is how to best put it to use.
Coming up in this series we will explore some of the best ways to utilize the data you have gathered and how to design the most effective and impactful online content marketing campaign specifically targeted for your ideal buyer persona.
What are some of the most important benefits a clearly defined buyer persona could offer to your organization? Do you think using a buyer persona model would help improve the branding and effectiveness of your online content? Please share your comments below.