Imagine this: you want to have a conversation about your favorite new thing, so you go out into the middle of the sidewalk in New York City and start talking. You’re passionate and excited, but people keep passing right by, only catching snippets of what you’re saying. It sounds frustrating and ineffective, right? It would have been much easier to pick one person or a small group and start there.
If you’re selling products, goods, or services online and you haven’t defined a buyer persona, you’re taking the “middle of the sidewalk” approach. Even if your offering is excellent, you just can’t appeal to everyone In other words – if you don’t know who your customer is, how do you know who you’re talking to?
Whether you’re a new company or an established brand looking to make your marketing efforts more effective, defining a buyer persona is the first step. After all, 71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented buyer personas. You should too.
In this blog, we’ll lay out a comprehensive checklist to help you understand your customers and cater to their needs.
Let’s dive in.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is one of the critical building blocks for a good business. A fictional mock-up of your ideal customer, a buyer persona considers the needs, motivations, demographics, and concerns of your target audience to help you develop a marketing strategy. Buyer personas include demographic information, insight into behavior patterns, content consumption, pain points, motivations, goals, and more.
Here’s how HubSpot defines a buyer persona:
Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on data and research. They help you focus your time on qualified prospects, guide product development to suit the needs of your target customers, and align all work across your organization (from marketing to sales to service).
Done correctly, a good buyer persona will help you map the customer journey. It will also help you identify which tools and content you’ll need to attract, convert, and retain them at every phase of your pipeline.
The Buyer Persona Checklist: How to Create Your Own
While buyer personas may sound complicated, they’re pretty easy to create. Follow this simple checklist:
Start with research
Research in the forms of surveys, interviews, and more is the first step to any good buyer persona. We recommend the following tactics:
- Use form fields to capture personal information such as job title, company size, and location.
- Consult your contacts database to identify trends about how leads find and interact with your content.
- Gather feedback from sales team clients.
- Interview your prospects and customers to discover what they value about your company and service.
Flesh out Your Persona’s Characteristics and Needs
Once you’ve done your research, start by building out your persona’s basic information. As a general rule, here are some of the things you need to know to build a buyer persona:
- Highest level of education
- Size of Org
- Income level
- How is their performance measured
- Who are they accountable to/report to
- Pain Points
- Tools/platforms they engage with the most
- Websites they trust
- Social media platforms
- Content formats they prefer(blog posts, videos, social media posts, e-books)
- Role in making purchases (influencer, purchaser, final decision-maker)
Answer the question of “why?”
Once you know who your target buyers are, it’s time to understand what they need. Using the information you gathered during your research, lay out the goals and challenges your buyer personas are facing and the solutions your company can offer them.
For example, maybe your ideal buyer wants to reduce employee turnover, but they’re struggling to do it since they have a small staff. You could help reduce this pain point by providing an integrated, all-in-one solution that allows them to access employee data from a single dashboard.
Build additional personas, if needed
Every business is different. While some companies have as few as 2 personas, others could have seven, eight, or more. Feel free to build as many buyer personas as your company needs. Just make sure you’re doing the research to support each.
Bonus Points: Hire a Professional Company to Help
If you want to make your buyer personas as effective as possible, inThink is here to help. Our team can help you build accurate, targeted buyer personas and take the essential next step of developing journeys for your personas, building content, and ideating marketing strategies to meet them at key critical points along their path to conversion. Ready to learn more? Contact us today!
Find this information helpful? Download our comprehensive buyer persona checklist and learn how to build your own!