Marketing

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet Creating Marketing Personas

Have you ever been told that the key to effective marketing is to know your ideal buyer? That advice has been circulating for generations, but many marketers don’t dig deep enough when researching their target markets. They may know that most of their customers fall within a general age range or income bracket, but they don’t put a face to individual buyers or identify multiple potential markets. This leads to missed opportunities and costly mistakes, but you can overcome those issues by developing detailed buyer personas.

This strategy takes some time, but it will help you determine where to place your ads online for maximum exposure, what words to use in your ad copy, and how to make readers and video viewers feel as if your content is speaking directly to them. You can eliminate expensive trial and error marketing tactics just by creating well-developed personas and allowing them to guide your marketing plan. The following tips will reveal everything you need to know about creating personas that help you attract leads and increase conversion rates.

Personalize Your Personas

  • Give each of your target markets a name that reflects their job title or an important personal feature. For example, you may use Supermom Sandy to represent a stay-at-home mother dedicated to her children or Builder Bob to represent a construction contractor.
  • Find a picture to visually portray each persona. This is the person you will imagine reading your ads and listening to your videos when you create content.
  • Research details of each personas lifestyle. Include their educational and professional background as well as basic demographic information such as their age, gender and level of income. Add any other information that is of importance to your business or marketing plan.

Once you complete these three steps, each of your personas should feel so real that you can pick them out at the movie theater, in the office or in your neighborhood. If you don’t have that sense of familiarity, you aren’t ready to move forward with the persona-building process.

Add Detail to Each Persona

  • You hinted at your personas profession when deciding on a name, and now it’s time to give them a specific title. Perhaps Builder Bob is an independent contractor working out of his own truck, or maybe he’s the CEO of a large national construction firm. Their title determines what decisions they make when it comes to buying products and contracting services.
  • Determine how each persona makes money. Are they paid commission on sales or do they earn a yearly salary? This will tell you a lot about their goals and potential problems that you may help them solve.
  • Identify tools that your personas need to meet their goals. For instance, you may realize that specialized computer software could save them time or an app could help them secure more leads.
  • Research details regarding each persona’s workplace, starting with the specific industry. Do they work for a large organization or a small business? Where is the company headquartered, and how many offices do they maintain? Where are those offices located, and from which location does your persona work?
  • Create the professional structure surrounding your personas. Identify their boss, managers and others setting the rules for each persona, and then identify any employees reporting to each persona.
  • Walk through a typical day in each personas life. Who do they spend time with, and where do they go? Get into the details, including their favorite foods, drinks and clothing preferences.

What Motivates Your Personas?

At this point, you could probably identify at least a handful of people you know in real life who would fit with each of your personas. You have a sense of who they are, and you’re ready to determine what motivates them to take action.

  • Identify their primary responsibilities. These are things that they must accomplish or take care of in order to keep their jobs and live comfortably. Anything you can offer that may help them with these responsibilities will likely motivate them to take action.
  • Name your persona’s goals. You may include professional as well as personal goals to develop an in-depth understanding of what they want to achieve in life.
  • What obstacles make it difficult for your personas to achieve those goals? Identify the challenges and roadblocks that they need to overcome in order to enjoy success.
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Identify Personal Preferences

Your personas are alive and walking around in your head at this point, but you still need to dig a little deeper. These details will help you tailor your inbound marketing strategies to each person you want to target.

  • Where does each persona turn when they need authoritative information? Identify print media as well as online resources, naming specific websites, blogs, apps and books that they find useful. These are all places that you want your business to appear.
  • Are your personas members of any professional associations? Do they regularly read blogs, newsletters or magazines produced by these associations?
  • Which social media platforms does each persona use regularly? This will help you determine which platforms are worthy of your time and financial investment.

Congratulations on creating buyer personas that will help you secure more leads and convert leads to sales. The more personas you create, the easier it will become to split your marketing efforts to directly target each segment of your overall targeted market. From this point forward, every social media update, blog post and video you create should assume one of these personas is on the receiving end.

You now know what goals your ideal buyers are striving to accomplish and what currently stands in the way of their success. It’s your turn to position your products and services so that the real-life versions of these personas identify your brand as their ideal solution. That’s how you stimulate action and accelerate your inbound marketing efforts quickly.

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