Buyer personas play an instrumental role in creating targeted and relevant marketing campaigns. They are an insanely effective marketing tool businesses can use to address the specific issues faced by their target customers.
But, before we get ahead of ourselves, what exactly are buyer personas? Buyer personas are fictional identities built through research and real customer data. They help you internalize your ideal customer’s needs, pain points and motivations, and market your products or services more effectively. How much more effectively?
Well, by using three-dimensional and fully fleshed out buyer personas, one website saw a 210% increase in website traffic, a 97% increase in website generated leads and a 124% increase in website generated sales. Yet, only 44% of B2B marketers actually use buyer personas.
If you haven’t developed robust buyer personas, or you’re working with stale personas you haven’t updated in ages, you’re missing out on massive lead and revenue-generating opportunities. We’re sharing 3 tips to help you create vibrant and sharpened buyer personas that deepen your understanding of your ideal customers.
1. Go straight to the source
When creating your buyer personas from scratch, interviewing your existing customers is a great place to start. They’ve already done business with your company. They know what they like (or don’t like) about working with your business. And, many customers love being heard and telling you all about their life, challenges, and experiences with your products.
Let your customers know that their feedback is valued and it will have an impact on the products or services they use. Build out your personas by asking these questions:
What challenges does your business face?
What is your preferred mode of communication?
Where do you do most of your research?
What led you to our business in the first place?
What company do you work for?
What is your job title?
Who are your customers?
What are your customers’ pain points?
I know it’s tempting to focus only on the customers who love your company. But, unhappy customers can also serve as a valuable resource and uncover key insights into what your business could be doing better. You may find out that your product is difficult to use or they feel like they’re not getting the technical support they need. This feedback can help you take action and earn the loyalty of even more customers.
2. Pick the brains of your sales team
Your sales team is interacting with your prospects and customers on a regular basis. If anyone understands their core needs and challenges, it’s them. Pick their brains and see what the best leads and customers have in common and what motivates them to make a purchase.
Ask what obstacles they face in converting new leads into customers. Understanding how they interact with leads and customers can help you eliminate barriers to purchase and bring in new business.
3. Mine your data for actionable insights
Data is a powerful tool when pinpointing your target customers. Look through your contacts database and uncover behavioral trends and a granular breakdown of how your audience consumes content. Are they practically eating up your marketing emails and newsletters? What types of blogs are they reading and sharing the most? Do they care more about visuals and infographics than written content?
Also, take a deep dive into Google Analytics and transform this raw data into actionable personas. Sign into Google Analytics and go to Acquisition, All Traffic and then Google/Organic and set the Secondary Dimension to Keyword. This will show you relevant and high-performing keywords that users are searching for before coming to your website.
While not all of the keywords will be provided, the remaining keywords can help you uncover behavioral trends and better understand your audience. Copy and paste these keywords in a spreadsheet and sort them into categories based on similarities. Use these keywords to uncover hidden growth opportunities and see what your prospects and customers are most invested in.
You can dig even deeper in Google Analytics and pull reports on gender, age and interests and pull all of these elements together to create the most powerful and on-target buyer personas.
Following this advice will help you get the most value from your buyer personas and use those personas to create content that emotionally resonates with your ideal customer. Remember that your customers and their needs are constantly changing. Treat your buyer personas as living documents that need to be continuously updated over time, and they will stay fresh and relevant.
Courtney is the content writer at Stratus Interactive, where she is responsible for writing original, thought-provoking blog posts on a variety of topics. Courtney has been writing stories since she was a wee little one and has experience in B2B and B2C content marketing in addition to SEO. See all Courtney Feairheller's posts.