In last week’s blog, I mentioned how content is king. But, as true as this is, content is nothing without an audience to read it. We have chatted on this topic before but please remember that always understanding, developing and maintaining buyer personas will make or break your marketing career. The idea is to have one type of person in mind when creating your buyer persona. They are semi fictional characters that marketers create through research. They represent your ideal customer!
Adria Saracino over at SearchEngineWatch.com has some very insightful things to say in her blog titled “The Quick Guide To Developing Customer Personas” but the best is where to get started:
“Before diving into what specifically to ask, you need to know where to gather the information. Just like all good research, you want to gather a statistically significant amount of data directly from the source – your customers.”
Yes, getting a “statistically significant amount of data” is the key.
All too often I’ve seen people use a small sample of anecdotal data to develop their personas. You also really should constantly keep up and develop the personality traits of your personas. It is a way to target individuals with exactly what they want to hear and see. When you have a specific audience in mind, your content will be better for it. Knowing what motivates, challenges, and excites your readers will give you a way to provide them with it. Basically, you’re giving the people what they want. Buying personas are your saving grace. Understanding your clients “needs” will keep them engaged and intrigued with your content. It is imperative to fully utilize this technique, as it is too easy to say that your target audience is a small start-up company, but the real questions lay underneath:
- What makes your start-up tick?
- What’s the value of your product to your target personas?
- What are their (your target persona’s) responsibilities; their likes/dislikes?
- What are their main concerns/ how are they currently addressing them?
- Where are they most likely to find information?
- What are their long-term goals? Their short-term goals?
- What kinds of things are they involved in?
- What do they value?
- What motivates them?
There are literally so many questions you should ask and you HAVE to think about all of these things. Knowledge is power and in this case can make or break success.
The most important thing to remember is that you can’t just make one buyer persona and then forget about it later. You have to constantly update and develop it with the knowledge gained through your campaigns. A good way to think about it is that they are “works in progress”. Your audience will change and adapt so your personas must too!
Make sure to regularly review and build up your buyer personas. Include monthly meetings dedicated to just this. I like to print out my buyer persona write ups, put them in a binder, and look at them from time to time to remind myself exactly who I’m writing for. Hell, try adding a picture and hanging it in front of your workstation the next time you start a new campaign strategy as a constant visual reminder of who you are trying to influence.