Buyer personas are important to every business with an online presence, that’s a fact.
We also know that personas are always evolving and should be updated on a continual basis. Keeping up with your consumers’ interests and needs will prove to be a smart content marketing strategy in the long run.
Think of personas as templates from which you can craft all of your marketing content.
So how do you go about creating a buyer persona for your target customer?
Below are three resources to help you get started.
1. Ask the Sales Department
Enlisting the help of your company’s sales representatives is probably the easiest way to get to know your clients. Sales representatives are often on the front lines when it comes to obtaining new clients, so they routinely field a lot of recurring questions.
Ask the sales representatives for a list of questions they receive most frequently. From there you can take the top five most common questions asked and use them to start a persona.
The sales team can also give you insights about the type of people that call in most frequently: job role, level of education, interests, pain points, etc.
That information is going to be important when building your personas since you need to define precisely who it is you’re targeting.
Pro Tip: This also presents a great opportunity to create content based on the email and phone replies to customers from sales representatives.
2. Use Buzzsumo and Social Media
Buzzsumo is a great (free) tool you can use that will show how many times a particular piece of content in your niche or industry vertical has been shared.
From there, you can take a look at the social media accounts of the people sharing the content.
This will give you direct insight into your target audience and will help you assign a gender, education level and job role to your personas.
Head over to Buzzsumo, then using the “Most Shared” content research option, type in the search term that you’re looking to use to optimize a particular piece of content. Depending on the query, you may be supplied with a lot of results.
The best thing to do next is to sort by Twitter shares. This will allow you to see which piece of content has been shared the most. Then click on “View Sharers”:
You can now see the Twitter handles of the individuals or companies that have shared this particular article:
From there you’ll be able to view the profiles of each person, or company, who has shared this content
Pro Tip: Limit the amount of profiles you use as you can spend hours or days on this part. To get started, begin with 3 to 5 profiles.
3. Speak With Customer Service
As with the sales department, the customer service department holds scads of data about your clients beginning with the moment they became customers. Here you can learn about customer likes and dislikes and apply that knowledge to your personas.
The best approach would be to ask each customer service representative the five most frequently asked questions he or she receives and start from there.
This will help you to not only build your personas but to create strategic content for them as well.
After all the information has been collected, take 3 simple steps…
Now that you have a stockpile of info on your existing and target audience, here are the steps you can take to create your personas:
1. Assign a gender and name to each persona.
Doing this will help you in the content creation process as you can write as though you’re speaking to an individual.
2. Give that persona a job title, responsibilities and pain points.
This step is crucial, as you need to know at what stage of the buyer’s journey potential customers are.
Pain points will inform you as to what their specific needs are. Addressing your audience’s pain points is a great way to capture their initial interest and guide them along the buyer’s journey.
3. Add a location.
Geo-targeting your audience is very important, as doing so allows you to generate content that can speak to local events and use the vernacular specific to that region.
To recap, researching buyer personas is a great way for you to get to know your audience. Once built, customer personas can help you create content that can be used to attract a new audience. Finally, keep in mind that once a persona is created, it should be updated to remain relevant.