Buyer personas are more than just a collection of demographic information; they are a detailed characterization of your ideal customers. Your buyer persona should have a name, a face, a career, a family (or not), and a few hobbies. They should drive a specific car or have a dream vacation planned. In other words, your personas should be just like real people. With all the work and thought that goes into creating a buyer persona, it can be tempting to skip the process. You already have a pretty good idea of what your target market is like. Why go through all the fuss, right?
Buyer Personas are an Essential First Step
The process of creating a buyer persona is more than just an administrative task or busy work. The process helps you get to know your customers and prospective buyers better, and helps you to refine your target in a solidified way. As you go through the process, you'll be looking at everything from educational backgrounds to fantasy cars, and through this information you'll get an understanding of what the needs and interests of your buyers are.
If you skip this process and dive right into content creation, you run the risk of creating content that is totally off the mark. Not only are you wasting your time with the creation, but you might also be wasting the time of the salesperson who has to spend time with leads who are not a good fit for the product.
What Buyer Personas Do for You
In a nutshell, buyer personas give you the ability to create content that speaks to the reader instead of at the reader. You'll gain the advantage of understanding the psychological factors that influence buying habits and decision making. That way, you can fine-tune your content in a way that addresses these factors.
For example, if you are marketing luxury vacation rentals, it is not enough to know that your target market tends to be men who are over the age of 50 with an income well into the six-figures. If your rentals are beachfront properties, you might be looking for men who grind away in the city and need to get some fresh air. You might need to know that they are motivated by ease of lifestyle, or that their primary concern is a good return on their investment. It could also help to know that they have adult children that might want to share the space.
Looking for Leads in All the Wrong Places
Without a well-defined buyer persona, you might be picking up all the wrong details or failing to highlight the most important factors. You might leave out the fact that the market for luxury housing in this area weathered the recession and is stronger than ever while spending too much time talking about the nearby water park. In other words, you might fail to address the motivations of your best targets because you're casting your net too wide. The result, of course, is missing the target.
In fact, almost 75 percent of online consumers get frustrated when content appears to have nothing to do with their interests. When you create buyer personas first, you will be able to segment your strategies so only the most relevant content reaches each individual, and the rest is left out. Any content you create that discusses the water park or daycare facilities will only be directed at your personas with kids in the mix. Content that focuses on money will be directed at those who are serious about their investments.
In Other Words, Buyer Personas Matter
Take the time to create detailed personas. Flip through some stock photos and give your persona a face and a name. Create enough different people to cover your best targets, but not so many that your messages are diluted. And, most importantly, do all of this before you create any content so you don't waste anyone's time with misguided content.