There are always two key areas you should always focus on when you’re thinking of producing any form of content like a buyer persona. The content itself as well as the audience you’re communicating with. It’s always a good idea having a thorough understanding of these aspects so we can create content that can have a more meaningful impact. We’ll explore designing content in future posts so for now let’s focus on building a Buyer Persona.
Picture your audience. Got it. I bet most of you would’ve seen a large group of faceless people, right. They’re your loyal customers and one of the many reasons as to why you’re still in business but at times it can be hard to picture every single individual who’s interacted with your brand. Every single member of your audience has something unique about themselves. They have a name, individual interests, and preferences but they all share a common interest towards your brand. In most cases, we’re usually given broad identifiers such as Age Range or GeoLocation to help grasp our audiences. While that’s fine in most instances, having a clearer picture is always going to be much more beneficial. So in order to help visualise our audience on a much deeper level we use a method of building a Buyer Persona. Essentially this enables us to build a general profile of what we imagine a single individual from within the audience. The persona itself is built from the information we can gather from the entire audience, so we can trust the profile is accurate and somewhat reliable. Only then we can begin to understand on how we can effectively reach our audience and craft content that connect with them.
If you happen to do a google search on the matter you’ll notice that there is a ton of resources readily available to build a buyer persona. Each source typically explores the same sort of issues you’d normally expect with minor differences here and there. But the major difference between sources is the quality of the end product. How accurate and how much depth you’re willing to accept should be a consideration for deciding which services you’ll hire. For now, let’s focus on the areas of information we should be collecting ourselves and some simple suggestions to help start building a profile of your our own.
CONDUCTING THE RESEARCH FOR YOUR BUYER PERSONA
Think of approaching a Buyer Persona as you would be conducting an interview. Ideally, you’d ask a series of questions that all lead up to a point where both parties should be satisfied with the responses given. In our case, we need to focus on the questions that are essential to building a persona. The obvious would be a series of questions that relate to demographics. And that’s fine for a starting point, but let’s go further down the rabbit hole. Say for instance you asked what they do for a living and their responsibilities at work. Follow up that question with how they would spend their free time when they’re not at work. Or what other commitments precede work responsibilities. By probing more behavioural questions we can start to identify similarities between individuals within our audience and come to a general assumption on how they would normally act in their daily lives. We can then come to a conclusion on how we should approach our audiences in an efficient manner. You should always follow up with more probing questions to get a better understanding of behaviours and patterns. But if you happen to be stuck we got a few burning questions that help kickstart your research:
- What are your aspirations or goals?
- Describe your recent shopping experience.
- What are you daily hurdles?
- What device do you typically surf the internet on?
- What website do you most frequent on?
You understand the elements involved, but now we need some tools to help collate and process this data. The easiest method would be to enlist of some services like we’ve mentioned above. Bare in mind though that those need some consideration towards budget and opportunity. But if you unable to meet those needs we have a few simple suggestions to get you started.
TOOLS TO GET STARTED
If you have time, have a quick look around to see if you’re in possession of some database of sorts before getting started on creating a buyer persona. It could be in a form of a collection of recent customers or even an email list of your subscribers for that newsletter you’ve been forwarding out. Any sort of relevant information helps build towards a buyer persona. From that point on, try to form some assumptions based on the collective data you’ve gathered to form your buyer persona. Humanise the profile if possible so it’s clearer to understand the relationships and connections an individual would have with your brand.
Depending on the platform you consider home, see if its possible to add a ‘Customer Form’ somewhere within your website. Adding this simple engagement tool allows collecting the most basic information needed. However, the information gathered is limited by the form you’ve created and in most cases is pretty limited. With that in mind, this tool should be used in conjunction with some additional methods but it’s otherwise a great start into gathering information.
The last of our quick suggestion for tools to use when building a buyer persona is to use an online service that specialises in surveys and questionnaires. SurveyMonkey is a great online tool that can help build a survey that can be easily shared amongst your audience. Simply design all the relevant questions that need answering and share the link on any platforms that can easily reach your audience. Again once you’ve collected enough information start compiling it all together to form an ideal persona.
We’ve gone through some of the basic steps involved in creating a Buyer Persona. Keep in mind though you are not limited to having one profile represent your audience. Your audience can be segmented further depending on product lines or even different beliefs so be generous on the amount of persona’s need to get a better grasp of your audience. Getting a clearer picture of your audience will always help to tailor content to meet their needs.