BUYER PERSONAS

Buyer Personas are essential for figuring out just who your customers are. If you think that anyone and everyone is your customer, unfortunately, that is incorrect. To really reach potential customers, you need to find out whom your customers are, where they are, and what their goals and challenges are, etc. The thing is, you don’t want just any traffic to your site, you want the right traffic. You want to get the people who are most likely going to become leads and, eventually, happy customers. There’s a lot that goes into finding out your ideal customer and that’s why we’re here to help!

According to HubSpot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about your customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.

Why Do I Need Buyer Personas?

Buyer personas will help you focus your marketing efforts, create more helpful content and align your organization. As I mentioned before, you want the right traffic coming to your site. Personas help you get into the mindset of your potential and current buyers to help you create the right content specifically for them. When you create the right content, you’ll effectively attract your ideal visitors, convert them into leads, and close them into customers.

How Do I Go About Finding the Information Needed to Build a Buyer Persona?

Personas are created through research, analysis and taking a closer look at who is already your customer. When you create your personas, they need to be based off of actual research, not assumptions or what you want them to be like.

You want to focus on their personal background, company, role, challenges, and goals, how they get their information, and what their shopping preferences are. To gather this information, simply survey your current buyers. Below are just some examples of the types of questions that you want to ask. Bare in mind, you don’t have to use this specific wording. You want to phrase the questions in a way that best fits your demographic.

Can you describe your personal demographic?
Married? Annual household income? Where they live? Male or female? Age? Children?

Can you describe your educational background?
Level of education? School(s) they attended?
TIP: “Boston University” is more specific than “liberal arts college”

What is the size of your company (industry, revenue, number of employees, etc.)?
Knowing these kinds of details about your persona’s company will help you when you’re building the fields for your landing page forms later on.

What are your biggest challenges?
How does that problem affect their day-to-day life? Have them go into detail. You’ll want to focus on the subtle differences that show how their problem makes them feel.
TIP: You’re in business because you’re solving a problem for someone else, your target audience.
EXAMPLE: “I don’t have time to train new employees on a million different databases and platforms.”

Can you describe your personal demographic?
Married? Annual household income? Where they live? Male or female? Age? Children?

Can you describe your educational background?
Level of education? School(s) they attended?
TIP: “Boston University” is more specific than “liberal arts college”

What is the size of your company (industry, revenue, number of employees, etc.)?
Knowing these kinds of details about your persona’s company will help you when you’re building the fields for your landing page forms later on.

What are your biggest challenges?
How does that problem affect their day-to-day life? Have them go into detail. You’ll want to focus on the subtle differences that show how their problem makes them feel.
TIP: You’re in business because you’re solving a problem for someone else, your target audience.
EXAMPLE: “I don’t have time to train new employees on a million different databases and platforms.”

What are you responsible for?
What is their primary goal at work? Secondary goal, etc.
TIP: Knowing these will help you learn what you can do to help your persona achieve their goals and overcome their challenges.

How do you learn about new information for your job?
Online? In-person? Newspapers/magazines? Social media? Google?
TIP: Also find out which sources they trust the most – friends, family, coworkers, industry experts, etc.

What publications or blogs do you read?
Where do they normally stay informed?

What social networks do you use?
TIP:
This will help you down the road to figure out which social media platforms to create accounts on, which to frequent, which conversations to participate in and which type of content to provide and when. Keep in mind that all social media platforms are different so they need to be treated differently!

How do you prefer to interact with vendors?
The experience of purchasing your product should align with how your personas expect to purchase them. What should the sales experience be like? Consultative, online, or over the phone, etc.?

Do you use the internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how to you search the information?
TIP: This goes along with where they find their information. Do they search online, look at review websites, ask their friends and family, or something else?

TIP: You really want to focus on the ‘why’ of your buyers, not their actions. Why do they want your product? Why do they need your product? Why did they buy your product?

Once your customers have gone through and answered these questions, you’ll then have a better understanding of your customer’s lives and what makes them tick. Your next step is to put a name to your persona and find an image that corresponds with the name and information given. Your persona is an ideal customer. They’re a “real” person that has an identity. When doing image research, really think about what this person looks like in your mind. Don’t get an image of a middle-age soccer mom when your persona is more of a new mom in her early twenties. Don’t get an image of a young hipster if your persona is more of a middle-ages businessman. The same type of concept goes for their name. Don’t just name the persona “Jane” or “John Doe.” Try to think of a real name that would best suit your persona type. By doing this exercise, it will visually give you an idea of who your customer base is and you’re your general audience looks like. You don’t want your personas to be a mystery. You also want to make as many variations that you can with your research. As long as you have an understanding of who you’re selling to.


HubSpot has made a great tool that actually helps you make your personas! The MakeMyPersona Tool is an interactive web tool that generates buyer personas for you once you answer a series of questions about your ideal customer. It guides you throughout the entire process! Once it’s done, it’ll make a buyer persona for you based on the answers you provided in the form of an editable Word document that you can edit and expand on. You can also select the image for your persona to help bring them to life and make them more relatable for everyone on your team to see!

Buyer personas are an essential part of your business if you want to make an effective inbound marketing strategy. They give you a clear idea of exactly who these potential customers might be, what they’re interested in and what they are dealing with and what they are working towards. The reason they’re so important is that they matter in all stages of the buyer’s journey. Every single interaction your persona has with your company should be tailored to where they are in the buyer’s journey.

THE BUYER’S JOURNEY

the buyers journey

Every single interaction your persona has with your company should be tailored to where they are in the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is the active research process someone goes through leading up to a purchase. It’s made up of three different stages, the awareness stage, consideration stage and the decision stage.

Why do I need to know the buyer’s journey?

The buyer’s journey is in the perspective of your potential customers. That’s why figuring out your personas before looking at this is important. You need to know and understand your personas before you can delve into figuring out how they move through the buyer’s journey.

Awareness Stage

When your prospect is experiencing a problem or showing symptoms of a problem, they’re in the awareness stage. They’re doing some research to clearly understand and give a name to their problem.

Consideration Stage

When your prospect has clearly defined and given a name to their problem, they are now in the consideration stage. They are committed to doing more research to understand all of the options available to them to fix their particular problem.

Decision Stage

Lastly, when your prospect has decided on their solution strategy, they’re in the decision stage. They’ve put together a list of solutions that meet their solution strategies’ needs. They may do more research to condense the list before ultimately making the final purchase decision. 

The Buyer’s Journey in Real Life

Awareness Stage

You feel sick but you’re not sure exactly what you have. You have a list of symptoms but you have to do more research to be able to figure out what you’re sick with.

Consideration Stage

You’ve done your research and you’ve got enough information to name your problem. It turns out that you’ve got strep throat! Now you ask, “What are my options for relieving my symptoms?”

Decision Stage

You come up with a list of options that you can do to fix the problem. You can either go see your doctor, go to the Emergency Room or go to a clinic. After thinking it over, you decide to go to the Emergency Room.

This example shows how simple the buyer’s journey is. The key is just figuring out how your company’s personas will move through their own buyer’s journey. You also want to make sure that your website attracts all stages of the buyer’s journey. With the example above, imagine yourself as the patient. Typically, your doctor will listen to your symptoms, provide options for you to get better and prescribe you to your solution. Now, imagine if you went in there and the doctor paid no attention to your symptoms and just have you some sort of medicine right away. You wouldn’t be very happy, right? You would feel like you weren’t getting what you went there for.

That’s what can happen when prospects visit your site and don’t see the web content they’re looking for. Instead of creating content that covers all of the stages in the buyer’s problems and potential solutions, most jump into explaining their products and/or services and why they’re the best option. You have to be careful with that because prospects can come to your site at any stage of the buyer’s journey. You need to make sure you have content prepared for each and every stage so it’s easy for your potential to follow and hopefully turn them into a lead!

Now you can see why buyer personas and the buyer’s journey are great tools to understand to really master your inbound marketing strategy. Doing these two key exercises will help get you on the right track to ensure you’re reaching the right people at the right time and at the right location, all by simply researching your customer base.

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