Understanding Your Audience Through Buyer Personas

3 min read

The key to successful marketing is making remarkable content that people want to read. And the first step to making the content people want is understanding *who* your best customer is. Once you understand your buyers' loves, needs, and interests, you can use this information to guide all of your marketing moving forward. Not only will you be successful, you'll make your buyers happy! 

Create Buyer Personas

You may already have some knowledge about developing buyer personas, those fictional representations of your target customers based on real-world information and educated guesses about their likes, dislikes, habits, behaviors, motivations, concerns, and demographics.

To write effectively for any audience, you need to know a bit about them:

  • What are their interests, their biggest concerns, their mostpressing needs?
  • How can you reach them? Do they read blogs, social media, or use search engines to help satisfy their needs?
  • Who are these people? Are they parents? Executives in specific roles? Young or old? Do they make their buying decisions solo or as part of a predetermined corporate process?
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Identify your Personas

Begin developing buyer personas for the people most likely to buy your goods and services by doing research based on your existing customer base.

There may be several different personas, so flesh out each one fully, including name, job title or role, industry or company info, and demographic info.

For example, your target market might be small or mid-size enterprises (SMEs) or they might be Fortune 500 types. You might refer to these as “Mom & Pop” or “Global Gary.” Using these identifiers, you can infer certain information about them and their businesses, such as their revenues, geographic areas of operation, and other characteristics relevant to serving their marketing needs.

Once you’ve identified the general personas, ask yourself questions that will help you identify their pain points, needs, and challenges including:

  • What are the top two or three biggest problems they need you to help them solve?
  • What type of information are they typically searching for when shopping for your goods or services?
  • How do they typically search for your products or services?
  • What trends influence their needs, successes, and business operations?

Perhaps the best way to understand the content your customers crave is to see which sources and which content brought them to you. By following a clients’ path from first click to closed sale with a marketing platform such as HubSpot, you can see the search terms that brought them to your website, which content they viewed and for how long, and any forms they completed. That’s lead intelligence you can use to make better-informed choices when developing buyer personas.

If, for example, you’re wooing Mom & Pop, you might learn that they were reading articles about mobile marketing for hyperlocal audiences and using QR codes in promotions.

Based on their activity on your website, you might conclude they need help with:

  • Mobile marketing in general
  • Geotargeting best practices
  • Inexpensive technologies and promotions that can boost instore traffic

Develop Buyer Profiles

Once you know who your buyers are and what their needs are, you need to understand how they shop for the things you sell. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What do they do online: Do they read blogs, surf social networks, or subscribe to e-newsletters?What search terms do buyers like these typically use?
  • What search terms do buyers like these typically use?
  • What kind of content piques their curiosity, gets them to click through: Education articles, interactive tools, videos, podcasts, trend reports?
  • Which of your products or services did they spend significant amounts of time reading about?

Use the answers to these questions to understand your prospects’ demographics, needs, and behaviors. The better you understand your personas, the more detail you have about them, the better you will be able to develop content that appeals to them and the more effectively you can place it to reach them.

photo credit: wstryder