I am sure that there are a ton of people thinking… what the hell is a buyer persona and why is this important to me? Well, honestly, those are great questions. Kudos to you for admitting that you don’t know and taking a step towards enlightening yourself. Trust me – this topic is worth the read!
When someone is online searching for answers, they want the most relevant information possible. When you are online, isn't that what YOU want? Well, in order to make sure your marketing investment is being spent on providing and pushing out relevant information to attract the right people, first you need to know exactly who those RIGHT people are.
What are Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are those RIGHT people. They are specific to you and your business. They are generalized, fictional characters (stick with me, not a fictional character like Jon Snow or Fred Flintstone) but, fictional characters that represent a specific segment of your ideal customer base.
How do you use Buyer Personas?
You want to create a different buyer persona for each type of your ideal manufacturing buyers. So, they will more than likely have different company titles, goals, concerns, questions, and challenges. Typically, you’ll have 2-5 personas to start with.
How do you create a Buyer Persona?
Be as specific as possible; this practice will allow you to create very targeted marketing that’s relevant to your specific buyer. Relevance is what that buyer is looking for when making a purchase or decision, and you’ll utilize your buyer personas to create messaging that’s specialized to each one. Like we said, they each have specific goals, concerns, questions, and challenges. You should be able to utilize your expertise to provide the exact answers that they are looking for.
Respondents to a B2B Buyers Survey from DemandGen said the single most influential aspect of any vendor’s website is “relevant content that speaks directly to [their] company.” As a CEO of a specialized manufacturing company, you need to make sure your company’s marketing, website, and messaging is meeting these demands.
So, create strong buyer personas using market research, consumer insights (through surveys, interviews, etc.), and your own website data.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Interview customers to discover what they like about your product or service.
2. Look through your contacts database and site history to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.
3. Research your buyers using related forums (Facebook groups, Reddit, specialty association sites, etc.).
4. Meet regularly with your salespeople to get their immediate feedback from prospects on what they’re looking for, what they’re seeing, and what generalizations they’re noticing from different types of buyers.
Once you’ve conducted your research, arrange the information in a usable way. The buyer personas should be used by anyone creating marketing messaging, designs, and purchase decisions. They should also be used by sales teams for prospecting and for qualifying leads. (Keep in mind that your personas aren’t set in stone; they are a starting point and will evolve, just as your business evolves.)
Create a buyer persona using these fields:
- Background (career path, job title, family, job history)
- Demographics (male or female typically, age range, income, and location)
- Identifiers (demeanor, behavior patterns, communication preferences, frequent sites visited)
- Goals (primary and secondary goals related to your company/why they’re searching for a business like yours)
- Challenges (primary and secondary challenges)
- What Can We Do (What can your commercial construction company do to help your persona reach their goals? ...to help your persona overcome their challenges?)
- Quotes (Quotes from actual buyers about goals, challenges, etc.)
- Common Objections (Why wouldn’t they buy your product/service? Why would they select a different company over yours, or none at all?)
- Marketing Messaging (How should you describe your solution to your persona - addressing their problem, not what you want them to buy?)
- Elevator Pitch (Sell your persona on your solution in two sentences or fewer.)
Here’s an abbreviated example of the WHO section for an Application Engineer buyer persona:
The Application Engineer is typically a hard-working male aged between 25-50 years old. He is committed to providing creative applications and innovative solutions. He is tech savvy and appreciates software and systems that allows him to customize his manufacturing systems. He purchases systems in the $50-100k range and is working for a company that is $15m-50m range.
Once you’ve created your own detailed set of ideal buyer personas, it’s time to implement them into your marketing strategy. Here are some ways we recommend doing so.
How To Immediately Use Personas
- When you create forms on your site, use form fields to allow your visitors to self-select their own persona using descriptions. For example, you may ask, ‘What role do you most identify with?’ and then have options such as ‘Engineer, researching ways to reduce Lead Times’. This shows that you’re anticipating your audience without assuming you already know who they are, and allows you to market more effectively throughout your site.
- Create smart content fields within your site that change based on the persona who sees them.
- Create targeted content that addresses your personas’ concerns. Blog posts are the most efficient way to do this - answering your buyer’s challenges in the form of searchable content.
- Analyze the data you’re seeing once you start using personas to guide your content, purchasing, and design.
Download our ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Highly Targeted B2B Marketing, to learn all the ways you can implement the use of buyer personas on your own site and in your marketing to make an immediate impact.